A volunteering opportunity like no other – become an Independent Custody Visitor

ICV Volunteers Emma Chambers and Paul Allonby checking on the welfare of a detainee in police custody

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner is looking for compassionate, community-spirited people to volunteer for her Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) scheme.

Merseyside's PCC, Emily Spurrell, is looking to recruit more volunteers who are keen on upholding public transparency by joining the ICV scheme. This important scheme sees members of the public check on the welfare and wellbeing of people detained in police custody to ensure that they are provided with their rights and entitlements.

ICVs are independent, and are not concerned why the detainee has been arrested. The duty of an ICV is to ensure that a detainee is being provided with their entitlements. 

ICVs must have good observational and thinking skills, strong ethical principles and be able to maintain confidentiality. They should also be comfortable challenging authority if required. The volunteers will also come from a range of backgrounds, ages, and experience.

Volunteers must be over 18 years old and live or work in the Merseyside area. Upon successful interview, volunteers will be required to undergo a non-police personnel level vetting check. Full training will also be provided. It is required that volunteers make a minimum of one visit per month.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell says that the: 

“Independent Custody Visitors perform a crucial role and it's only right that this important work is carried out by volunteers from the local community.

“Detainees are potentially vulnerable and visits by our ICV volunteers are a key protection for them, ensuring their legal entitlements and rights are respected.

“This is a volunteering opportunity like no other, through which volunteers can gain a unique insight into how our police service operates and play their part in promoting the highest standards of service.”

"This is a hugely interesting and rewarding role and I am looking for compassionate, community-spirited people, from any background and from all sections of our community, who believe in upholding standards and care about the treatment of others."

These visits give members of the public a fascinating insight into how this important Police duty is carried out. It also provides an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of Merseyside Police.

The ICV Chair, Ruth Rogers, has said the following: 

“As an Independent Custody Visitor, I help to ensure people in detention are treated fairly and decently whoever they are and whatever they have done. For many detainees, it is a difficult environment & they may be very vulnerable for many different reasons, we can play a small part in making the situation easier.”

For more information, please read through our recruitment pack located below. Please also see the main ICV webpage which can be accessed by clicking here.

Please note, applications have now closed - if you are still interested in applying to be an ICV, please email: [email protected]