PCC supported scheme ensures detainee welfare (1 May 2019)

PCC With ICV - Visit Elland Custody Suite (1)Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) helped to check on the welfare of detainees when he joined two of his Independent Custody Visitors at Elland Road custody suite last week (26/04).

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteer members of the community who visit custody suites across West Yorkshire and speak to detained people to check on the conditions and their welfare.

The outcome of the visit is reported back to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) who support and maintain the scheme which is required to operate by Law.

Reported issues are dealt with anonymously by the OPCC who take them up directly with West Yorkshire Police.

ICVs conduct their visits unannounced and can attend custody suites at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

ICV Visit Elland Custody Suite (4)West Yorkshire ICV, Onita Harrison, said: "We are from the community so we can talk to people on their level and engage in dialogue. We are welcomed by the detainees.

"I absolutely love the role and get a lot of satisfaction from it. I would really encourage more people to get involved in this because it's an experience that you'll never get anywhere else but also it's so helpful to the detainees."

West Yorkshire ICV, Myles Gould, said: "Every single visit is different, you never quite know what you're going to find and you can make a difference when someone tells you they need help.

"I think it's really important that the wider public sees what happens in custody and in the wider police force."

ICV Visit Elland Custody Suite (3)PCC Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "Independent Custody Visitors carry out a very valuable and rewarding role. It was clear to see just how appreciated the independent check was by the detained people we spoke to, and in fairness the police custody officers and staff.

"Other public services like schools and hospitals have open access readily available to our communities, and it is important that we also promote complete transparency for our custody suites.

"ICVs are everyday people from all walks of life who give up their time to speak to people who are held in custody. I would like to give thanks to our ICVs for their commitment to helping others and for their part in ensuring the criminal justice system works for our communities.

"If you would like to become an ICV, or to find out more visit www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/custody-visiting.aspx or call my office on 01924 294000."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019