Independent Custody Visitors

Independent Custody Visitors

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are appointed by the Commissioner to check on the wellbeing of people being held in custody by the police.
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Independent Custody Visitors

ICV’s are drawn from all sections of the community across the County of Staffordshire and the City of Stoke-on-Trent.

ICVs make a minimum of twelve visits per year and always conduct their visits in pairs. Such visits provide an independent check on detained persons, the way police officers carry out their duties with regard to detainees and seek to secure greater public understanding and confidence in such matters.

Visits to police stations are unannounced and ICVs report their observations to the Chief

How we make sure custody in Staffordshire is safe


minutes spent by volunteers inspecting custody


detainees were present in custody when ICV's conducted their visits


detainees were visited by an ICV during this period

Join the Independent Custody Visitors

Qualities for Appointment

There are no formal or special qualifications for appointment and training is given to all successful nominees.They should be independent local people of good character aged 18 or over.They should be persons in whom the community can have confidence and from whom the police will accept fair criticism when it is justified. They must be capable of making objective unbiased observations and informed judgements. They should have broadly based interests in the local community and particular experience and knowledge pertinent to the community. It is important that there are wide nomination criteria with regard to age, gender, ethnic and social background and occupation.


As well as 12 visits per year, ICVs are expected to attend training sessions and meetings of their Custody Visitor’s Panel.


Magistrates, serving or former police officers or special constables and probation officers may not become Independent Custody Visitors. People may be excluded if their occupation has a direct involvement in the Criminal Justice System, eg solicitors. Persons who have been convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment within the last five years or who have ever served a term of imprisonment or detention would not be suitable.


There are procedures for terminating appointments, other than voluntary resignations, if necessary, on such grounds as:- lack of visits; the attitude of the ICV when undertaking visits; committing a criminal offence; and taking up employment which would exclude them from the scheme.

Quarterly Statistics

Every quarter a report is produced by the OPCC which gives an overview of ICV in Staffordshire, to ensure a formal independent oversight of custody proceedings. The report includes the number of ICV visits and issued raised by detained persons.

Strategic reports

More information can be found on the independent Custody Visiting Association Website
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