Annual Report 2021 – 2022

Volunteering 

Our Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) have continued to provide an essential service in the county over the last year by giving up their time to check on the welfare and treatment of people held in custody. ICVs are volunteers who visit police stations at random, in pairs, and speak to detainees in Surrey’s three custody suites in Guildford, Staines and Salfords to ensure police processes are open to independent scrutiny. 

Our Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) have continued to provide an essential service in the county over the last year by giving up their time to check on the welfare and treatment of people held in custody. ICVs are volunteers who visit police stations at random, in pairs, and speak to detainees in Surrey’s three custody suites in Guildford, Staines and Salfords to ensure police processes are open to independent scrutiny. 

Volunteers must be over the age of 18 and live, study or work within the Surrey policing borders. Although the management and oversight of the scheme is a statutory responsibility of the PCC’s office, our ICVs are entirely independent from the police and come from a variety of backgrounds and sections of the community. Covid-19 naturally presented a real challenge to custody visiting, and thankfully 2021/22 saw a progressive return to business as usual for our volunteers. 

The scheme currently has 41 Surrey residents involved, and during 2021/2 they volunteered over 300 hours of their time visiting custody on 98 separate occasions. During these visits, the ICVs directly checked on the welfare of 458 detainees, ensuring their rights and entitlements (as laid out in law) were being met and the conditions in which they were held satisfactory. 

The HMIC inspection of Surrey’s custody in late 2021 congratulated the scheme and the Force on their close and beneficial relationship and strong oversight, noting “the force is open to external scrutiny, and the independent custody visitors (ICVs) have good access to the suites and visit each site weekly. Custody staff respond quickly to any problems raised and this is monitored by the chief inspector and the ICV scheme manager”. 

Volunteering 

Surrey Police’s Volunteering Programme includes special constables, police support volunteers and volunteer police cadets who each bring unique knowledge, skills and experience to the Force, and together form a valuable part of Surrey’s policing family. 

The programme is well-supported and continues to expand, with recruitment from across communities over the last year. To complement the established volunteering roles described below, the Force is currently developing a programme of short-term opportunities including work experience and placements. 

Special Constables 

The Special Constabulary continues to grow and now has an establishment of 150 special constables (volunteer police officers) who collectively volunteered over 50,000 hours in 2021/22. 

Most Surrey’s special constables are integrated within Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Safer Neighbourhood Teams, providing valuable support to help ensure their communities are safe and feel safe. In addition to these core roles, special constables also volunteer in specialist areas such as roads policing, drone piloting and public order; opportunities to specialise in new areas are being explored. 

Police Support Volunteers  

Surrey Police has over 170 police support volunteers in over 30 different roles supporting policing teams across the county. 

Following the removal of Covid-19 restrictions, police support volunteers have been able to return to their roles, including those who support the training of new police officers as scenario and interview role players. 

Over the last year, the Force has welcomed new volunteers into roles including vehicle maintenance, safer neighbourhoods, fraud prevention, prosecution support and chaplaincy. In addition to their established volunteer roles, police support volunteers have also supported community engagement events and policing operations across the county. 

The Force continues to develop its range of volunteering opportunities, including those requiring specialist skills such as cyber and economic crime investigation. 

Volunteer Police Cadets  

Surrey’s Volunteer Police Cadet Scheme offers young people the opportunity to become part of the policing family for many years. Young people from any background are welcomed into the scheme, including those who may have previously been in trouble with the police or may feel disconnected from their peers or community. 

Over the last year, the Force’s Volunteer Police Cadet Scheme has resumed face to face activity and a new unit in Spelthorne has been established. The Force continues to work towards a cadet unit in every borough and plans to open a ninth unit in Waverley in 2022. 

Cadets remain dedicated to their programme of learning and volunteering activity within their communities. Cadets have supported charity, community and policing events across the county and have continued to support police-led test purchase operations by attempting to purchase age-restricted items such as knives and alcohol. 

The force is open to external scrutiny, and the independent custody visitors (ICVs) have good access to the suites and visit each site weekly. Custody staff respond quickly to any problems raised and this is monitored by the chief inspector and the ICV scheme manager. 

LISA TOWNSEND

Surrey’s Volunteer Police Cadet Scheme offers young people the opportunity to become part of the policing family for many years. Young people from any background are welcomed into the scheme, including those who may have previously been in trouble with the police or may feel disconnected from their peers or community.  

LISA TOWNSEND
Volunteering

The force is open to external scrutiny, and the independent custody visitors (ICVs) have good access to the suites and visit each site weekly. Custody staff respond quickly to any problems raised and this is monitored by the chief inspector and the ICV scheme manager. 

LISA TOWNSEND

Surrey’s Volunteer Police Cadet Scheme offers young people the opportunity to become part of the policing family for many years. Young people from any background are welcomed into the scheme, including those who may have previously been in trouble with the police or may feel disconnected from their peers or community. 

LISA TOWNSEND

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