Independent Custody Visiting

Independent Custody Visiting2019-01-30T10:57:07+00:00

Independent Custody Visitors are members of the public recruited by the Police and Crime Commissioner to visit police stations at random to check on the treatment of people held in custody by the police. Independent Custody Visitors operate in pairs and arrive unannounced at custody centres. The police must give them immediate access to the custody area, cells, detention rooms and charge rooms.

They speak to detainees and inspect the conditions in which they are being held. After the visit they prepare a report, a copy of which goes to the senior officer in charge and another to the Commissioner. If the Independent Custody Visitors find anything wrong, they speak to the station’s duty Inspector, and if possible, he or she will try to put the problem right straight away. If not, the duty Inspector will explain what action will be taken, and when. If the Independent Custody Visitors are still not satisfied, they can take up the problems with the Commissioner or the Chief Inspector at meetings held every two months.


Click on the image above to read the ICV Scheme Annual Report for 2017/18

To read the January 2019 ICV Interim Report – click here

Who can be an Independent Custody Visitor in Surrey?

Independent Custody Visitors come from a variety of backgrounds and are adults aged over 18. You cannot, however, become an Independent Custody Visitor if you are a serving Police Officer or Special Constable, a serving Magistrate, or if you have been convicted of a serious crime. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey will also not appoint as Independent Custody Visitors people closely involved in the criminal justice system, such as Criminal Solicitors and Probation Officers.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey works with partners throughout the county to find volunteers from the local community to join the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme. Support for Independent Custody Visiting is an important aspect of the Commissioner’s work, as it is a job that needs doing, a true public service, and only takes a few hours every month.

How do I become an Independent Custody Visitor?

When you contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, they will send you an application form and further details of the Scheme. Your application will be considered and, if successful you will be invited to attend an interview, if that is successful you will be invited to attend a training session.

For further information, get in touch.

To read the latest report on the joint inspection of police custody in Surrey by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) – click here