Custody Visiting provides reassurance to the public of Derbyshire that detainees are being treated fairly
The Commissioner's office has a statutory responsibility to have an effective Independent Custody Visiting Scheme in place.
Under the scheme volunteer members of the local community visit the police custody suites in Derbyshire at any time of night or day, at least once a week, every week of the year. They speak with detainees to ensure that they have received their rights and entitlements in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), ask about the treatment they have received and check the general conditions of the facilities of detention.
Visitors are volunteers, and are not paid a salary but are reimbursed for any expenses they incur whilst carrying out their duties.
Most issues can be resolved then and there by talking with the custody officer or Duty Inspector.
At the end of their visit, before leaving the Police station, ICV's complete an electronic visit report form which is used to inform the Commissioner's office, the custody suite and the Criminal Justice Department who are in overall charge of the suites of any issues raised and actions taken.
The output from Custody Visiting is presented twice per year to the Strategic Priorities Assurance Board (previously the Strategic Governance Board) and annually as part of the OPCC Annual Report.
During volunteer week in June 2018 our Independent Custody Visitors were treated to sandwiches and cakes to show our appreciation for the work they do to ensure the rights of detainees and custody staff.