PFCC Stephen Mold welcomes Independent Custody Visitor Volunteers to a regional training event

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold was pleased to welcome Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) from across the East Midlands Region over the weekend to an Advanced Training Day.

ICVs from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire came together at Wootton Hall in Northampton on Saturday (8th July) to hear from experts in the criminal justice arena and talk to other ICV colleagues from across the region, to share experiences and best practice and to be recognised for the valuable voluntary work they do.

The Regional Advanced Training Day for ICVs takes place bi-annually and this year it was Northamptonshire’s turn to host the event. Many ICVs were new to the scheme after a considerable recruitment effort over the last six months, so this year’s event was the first for many of the delegates.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I really value the work that our ICVs do in Northamptonshire to ensure our custody suites are running as they should. I know ICVs are equally important to other Police and Crime Commissioners across the East Midlands region. ICVs fulfil a role required by law, on our behalf, to ensure that the Police Force is treating their detainees with dignity and in line with their rights and entitlements.

“We appreciate that ICVs are volunteers who give whatever time they can to help us to make a difference, so it was great to welcome delegates from the five different areas and thank them for their efforts and dedication.”

Over the last twelve months, ICVs in the East Midlands Region have conducted 520 custody visits, which have included visits during the day and at the most anti-social of hours.

ICVs have spoken to 1,457 detainees in that time and observed many more.

Collectively ICVs have given over 1,000 hours of their time to visits, in addition to attending regular meetings and undertaking training, as well as providing direct inputs into training courses for custody staff.

The event offered an engaging and informative programme, including presentations from Sherry Ralph – CEO of the Independent Custody Visiting Association, Laura Summers – Violence Reduction Lead for Leicestershire and Rachael Blundred – Northamptonshire Liaison and Diversion Team Leader.

Topics included: an introduction to ICVA, the National Preventative Mechanism, the value of ICVs and the difference they make, Trauma Affected Children and Trauma Informed Custody in practice.

Stephen continued: “I’d like to thank the fantastic guest speakers that gave interesting talks and provided useful insights to the wider criminal justice service for our ICVs.

“We received some excellent feedback from attendees who felt it was a very worthwhile and engaging event, with valuable topics, and opportunities to share experiences with other ICVs who visit different custody suites.”

To find out more about the scheme and the role of an Independent Custody Visitor, please click here.