Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, met virtually with his Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) to thank them for their hard work and perseverance throughout COVID-19 during National Volunteer Week. National Volunteer Week runs from Tuesday 1st June to Monday 7th June and celebrates volunteers across the country and the positive work they do in our communities.
Pre-pandemic, ICVs visited custody suites, without notice, in police stations across Cumbria to check the welfare of detainees, check they have enough food and water, that their holding areas are clean, that detainees have received the correct medical care and attention and, where possible, speak to a detainee to ask how they have been treated. Due to COVID-19, these visits moved to phone calls to protect the safety of volunteers, officers and detainees.
Speaking about the ICVs, Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Our ICVs play an incredibly important role in Cumbria Police.
“Our ICVs are volunteers and they dedicate their own time to make sure that everything meets protocol and it really is a fantastic job that they do.
“They provide an unbiased review and ensure that custody suites are clean, safe and fully stocked and those who are being held are being treated fairly – any issues or failings are placed in a report and given over to me to ensure that these problems are sorted immediately.
“Over the past 14 months, the ICVs haven’t been able to conduct their visits but they persevered and continued their work over the phone and I really need to commend and thank them for that.
“I look forward to welcoming them back into custody suites on the 21st June, COVID-19 permitting, and I know that they will continue to provide a great service here in the county.”