West Yorkshire wins national award for custody visiting
The Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime have been recognised nationally for the very high quality of their independent custody visiting scheme.
8th December 2023
The West Yorkshire Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime have been recognised nationally for the very high quality of their independent custody visiting scheme.
Under this scheme, trained volunteers from the local community (Independent Custody Visitors or ICVs), managed by the Policing and Crime Team make regular unannounced visits to police custody suites to check on the rights, entitlements, wellbeing and dignity of the detainees held there. Their findings are reported to the Policing and Crime Team who support the Mayor and her Deputy to hold Chief Constables to account.
The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) - the national membership organisation that supports, leads and represents these schemes - has developed a quality assurance framework to assess how well schemes comply with the code of practice that governs custody visiting.
This is the second year that schemes have been assessed under the framework, and have been able to gain quality assurance awards to recognise the value of their work. The West Yorkshire scheme was presented with a Gold quality assurance award by ICVA on Wednesday 29 November.
Welcoming the award, Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “I’m delighted our work has been recognised nationally for the excellent standard it provides.
“This scheme plays a crucial role in ensuring West Yorkshire Police uphold a high standard of care in their custody suites.
“Congratulations to all colleagues, especially our volunteers, involved in winning this well-deserved accolade.”
Dame Anne Owers, Chair of ICVA, said: "Independent custody visiting schemes ensure that the public have oversight of a high pressure and often hidden area of policing. These awards demonstrate how local schemes use volunteer feedback to make change and ensure that police custody is safe and dignified for all.”
Sherry Ralph, Chief Executive at ICVA said: “The quality assurance framework represents a significant amount of additional work to ensure that independent custody visiting is regularly reviewed, improvements are made where they are needed and excellent practice is shared. I congratulate schemes on their accomplishments and thank them for their commitment."
To find out more about the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme in West Yorkshire, visit https://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/icv/.