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South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner wins national award for custody visiting

Last Updated: 19/12/2023

The South Wales Independent Custody Visiting Scheme has been recognised nationally for the quality of its independent custody visiting scheme.

Under this scheme, trained volunteers from the local community (Independent Custody Visitors or ICVs), 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 Police and Crime Commissioners and Police Authorities who 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. South Wales’s scheme was recently presented with a silver quality assurance award by ICVA at a ceremony in Birmingham. 

Tamara Lafferty, ICV Scheme Manager: “I am thrilled that the South Wales Independent Custody Volunteer scheme has received national recognition for the quality of custody visiting and volunteer management. It was a privilege to accept the award on behalf of the volunteers who made this possible and continue to demonstrate great commitment and dedication to the scheme.”

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."

Image of ICV scheme Manager, Tamara Lafferty

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