01 Dec 2023
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys has won a prestigious national Gold award for the quality of its Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.
The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme is a volunteer scheme that is run by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Arising after riots in the 80s centred around public distrust in policing, and in particular the policing of black communities, independent custody visitors (or ICVs) are volunteers who give their time to make unannounced visits to police custody across the UK, ensuring the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees throughout the country.
In Dyfed-Powys, there are currently eighteen volunteers who act as Independent Custody Visitors, and make unannounced visits to police custodies in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Powys.
They report their findings to the Police and Crime Commissioner, who in turn holds the Chief Constable to account.
The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) Quality Assurance Awards were presented at a ceremony at the Old Library, Birmingham on 29 November.
ICVA is the national organisation which supports, leads and represents locally-run custody visiting schemes. Schemes manage teams of independent volunteers who visit those detained in police custody.
There were four graded levels of award, and the Dyfed-Powys Scheme was delighted to have received the Gold standard; meaning their Scheme provides an excellent standard of custody visiting and volunteer management. The Scheme was established in Dyfed-Powys in 2001, and since its roll out, thousands of visits have been made to custody suites across the force area.
Welcoming the award, Dafydd Llywelyn, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys said:
“I am thrilled to announce that our Independent Custody Visiting volunteer scheme in Dyfed-Powys has been honoured with a prestigious national Gold Award. This recognition reflects the commitment and dedication of our volunteers and the high standards of custody visiting and volunteer management in our region.
“It is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our community, Dyfed-Powys Police and my Office, reinforcing our commitment to excellence in ensuring the welfare and rights of individuals in Custody. I would like to congratulate and thank all of our volunteers for their hard work – we are proud of this achievement and will continue our efforts to maintain this gold standard in the service we provide to our community”.
On a blog, published following the awards ceremony to congratulate volunteers, ICVA Chief Executive Katie Kempen said; “I am so grateful for all of your incredibly hard work on the Quality Assurance Framework, in what for many have been quite challenging times.
“At the opening of the assessment window, many of your schemes were still in a period of Covid recovery and getting schemes back up to resilience, recruiting and training new volunteers all over the country.
“As we have moved through the process, many of you have come into post and as well as getting accustomed to your new role have taken on the Quality Assurance Framework too. I am so proud of each and every scheme and their award.
“It hasn’t happened without a commitment to the scheme, to the amazing volunteers and ultimately to the fair and effective treatment of those deprived of their liberty by the state. Thank you all so much.”