Our army of extraordinary volunteers makes unannounced checks on police custody suites across Greater Manchester.
Police stations across Greater Manchester received unannounced visits today (Weds 3 June) as volunteers checked on the welfare of people being held in police custody.
Taking place in Greater Manchester and across the North West, including Cumbria, Lancashire, North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire, the simultaneous custody visits all took place at 2pm to mark the contribution made by independent custody visitors as part of National Volunteers’ Week.
Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony said:
“The role played by volunteers across Greater Manchester cannot be overstated. Our independent custody visiting scheme is just one example of some amazing volunteers willing to give up their time for the good of others which, ultimately, benefits us all.
“From youth workers and sports coaches to abuse helpline operators and special constables, our region’s volunteers are vital to the supporting of stronger, safer and cohesive communities.”
The independent custody visiting (ICV) scheme ensures that custody facilities are closely monitored by people outside of the police force and is overseen in Greater Manchester by the police and crime commissioner’s office.
Wholly independent from the police, independent custody volunteers make random visits in pairs to police stations to check on the welfare of people who are in police custody. They look at a number of issues, from the treatment of detainees and behaviour of custody staff, to the effectiveness of custody processes.
David Wallworth has been an independent custody visitor for 13 years. He said: “I’m a great supporter of the Human Rights Act and that’s the first big issue around being an ICV – making sure everything is all right for people in custody.
“I didn’t know what an ICV was when I first applied. 13 years later and I’m still here. No one visit is the same; you don’t know what to expect. You see a very different range of people, in more ways than one.”
There are 30 ICVs in Greater Manchester, and every custody suite in the area is visited once a week. ICVs also inspect police custody at Manchester Airport once a month.
For more information about ICVs and our other volunteer schemes, visit www.gmpcc.org.uk/volunteers