"Welcome to ICVA’s new website – we hope it provides an insight to the essence of our organisation, encourages new independent custody visitors to come on board and keeps the superb national network of visitors and scheme administrators informed of developments.
Recent months have been equally busy and productive…
The adoption of independent custody visiting by the UK as part of its national preventative mechanisms (NPM) under the UN OPCAT protocols has been a major step forward in raising awareness of our work. As a result, ICVA is now part of a co-ordinating body which appraises unannounced visits to places of detention to investigate the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the UK.
Our chief executive, Ian Smith OBE has been asked by the Minister of Justice to sit on a Ministerial Board looking at deaths in police custody, which provides a unique opportunity to promote the work of custody visiting to MPs and others.
ICVA is part of a new body representing the combined aims and objectives of volunteering in the criminal justice system, as set out in the Home Office’s recent PACE Review consultation paper. We are working alongside representatives from the Home Office, Ministry for Justice, Independent Monitoring Board, National Appropriate Adult Network and the Association of Members of Independent Monitoring Boards.
Ongoing inspections of police detention facilities by HMIC and HMIP continue to raise issues that will be of concern to the police service, the Home Office and police and crime commissioners. Through our involvement, ICVA continues to advocate the role that custody visiting can play in the inspection process - and the intelligence that it continues to provide to police and crime commissioners. It is important that this work continues to be supported given the findings and implications for police and crime commissioners and their visitors.
I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly express my genuine admiration and appreciation of the work and commitment of visitors and scheme administrators throughout the UK. Your support and dedication is pivotal – my thanks to each and every one of you."