Since the 26 March the Independent Custody Visiting scheme for Thames Valley, managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, has been using a telephone custody visiting service for all Custody Visiting suites.
Independent Custody Visitors (ICV) are members of the community who volunteer to make unannounced visits to police stations in the Thames Valley area. They check on the welfare of people in police custody by speaking to those detained and monitoring the conditions of the cells. Any problems highlighted during the spot check are brought to the attention of custody staff and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to be dealt with.
The telephone system has allowed the scheme to maintain a level of monitoring and speak with detainees to check on their welfare, as well as checking on staff PPE equipment.
Jim Katouzian, ICVS Manager, said: "We have been pleased to see how well the telephone service has been supporting custody visitors and detainees across the Thames Valley. In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the telephone system has ensured detainee welfare is looked after and staff PPE equipment is reviewed on a regular basis. With the system in place, we are confident that the ICV scheme will continue to support detainees during this period of uncertainty.".
You can find out more about the Independent Custody Visiting scheme at https://www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/independent-custody-visitors/.