Behind the Scenes at Police Custody in Hertfordshire
Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteers who have been recruited by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and are specifically trained to monitor the well-being of detainees in custody suites, whilst ensuring any issues relating to them or the suites are addressed. 

Currently they carry out two visits a week, which can happen day and night, across the two custody suites at Stevenage and Hatfield in Hertfordshire.

This short film explains what a typical custody visit entails and how a custody suite operates.

[Inspector Colin Horder shows two Indpendent Custody Visitors (ICVs) around Hatfield Custody]

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner recently hosted an annual ICV event in Hertfordshire to educate ICVs on recent developments and changes around police custody, which  was attended by volunteers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

An experienced and varied panel of speakers covered a wide range of topical subjects that are at the forefront of how custody suites are evolving.

Speakers included the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd who said: “Our community measures us by how we look after the most vulnerable in our care. I am proud of the ICVs we have in place and I thank them for the brilliant work they are doing, particularly looking out for our youth and those who have mental health problems.”

ACC Owen Weatherill said: “Police Custody is evolving and becoming ever more professional. ICVs are an important link between the Police and the public – they broker a relationship which we can’t always do. Custody visits are not just about scrutiny – detainees may welcome an independent face for a chat.”

Sherry Ralph, Project Officer at the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) and speaker at the event said: “The Eastern ICV Conference was a great opportunity for ICVA to thank the custody visitors for their time and commitment to the role, and to share with them some of the challenges and changes that custody visiting and ICVA face.

It was a great day, and by attending I also managed to learn a great deal from some of the other speakers.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the role of an ICV - you can find more information here.