The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner is currently recruiting for volunteers to join the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme and is seeking individuals ages 18 or over to join them.
Custody visiting allows members of the public to check on the welfare of people being detained in police custody and its origins date back to the 1980s following the Scarman Report into the Brixton Disorders of 1981. The then-Government welcomed custody visiting - then known as lay visiting - as a means of bringing the police and the community closer together and promote public confidence in policing, partly from having a better understanding of what goes on in police stations.
Custody visitors are appointed to local panels, each of which appoints its own co-ordinator who draws up the rota for visits. There are 3 panels in Kent, which are responsible for undertaking visits to police stations between 2-4 times a month, in accordance with the current guidelines.
Although Independent Custody visitors are voluntary (unpaid members of the local community) they do receive travelling expenses (mileage/parking) when undertaking visits.
There are currently 36 ICVs in Kent, and two ICV co-ordinators.
For further details, please email Jade Stanford at the PCC’s office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/icv.html. This link will take you to the Police and Crime Commissioner's website, and will tell you more about the scheme and how to apply.