New Volunteers Sought for Custody Visiting Scheme

Doug Garrett

Would you like to help the Northern Ireland Policing Board monitor the Human Rights of people in police custody? The Board is seeking new Volunteers to join its Custody Visiting Teams across Northern Ireland.

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteers from the community who make unannounced visits to police custody suits to monitor the welfare and treatment of people in detention and the conditions of detention. They work in pairs to make unannounced visits to police custody suites, speaking to people in detention, inspecting facilities and checking custody records.

This is an essential legislative role for the Board, and ICVs report their findings back to us, helping ensure PSNI meet their human rights responsibilities. No specific experience is necessary to be an ICV, but there are some exclusions to who can apply.

Speaking about the Scheme, Board Chair Doug Garrett said,

“Our Independent Custody Visitors are a key part of our work, giving us invaluable insight into the operation of custody suites across Northern Ireland and allowing us to ensure PSNI meet their Human Rights responsibilities.

The Board very much values the work of our Custody Visitors, and the Scheme would not function without dedicated volunteers willing to make an important contribution to our work by providing independent community oversight of police custody arrangements.

I would very much encourage anyone considering volunteering role that’s just that little bit different to submit an application.”


For further information contact the Communications Branch at the Board on 028 9040 8541

Notes to editors:

  1. More information on the role and how to apply can be found on the Board’s website: Independent Custody Visiting Scheme | Northern Ireland Policing Board (
  2. Custody Visiting Scheme: Section 73 of the Police (NI) Act 2000 requires the Northern Ireland Policing Board to make, and keep under review, arrangements for designated places of detention to be visited by lay visitors. This statutory function:n is carried out by the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme. The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme is a volunteer scheme which is managed and administered by the Board. The majority of detainees visited are held under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984) known as a PACE. However, ICVs are also required to visit the Serious Crime Suite (SCS) in Musgrave Police Station and visit detainees arrested under the Terrorism Act (2000) known as a TACT detainee.