The Northern Ireland Policing Board has published the Independent Custody Visitors Report 2020-21.
Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteers from the community. They make unannounced visits to police custody suites across Northern Ireland to monitor the welfare and treatment of people in detention and the conditions of detention.
In the reporting period, a total of 456 visits were completed, with 565 detainees interviewed. 98% of visits received a ‘satisfactory’ rating, a rise of 8% from the 2019-20 period.
Policing Board Chair Doug Garrett welcomed the report, and reiterated the importance of the work of ICVs across Northern Ireland.
“This report and the work of our ICVs provides the Board with assurance that police custody facilities are continuing to meet human rights standards. We are, and always will be, committed to safeguarding the rights of those detained in police custody. Our ICVs have continued to visit custody suites during the pandemic, taking all necessary precautions, and I’d like to extend the Board’s thanks for their continuation of this essential work.
The work of ICVs is integral to the Board’s function, and the ICV annual report helps us to ensure that community oversight remains a key part of ensuring the importance of human rights within policing in Northern Ireland.”
Notes to editors:
Notes to editors:
- A copy of the report can be found here: https://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/publications
- 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 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. In the reporting period there were 24 ICVs covering 3 Custody Visiting Teams across Northern Ireland: the North West; the South East; and Tyrone Fermanagh.
- Custody Visits: 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. More information on the ICV scheme can be found here: www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/sites/nipb/files/publications/custody-visiting-information-booklet.PDF
- Stay up to date with news about ICVs on the Board’s social media accounts: www.twitter.com/nipolicingboard and www.facebook.com/policingboard