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Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) Scheme

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are members of the public over 18 years of age, residing or working in Cumbria, who visit police stations unannounced, to check on the welfare and wellbeing of those detained in police custody.

ICVs come from all backgrounds and have no direct involvement in the criminal justice system. For example, they cannot be serving police officers, special constables, police staff or members of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s staff. Some other people, such as probation officers and solicitors, may also be excluded to prevent possible conflicts of interest. This helps to maintain the independence of the scheme.

Visits to Police Stations

ICVs always visit in pairs to make random and unannounced visits to police stations in their area, the timing of visits is a matter entirely for them. On arrival at the police station, they should be admitted immediately to the custody area. All visits are conducted under strict rules of confidentiality and detainees do not have to speak to the ICVs. After each visit a report is submitted to the Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner, these reports provide an important source of information on the conditions in which detainees are held. This information is analysed and any areas for action are identified.

Useful Information

ICV Handbook

Apply to join the ICV scheme

Please read the Volunteer Information Pack for further information. A short form is available here to apply to become a member of Cumbria’s Independent Custody Visiting Scheme. Alternatively, please provide your CV and a cover letter, detailing why you want to become an ICV. When you are ready to apply, please return by e-mail to: or in the post to:

Independent Custody Visiting Scheme
Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
1-2 Carleton Hall
CA10 2AU

When we are not actively recruiting you can still apply using the forms above. With your permission, we will hold your application on file until our next recruitment process.

ICVA – The Independent Custody Visiting Association

Cumbria Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is currently a member of ICVA, a national organisation whose objectives include promoting, developing and improving custody visiting.

Animal Welfare Scheme

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria operates a scheme to enable volunteers from the membership of the Cumbria Independent Custody Visiting Scheme to make regular visits to the Cumbria Constabulary Dog Section to observe, comment and report on the condition and welfare of the Police dogs and the conditions under which they are housed, trained, transported, and deployed. The scheme is based on guidance provided by the Dogs’ Trust and is designed to ensure that appropriate standards of animal health and welfare are maintained.