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Silver award for Herts police’s independent custody visiting scheme

The Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office (OPCC) has been recognised for the quality of its independent custody visiting scheme.

Trained volunteers from the community make regular unannounced visits to police station cells in the county to check on the rights, wellbeing and dignity of detainees.

Their findings are reported to Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, who holds the Chief Constable Charlie Hall to account.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd inspects a Herts police cell
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd inspects a Herts police cell

The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) has developed a quality assurance framework to assess how well schemes comply with the code of practice. The Hertfordshire set-up earned a silver award at a ceremony in Birmingham.

Mr Lloyd said: “This award recognises the great work undertaken by our volunteers to ensure that conditions in the constabulary custody suites are maintained to exceptional standards.

“The health and wellbeing of those being held is monitored during several visits every week to ensure the rights, wellbeing and health of detainees are upheld.”

Dame Anne Owers, chair of ICVA, said: "Independent custody visiting schemes ensure that the public has oversight of a high-pressure and often hidden area of policing. These awards demonstrate how local schemes use volunteer feedback to make change and ensure that police custody is safe and dignified for all.”

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