Top honours for Derbyshire custody watchdogs

The team.
The team.

A team in Derbyshire which inspects police custody facilities across the county has scooped a national ward.

Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, has now paid tribute to the team.

The Commissioner's Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) scheme won Platinum in the Quality Assurance awards at a ceremony in the House of Lords.

ICVs dedicate their own time to carry out unannounced visits to police custody facilities to ensure the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees are being adhered to. They report their findings to PCCs who have the responsibility of holding their force to account and requesting improvements in standards.

Derbyshire also pioneered an innovative oversight model specifically designed to check on the care given to vulnerable detainees in custody, particularly when they are released.

The model was introduced last April and following a six-month pilot has been rolled-out to run alongside regular custody visiting. The ICVA has recognised the significant benefits of this model and are now seeking a national pilot.

Mr Dhindsa said: "I'm very proud of our ICV scheme and the contribution local people make to this wonderful service.

"Our ICVs play a special role in the policing family, dedicating their time free of charge to provide openness and accountability to the public in Derbyshire and importantly safeguarding the welfare and wellbeing of detainees.

"While this award clearly recognises high-quality performance, there is no place for complacency and we will continue to do our very best to raise the bar higher in the future."

Martyn Underhill, Chairman of ICVA, said: "These awards recognise the standard of scheme being run in the area, and help drive up the standards of our schemes across the UK. Warm congratulations to all of the winners."

Katie Kempen, Chief Executive at ICVA said: "Independent custody visiting schemes ensure that the public have 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. I congratulate schemes on their accomplishments."