Last year almost 30,000 people were detained by Sussex Police. As Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner one of my statutory roles is to run an Independent Custody Visitor scheme where more than 70 volunteers visit custody centres across the county to observe and report on the conditions they find and to check on the welfare of detainees.
The role of the Independent Custody Visitor is becoming more important, with volunteers in the front line of the public holding the police to account.
I really appreciate the dedication with which ICVs do their job, giving up evenings and weekends to go into police custody centres in order to check on the welfare of detainees, providing independent oversight of what is happening behind closed doors to people when they are at their most vulnerable.
In Sussex, volunteers also monitor public place CCTV footage – ensuring that the cameras are used in a manner which stands up to scrutiny, and ensuring the police are accountable to the very people they aim to protect.
Hear John, Frank and Jackie talk about why they volunteer across Sussex as independent custody visitors during a visit to Gatwick Custody Centre.’
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