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Independent Visiting Schemes

Independent Custody Visiting Scheme

Independent Custody Visitors are members of the public recruited by the Police and Crime Commissioner to visit Custody Suites in north Wales at random to check on the treatment and welfare of people held in custody by the police. It is a statutory duty for the Commissioner to have an Independent Custody Visitors Scheme.

Custody Visitors visit in pairs and arrive unannounced at Custody Suites, they are given immediate access to the custody area. Their job is to speak to the people held in custody and inspect the conditions in which they are being held. At the end of each visit they prepare a report on their findings.

If any issues are raised in the reports, these are resolved straight away by talking to the Custody Officer or if they’re more complicated the matter will be referred immediately to the Custody Inspector. All feedback reports are analysed by the Force and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and discussed at the Independent Custody Visitors Panel meeting which are held every 3 months.

Custody Visitors come from a variety of backgrounds and sections of the community.  They must be over 18, live or work in the force area and have no direct involvement in the criminal justice system.

All work done is on a voluntary basis, and travelling expenses are reimbursed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Annual Review 2021-22

Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme

The aim of the scheme is to enable the observation and reporting on the conditions under which police dogs are housed, trained, transported and deployed.  The strategic aim of the scheme is to maintain public confidence and secure the welfare of police dogs by ensuring that police dog training methods and the operational use of police dogs are effective, humane, ethical and transparent.

Following the amalgamation of the Cheshire and North Wales police dogs units in 2016, the Cheshire Scheme has been extended to include the appointment of Police Dog Welfare Visitors from North Wales.