The following are examples of metrics used by commissioners in contract management. While they provide important information about process and output, and in some cases provide proxies for quality, they should not be assumed to provide information on outcomes.
- Number of requests made to AA service
- Number of requests when AA identified
- Number of requests when AA not identified
- Reasons why an AA could not be identified
- Number of requests cancelled by police
- Number of requests by time of day requested
- Time between request and identification of AA
- Time between identification of AA and attendance at police station
- Number of AA arrivals over [X] minutes from booking in and explanation
- Number of requests made to AA service by detention vs voluntary interview
- Number of instances where an interpreter is required
- Number of instances in which a legal representative was not present and explanation
- Procedures completed e.g. rights, searches, samples, interview, charge
- Equality monitoring (ethnicity, gender, disability)
- Number of requests for information on volunteering to be an AA
- Number of AAs trained / registered available
- Number of hours of initial training for AAs
- Number of hours of supervision for AAs
- Number of hours of professional development
- Time volunteers spent in Police Stations
- Time volunteers spent travelling
- Volunteer turnover
- Case studies demonstrating the impact of the AA
- Information that would demonstrate the satisfaction of people supported
- Evidence of creative stakeholder participation in the design and running of the service, including AAs and groups being supported
- Number of complaints/compliments received by the service during the period
- Number of complaints/compliments ongoing and number resolved
- Number of safeguarding reports received and /or safeguarding concerns identified by the service during the period, details of actions taken and outcomes
- Any disciplinary action taken by the service provider relevant to the provision of the service
There is significant potential for ICVs to play a role in monitoring AA provision. This is the central reason why a person should not be both an AA and an ICV in the same police force area.
The role of the ICV, (originally known as lay visitors), was established after the 1981 riots and the resultant Scarman report, citing that there should be some independent oversight of the treatment of those held in police detention.
The fundamental role of an ICV is to check on the welfare of detainees held in police custody. Conversations must focus on ascertaining whether or not detainees have been offered their rights and entitlements, checking health and wellbeing and confirming whether the conditions of detention are adequate.
ICVs are always volunteers and are members of the local community who visit police custody suites to observe, comment and report on the conditions under which persons are detained. All visits are carried out in pairs, and are always unannounced at any time of the day or night.
It should not be assumed that ICVs will currently be monitoring either the identification of need for an AA or the provision of one. This may have to be the subject of discussion with ICV volunteers and the scheme manager.
Currently ICVs only cover police custody, so they may be unable to monitor AA provision relating to voluntary attendance, even if it occurs at a police station.
ICVs do not have access to police interviews, a critically important part of the AA's role.
Governance framework for ICVs
Police and Crime Commissioners in England, Wales, the City of London, the Scottish Police Authority and the Northern Ireland Policing Board and have a statutory obligation to create, manage, train and report on their independent custody visiting schemes.
The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) is an umbrella body that leads, supports and represents independent custody visiting schemes. ICVA is a member of the UK National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). The NPM was established in 2009 to strengthen the protection of people in detention through independent monitoring and works to OPCAT. The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) is an international human rights treaty designed to strengthen the protection of people deprived of their liberty.
- Independence of ICVs and AAs (NAAN & ICVA - accepted by PACE Strategy Board Oct 2017)
- Guidance on effective working between ICVs and AAs (NAAN & ICVA 2017)