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Independent Custody Visiting in Scotland


Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The APT visited Edinburgh recently to observe a two-day training event for administrators of Scotland's Independent Custody Visiting scheme. The visit was part of the APT policy of increasing its knowledge of different national types of independent detention monitoring mechanisms. In addition, the APT used its presence in the Scottish capital to meet with representatives of other detention monitoring mechanisms, which are likely to be designated as part of the UK's National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.
Date: 31 January - 01 February 2008
Place:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Partners:
Independent Custody Visiting Association
Purpose: To observe a training event organised by the Independent Custody Visiting Association in Scotland and to discuss the implementation of the OPCAT.
Activities:
As part of its policy of increasing its knowledge of different national types of independent detention monitoring mechanisms, the APT visited Edinburgh to observe a two-day training event for administrators of Scotland's Independent Custody Visiting scheme.

In addition, the APT used its presence in the Scottish capital to meet with representatives of other detention monitoring mechanisms, which are likely to be designated as part of the UK's National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.
Outcome:

As in the UK as a whole, places of police detention in Scotland are regularly visited on an unannounced basis by appointed members of the local community, known as Independent Custody Visitors. The latter's task is to check on the welfare of persons deprived of their liberty by the police authorities.

Owing to the volunteer basis of the overall scheme, it is essential that its functioning is well organized by a team of administrators. This training event was targeted at this crucially important group of persons responsible for the scheme in Scotland. By observing the training event and exchanging views with the participating administrators the APT gained more information about the functioning of Independent Custody Visiting in Scotland.

The APT has previously collaborated with the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA), which is the body responsible for overseeing Independent Custody Visiting in the UK. In June 2004 the ICVA arranged for two APT staff members to travel to Manchester in northern England to speak with representatives of Manchester Police Authority and to observe two Independent Custody Visitors monitoring police stations in the city. It is therefore hoped that this collaboration between the ICVA and the APT will continue in the future. 

Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer
  
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