Independent custody visiting is a vital part of the work of the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner in ensuring the police service is open and accountable to the people it serves.
It is the well established system whereby volunteers visit police stations to check on the detainees in custody, the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed. This offers protection to both detainees and the police and allows members of the public a real insight into conditions in custody.
The statutory responsibility for the delivery of independent custody visiting has transferred from police authorities to Police and Crime Commissioners (in consultation with Chief Constables).
The vast majority of the public will never see the inside of a police cell. The facilities offered are basic and are designed to hold people securely and safely for a short time to enable an investigation to take place - for most people less than 6 hours.
Custody visitors visit detained people to ensure that they have been offered their legal entitlements whilst also checking on their welfare.
Apply to be an independent custody visitor.
Read about visiting police custody.
Read more about Avon and Somerset's scheme.
To download a copy of the independent custody visitor leaflet click here, to download the contact card click here.