Independent Custody Visitor Scheme is just one of the ways to volunteer as part of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is taking the opportunity to recognise the outstanding work and contribution of volunteers as part of Volunteers’ Week 2013.
Ms Mountstevens said: “Volunteers play a vital part in assisting me in my role. Our volunteers are people that are passionate about policing and our communities. I thoroughly enjoy working alongside them. I am pleased to be able to give residents the opportunity to be involved in their local policing service.”
Independent custody visiting and representation on the volunteer panel are two essential elements of the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in ensuring the police service is open and accountable to the people it serves.
Ms Mountstevens added: “The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme gives the public a real insight into conditions in custody and reassurance that someone independent of the police is checking on the welfare of people arrested. The new Volunteer Complaints Panel who have now been recruited and start in September will be scrutinising police complaints and highlighting good practice. Both these important schemes would cease to exist without the support of volunteers.”
Speaking about his role as an Independent Custody Co-ordinator Joe Snell said: “It is really interesting to see what goes on inside police stations and it is a really important independent role. We emphasise that we do not want to know why the detainees are there, we just ask them about their welfare, if they have been treated according to the law or if they need to see a doctor and if they need something to eat or drink.”
Head of Custody Visiting and Volunteering Lorna Muffett said: “The credibility of custody visitors and other volunteers rests on the fact that they are members of the community and live and work locally. The roles provide an opportunity for people to be involved in policing.”
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are always looking for valuable volunteers to join the extended team and more Custody Volunteers are needed in Bristol, Bridgewater and Taunton in particular.
If you would like to apply to become an Independent Custody Visitor please visit http://www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/Take-Part/Custody-Visiting.aspx
If you would like to apply to be part of the Volunteer Panel please visit http://www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/Take-Part/Volunteer-Panel-Recruitment.aspx
To hear more from Joe click here.
To find out more about Volunteers’ Week 2013 visit www.volunteersweek.org
Posted on Friday 7th June 2013