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The Commissioner needs you – become a Custody Visitor!

Custody-at-Express-Park

Custody Suites at Express Park

Are you interested in what goes on behind the scenes in police custody? If so Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens needs your help in becoming an Independent Custody Visiting Volunteer.

Independent custody visiting is a vital part of the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and we are looking for people from North Bristol, Bridgwater, Keynsham and Yeovil and the surrounding areas to join the team.

Custody visiting is the well-established system whereby volunteers visit police stations to check on people in police custody; the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed.

Custody Visiting and Voluntary Sector Officer Anna Hill said: “Full training will be provided to all independent custody visiting volunteers and there will be the opportunity to shadow a more experienced visitor while settling in. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to meet with coordinators, Inspectors and other visitors at quarterly meetings.  This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking for an exciting and rewarding local volunteering role.”

Visits to police stations by volunteer custody visitors are unannounced and can be made at any time. The independent volunteers check that cells and other facilities within custody such as the toilets and food preparation areas are clean.  The custody record, which records everything that happens to someone while they are in police custody, may also be examined.

If the custody visitors find any issues, these are raised with the office in charge of the custody cells or police station.  The custody visitor completes a report of each visit and copies of these reports are sent to the PCC.

If you are over aged 18, live or work in Avon and Somerset Constabulary area, have not had any direct involvement in the criminal justice system and could carry out the role of a custody visitor independently with an objective point of view then we want to hear from you.

Independent Custody Visitors are expected to attend one visit a month and four meetings a year. Expenses and training are provided. Induction will be held at Police Headquarters in Portishead on Saturday 30th August.

If you are interested in applying to become an Independent Custody Visiting Volunteer or finding out more about custody visiting in Avon and Somerset, please click here.

 

 

Posted on Tuesday 1st July 2014
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