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Celebrating our volunteers

Volunteers-Week-logo

Volunteers' Week logo

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is celebrating National Volunteers' Week and saying a huge thank you to all the volunteers who support her in her role and those who work within policing to keep our communities safe.

There are over 21 million people who volunteer in the UK at least once a year. Within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) there are a number of schemes which rely on the valuable input of volunteers to offer impartial and independent views such as the Independent Custody Visiting scheme and the Independent Resident’s Panel.

Sue 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 police service.”

Independent custody visiting, the Independent Residents Panel and the Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel are just some of the ways the OPCC ensure 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 Independent Residents Panel scrutinises police complaints and their feedback has already improved services and the Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel is improving confidence and transparency.

“On behalf of our communities I would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who support me in my role including all those who volunteer for the many Watch schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch and Community Speedwatch. You all do a fantastic job to make our communities stronger and safer.”

Custody Visiting and Volunteering Sector Officer Anna Hill said: “The credibility of custody visitors and other volunteers rests on the fact that they are local people. The role provides an important opportunity for residents to be involved in policing and I would like to thank our volunteers for the huge contribution they make.”

We are currently looking for volunteers in Patchway and Bridgwater to join the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.To find out more about custody visiting click here or call 01275 816377.

The work of the Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel has been observed by staff from the Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (MOPAC) and the Met Police. Panel Chair Mike Evans, said: "The role of the Panel is to ensure that the use of Out of Court Disposals is appropriate and proportionate, consistent with national and local policy, and that the victims’ wishes are taken into account. It helps bring transparency to the use of Out of Court Disposals in order to increase understanding and confidence in their use.”

National Volunteers Week is running from June 1 – 12. To find out more about Volunteers’ Week 2016 visit www.volunteersweek.org

You can read more about the work of the out of court disposal panel in this recent blog.  

To find out more about the Independent Residents Panel click here.

Posted on Wednesday 1st June 2016
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