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Make a difference by becoming a Custody Visiting Volunteer

Have you ever considered volunteering and making a difference? If so, you could be the person responsible for checking on the welfare of someone who has been detained in police custody.

Independent custody visiting is a vital part of the work of the Office of Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens and we are looking for volunteers from Bridgwater and Patchway 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.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said: If you or someone you knew was arrested by the police and taken to custody, wouldn’t you want to ensure that their welfare needs are being met?  Now is your opportunity to become part of our local team, helping me in holding the police to account on behalf of local people.

“Many of our volunteers often tell me how worthwhile and rewarding being an Independent Custody Visiting Volunteer is.  You too could be part of one of the largest schemes in the country and have the potential to make a tangible difference to policing and the provision of custody services.”

As a custody visiting volunteer you will be responsible for challenging custody conditions, asking questions and producing a report on your findings.  You will be expected to conduct a visit at least one a month, with visits taking up to 90 minutes.

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 and all travel expenses will be paid.”

If you are interested in applying to become an Independent Custody Visiting Volunteer please click here.

If you are over aged 18, live or work in the 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, then we want to hear from you.

Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017
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