Wouldn’t you want someone checking on your welfare if you were detained in custody? If so, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens wants you to consider becoming an independent custody visiting volunteer.
Independent custody visiting is a vital part of the work of the Avon and Somerset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and we are looking for people from north Bristol 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.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said:
“This is a great opportunity for someone looking for an exciting and rewarding volunteering role. In volunteering as an Independent Custody Visitor, you are enabling me to hold the police to account on behalf of local people.”
“By gaining independent insight into police custody and reporting your findings to me we can ensure policing is transparent and that local people have confidence in their police service. Do something different, become a custody visiting volunteer now!”
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.
Over 270 independent custody visits were made between April 2015 and March 2016, and of the 2,404 detainees in custody during these visits, over 1,400 were spoken to by independent custody visitors.
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