Volunteers Sought for Custody Visiting

The Office of Police & Crime Commissioner.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is looking for volunteers to join the county’s
Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

Independent Custody Visitors are volunteers who visit people in custody to check on their welfare, that they are receiving their rights and entitlements, and that the conditions they are being held in are satisfactory.

Brian Warmington has been volunteering as an Independent Custody Visitor for 8 years. He said: “I visit detainees in Corby Police Station to ensure all rights are upheld. I had never heard of custody visiting until I read an article in a local paper. I thought this is something I could do as a ‘pay back’ to society. It is important that communities have confidence in their local police service and we help provide this community oversight.”

The volunteers visit in pairs and follow a rota which means they carry out a minimum of one visit every two months. Volunteers visit the Custody suite in Corby Police Station or the Criminal Justice Centre in Brackmills, Northampton.

Detainees are asked a number of questions relating to their welfare and are asked for consent to view their custody records to check everything is being processed and recorded properly. Report forms are completed and sent back to the Office of the Police and Crime Commission, who liaise with the Force about any issues.

A training programme is provided for all volunteers and regular meetings are held to have the opportunity to talk about any concerns.

Alexa Daly, from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Independent Custody Visitors play a vital role in maintaining standards of custody and the treatment of detainees. We’re looking for people to join the scheme who live or work in Northamptonshire and are aged 18 or over. It’s essential that anyone interested is able to be impartial, objective and non-judgemental, as well as being able to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds.”

People interested can apply online by visiting www.northantspcc.org.uk

The deadline for applications is Friday 1st July.

Police Commissioner