Cus­tody scheme vol­un­teers sought

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS -

NEW vol­un­teers are be­ing sought for Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner Lord Willy Bach’s cus­tody wel­fare scheme to help main­tain stan­dards of po­lice de­ten­tion pro­cesses.

The PCC has launched a new cam­paign to re­cruit fresh vol­un­teers to his In­de­pen­dent Cus­tody Vis­it­ing Scheme (ICVS) which mon­i­tors the stan­dards of cus­tody fa­cil­i­ties and the wel­fare of de­tainees.

The scheme is part of the PCC’s statu­tory du­ties and sees vol­un­teers vis­it­ing Le­ices­ter­shire’s three cus­tody suites at Beau­mont Leys, Eus­ton Street and Key­ham Lane in pairs to re­port on cell con­di­tions and the wel­fare of those in po­lice cus­tody.

As part of a drive to be­come more rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pub­lic, the PCC is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested to re­cruit more young adults to the scheme for their dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives and ex­pe­ri­ences.

“I’m very proud of the work of our ICVs who work at all hours of the night to en­sure the stan­dards of Le­ices­ter­shire’s cus­tody fa­cil­i­ties meet le­gal guide­lines,” said Willy Bach.

“We al­ready have a num­ber of vol­un­teers do­nat­ing their time each month, but new roles are now avail­able for those in­ter­ested in giv­ing some­thing back to their com­mu­ni­ties.

“No prior ex­pe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary, and vol­un­teers will be re­cruited from all walks of life. How­ever, on this oc­ca­sion we are par­tic­u­larly keen to at­tract young- er peo­ple to the role in a bid to cre­ate a more di­verse panel of rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“ICVs hold re­spon­si­ble po­si­tions and pro­vide ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency to the pub­lic. Their vis­its help iden­tify prob­lems which war­rant at­ten­tion and en­sure all de­tainees are treated fairly and ap­pro­pri­ately, ac­cord­ing to their rights.

“I’m well aware this scheme in­volves an am­bi­tious pro­gramme of vis­its - not all of which take place in so­cia­ble hours. How­ever, it is a highly re­ward­ing role and one that pro­vides great per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion.”

Dur­ing 2017-18, ICVs car­ried out 152 vis­its in Le­ices­ter­shire com­pared to 145 vis­its the pre­vi­ous year. To en­sure in­spec­tions re­main un­pre­dictable and ir­reg­u­lar, the vis­its take place across 35 times­lots in any 24-hour pe­riod.

Dur­ing vis­its, ICVs speak to de­tainees to en­sure they are be­ing treated fairly, en­sure the de­tainees re­ceive their rights and en­ti­tle­ments and also ex­am­ine the con­di­tions of cells and the cus­tody suite as a whole, bring­ing any is­sues to the at­ten­tion of the Cus­tody Sergeant be­fore a full re­port is sent to the PCC.

ICVs must be over 18 but there is no up­per age limit and they will re­ceive full train­ing for the role. The dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions is 14 Oc­to­ber 2018.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to ap­ply, visit: https://www.le­ics.pcc.po­lice.uk/ About-Us/Va­can­cies-and-Ten­ders/ Va­can­cies/In­de­pen­dent-Cus­tody-Vis­i­tors.aspx.

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