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New faces wanted for custody welfare scheme

independent custody visiting

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 younger people to the role in a bid to create a more diverse panel of representatives.

PCC Lord Willy Bach
PCC Lord Willy Bach

“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.