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Join Bedfordshire Independent Custody Visiting Scheme

Alert message sent 25/01/2022 08:03:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police


The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire are recruiting for volunteer Independent Custody Visitor’s to join their scheme.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has a statutory duty to maintain an Independent Custody Visiting Scheme for Bedfordshire.  Independent custody visiting is a well-established system whereby volunteers attend police stations to check on the treatment of detainees, the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed. The scheme offers protection and confidentiality to detainees and the police and provides reassurance to the wider community.

Independent Custody Visitors come from all sections of the community. They must be aged over 18, reside in Bedfordshire and be a resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the date of application. No specific qualifications are required as full training and support is provided, however visitors should be good listeners, non-judgmental and unbiased.

Independent Custody Visitors are members of the local community who, working in pairs, call at Police Stations unannounced at any time. With agreement, the visitors can speak to detainees about their treatment or conditions, and take up any issues of concern with custody staff. A short report of their findings is made prior to leaving the station. Their work provides the PCC (and in turn the local community) with assurance that anyone arrested by the police and held in custody is treated fairly and has access to appropriate facilities.

Independent Custody Visitors must be independent and impartial and, when making appointments, care is taken to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Serving police officers and other serving members of Police or PCC staff are unsuitable for this reason. The same applies to Special Constables, Justices of the Peace (JPs), Police and Crime Panel members and others connected with the criminal justice system.

For general information regarding the scheme or to submit an application form please email PCC@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk. Further information about the scheme and application forms can be found on the PCC’s website.
 
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Jodie Miller-Losh (Police, Digital Marketing Officer, Bedfordshire)

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