Notts deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Cutland is leading a campaign designed to see more members of the community becoming independent custody visitors.
The scheme, which has received local and national acclaim, is seeking new members willing to visit the force’s custody suites to check on the conditions and welfare of those in custody.
Independent custody visitors make unannounced visits to the cells where, in addition to inspecting the facilities, they can ask to meet detainees before making a report on their findings.
Ms Cutland said: “This scheme provides confidence in the system. It gives an impartial and independent viewpoint on the way detainees are being looked after, and highlights any shortcomings or problems with the facilities.
“Custody visitors tell me that it is an interesting job, and I think it is reassuring for the public and the custody staff to know that the custody cells are subject to an objective external opinion.
“If there is a problem or complaint, most issues are dealt with at the time. However, more serious issues are forwarded to the police to resolve and the outcome is reported back to me.”
The scheme and the visitors are totally independent and the role includes talking with those who are detained, checking the suites for cleanliness, making sure there are adequate stocks of supplies and raising any issues which may need to be addressed whilst detainees are in custody.
Ms Cutland added: “The role provides a unique opportunity to give a transparent and impartial assessment of the situation in the cells and both the commissioner and I are proud of the scheme’s achievements.”
To apply, you must be over 18 and live in Nottinghamshire. Although this is a voluntary role, expenses are paid and naturally full training is given. Visits take place at the Bridewell in Nottingham as well suites in Newark and Mansfield.
More information and application details can be found at http://www.nottinghamshire.pcc.police.uk/ICV-Vacancyor by telephoning 0115 844 5998 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on custody visiting can also be found at the Independent Custody Visiting Association’s website at http://www.icva.org.uk/