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New faces wanted for custody welfare scheme

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.

“I’m very proud of the work of our Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) who work at all hours of the night to ensure the standards of Leicestershire’s custody facilities meet legal guidelines,” said Willy Bach. ICVs are designated as key workers by the government and have continued to deliver unannounced inspections at Leicestershire’s custody facilities throughout the pandemic, while adhering to strict social distancing and health regulations.

“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. We positively encourage applications from members of the Black and Asian (or BAME) communities 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 2019-20, ICVs carried out 140 visits in Leicestershire and saw 801 detainees. 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. During visits ICVs complete a visit report form electronically which is sent to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).

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 4 November 2020.

For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.leics.pcc.police.uk

Ends

 

Media Enquiries:  Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Monday 5th October 2020
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