Rupert Matthews joins the Independent Custody Visitors on a visit to the custody cells
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has paid tribute to his team of custody watchdogs who give up their time to protect the rights and welfare of detainees.
The PCC visited Euston Street Custody Centre in Leicester as part of National Volunteers’ Week to give his personal thanks for their outstanding service and dedication.
Mr Matthews, who is passionate about the contribution volunteers make to policing and has pledged to increase opportunities for those who want to give something back to their communities, met serving Independent Custody Visitors Margaret Potter and Saffiya during the visit.
He said: “Our ICVs share their time and energy to ensure those held in custody receive the care and protection to which they are entitled and I cannot thank them enough for their contribution.
“Watching Margaret and Saffiya at work was a real education. The way in which they interacted with those in custody was impressive – even when dealing with an individual who was less than co-operative their determination to ensure that proper treatment was being received was dogged and professional.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for all those who volunteer their time and experience for the benefit of others. It is vital these individuals are recognised or the many hours of selfless work they undertake, particularly given the challenges of the pandemic.
“Volunteers are priceless and we must capitalise on their unique skills to enrich all our policing services and improve standards. I want the police to be closely connected with our communities to mobilise community spirit and volunteering is a great way of achieving this.”
ICVs make unannounced weekly visits to the force’s custody centres to monitor the standards of facilities and ensure detainees are receiving the rights, entitlements and welfare care legally required.
Their findings are reported to the PCC who is directly responsible for the ICV scheme and has the duty of holding the force to account on performance and policing standards.
National Volunteers’ Week takes place between June 1-7 every year and recognises the value and contribution of all volunteers across the UK.
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Posted on Saturday 5th June 2021