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Volunteers needed to check on the welfare of detainees

Police cell block

POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire (PCC), Matthew Ellis, is calling for volunteers who live or work in the Tamworth area to carry out checks on the standards in which people are held in police custody.

Volunteers from all walks of life and a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds are sought, along with young people over 18 years of age.

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are appointed by the Police and Crime Commissioner and make unannounced visits to custody suites in Staffordshire to check the conditions of police cells and the welfare of people being held in custody by Staffordshire Police.

Visitors work in pairs and can check police cells – where they are granted access to detainees – at any time day or night to make sure that custody rules are being observed. They follow a code of conduct and are fully trained before they start.

Mr Ellis said: ‘The role of Independent Custody Visitors is crucial – not just to the people in custody, but also in promoting public confidence in the system which is essential to making Staffordshire safer.

‘They provide a vital link between communities and police and help maintain public confidence in the custody system and I would love to see more people get involved in this crucial work.’

Volunteers, who receive training and travel expenses, are expected to make a minimum of twelve visits a year and attend 4 panel meetings which take place each year.

Anyone interested in joining, or finding out more, should email Jane Milgate on Jane.Milgate@staffordshire.pcc.pnn.gov.uk or visit the PCC website at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/independent-custody-visitors

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