Volunteers Needed – Independent Custody Visitors – Bury St Edmunds

Ensuring that people in police custody in Suffolk are treated properly is a statutory duty of Tim Passmore, the Police and Crime Commissioner and he relies on an army of volunteers to help him monitor the welfare of people who are detained by police in Suffolk.

Tim Passmore is looking for additional volunteer custody visitors to make regular unannounced visits to the Police Investigation Centre in Bury St Edmunds. The volunteers will be required to look, listen and report on their findings to the PCC to ensure that the police are providing the service that is expected of them.

Tim Passmore said, “Suffolk has two Police Investigation Centres in Suffolk – one in Bury St Edmunds and one at Martlesham, Ipswich. We are currently looking to recruit two more volunteers for our Bury St Edmunds Panel. I need the overall panel of visitors to be representative of the local community, so I would really encourage interest from younger people and black and minority ethnic residents.

“We have a great team of custody visitors in Suffolk, who give their time to support this valuable service and I thank them for their commitment which does not always receive the recognition it deserves.”

Upon leaving the scheme recently, volunteer Matt Long said “My time as an Independent Custody Visitor has been extremely rewarding and educational. The role has given me the opportunity to work with both the police and general public in a trusted and privileged position. It has given me an insight into how the police work, and importantly ensuring the general public are cared for whilst in detention. The role has involved working in a small friendly team, with great support and teamwork. It has helped me to understand the importance of the PCC and the Police and is something I am very proud to have been involved in.”

Volunteers are required to attend an initial training session of half a day and then receive training by observing existing visitors until confident in performing the role. Visitors carry out approximately one visit per month (as part of a panel carrying out the weekly visits), there are quarterly panel meetings which are held in the evening and then 1-2 training days/conference per year.

The role is voluntary but expenses for travel costs are paid. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and appointments are subject to police vetting checks and references.

‘Have you Got What it Takes?’ Information Leaflet (PDF, 1.82MB)

Role Profile (PDF, 168KB)

Person Specification (PDF, 152KB)

Application Form (WordDoc, 44KB)

Monitoring Form (WordDoc, 52KB)

For more information about the role or for a hard copy of the application pack please contact us.

The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Annual Report 2016-17 (PDF, 1.80MB) summarises what the visitors have been doing over the last year.