A recruitment campaign is underway to select new volunteers to be part of Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s award-winning custody monitoring team.
An information evening is being held on Thursday 24th October at Force Headquarters in Ripley to promote volunteering opportunities available with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner including up to 10 positions with the county’s Independent Custody Visitor (ICV) Scheme.
Other voluntary positions include joining Derbyshire’s independent Stop and Search Panel, which reviews footage of police activity to ensure the legitimate use of the powers, and also the Engagement Team, helping the Force to connect with its communities.
Derbyshire has led the nation in the launch of a new and innovative custody oversight system involving the retrospective review of police custody records concerning vulnerable detainees including those with mental health difficulties or those facing immigration charges.
The scheme has been so successful it is currently being piloted in five other areas across the UK.
The ICV scheme, which is run by Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, is now launching another new approach which will run alongside the existing arrangements.
A pilot was launched in April at Derby’s custody facilities, and will enable volunteers to conduct more observational inspections.
It paves the way for ICVs to take more time to observe their surroundings and report upon the culture, environment and wider processes underway in custody rather than merely interviewing detainees and recording their opinions, which is the traditional approach.
The new system, which has received positive feedback from custody staff, will roll out to the custody suite in Chesterfield in November and the PCC is keen to recruit between five and 10 new ICVs to carry out all three styles of inspection.
Mr Dhindsa said: “This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a nationally-respected team.
“Our ICV scheme is at the forefront of innovation and the work we do is being held as a beacon of success and best practice nationally.
“With the new pilot underway, this is a fantastic time to join and make a mark on the future of custody monitoring in the UK.”
ICVs dedicate their own time to carry out unannounced visits to police custody facilities to ensure the rights’, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees are being adhered to. They report their findings to PCCs who have the responsibility of holding their force to account and requesting improvements in standards.
Earlier this year, Derbyshire’s scheme won a Platinum Award in the Independent Custody Visiting Association’s (ICVA) Quality Assurance Awards, representing excellence in the delivery of custody visiting and volunteer management.
The Information Evening is being held at Force HQ (Butterley Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3RS) between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday 24th October. Visitors are asked to arrive between 5.30pm and 5.45pm. Light refreshments will be served during the evening.