Volunteer Independent Custody Visitors who regularly visit Derbyshire’s custody suites provide reassurance to the public that detainees are being treated appropriately, members of the Commissioner’s Strategic Governance Board heard today (Monday 28 July).
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, who leads on custody visiting, spoke of his pride in the IVCs’ integrity, enthusiasm and, most importantly, impartiality.
“They do not take sides either for or against the detainees or custody staff, but act in the best interest of all involved,” he said. “Their contribution is extremely valuable to us all.”
Eleven new recruits to the scheme last year have raised the total number of volunteers to 32. “The scheme simply would not work without their energy, commitment and professionalism and I am tremendously grateful to them,” Mr Hardyal added.
In his annual report to the Board at Police HQ in Ripley, he pointed out that the work the custody visitors do is intended to counter any mistrust of the police in the local community and reassure the public that people in custody are given access to their rights, detained in satisfactory conditions and have their health and wellbeing needs taken care of.
The ICVs make frequent unannounced visits to the three designated custody suites in Buxton, Chesterfield and Derby to check that standards are high. Two visits per year are made to the four undesignated suites in Glossop, Ilkeston, Ripley and Swadlincote to ensure that they are in a ready state to temporarily house detainees.
Members of the Board noted the Deputy Commissioner’s report, took assurance that the scheme was being managed efficiently and effectively, and agreed that Mr Hardyal should write a letter of thanks to the IVCs for their commitment throughout the year.
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Posted on Thursday 31st July 2014