Independent Custody Visitors are
members of the local community who visit police stations unannounced to make an
independent check on the welfare of people being held in custody.
Staffordshire Police Authority needs more volunteers to carry out this vital role.
If you could spare a few hours a month and are looking for a new challenge, call
01785 232246 or go to
to find out more.
Applications are welcome from volunteers irrespective of their gender, ethnic origin,
religious belief, sexual orientation or disability.
The South Division visits the detention cells at Watling House, Stafford, Stone, Rugeley
and Wombourne Police Stations. They inspect the custody area and talk to people
who are detained, asking about their welfare and ensuring they receive and know
Independent Custody Visiting owes
its origin to Lord Scarman's Report following the Brixton riots during 1981. The
Report recommended a system of independent, unannounced inspections of the procedure
of detention in Police Stations by ordinary members of the local community.
Independent Custody Visitors have made a significant impact to Custody Suites across
the country and conditions of detention. Visits are always made in pairs and
independently offer reassurance to the general community by visiting detainees who
may be feeling helpless or vulnerable. All information is treated with the strictest
confidence, but may be used in Court.
A full report is passed
on to the Police Authority for any action which may need to be taken. Any
problems are also discussed further at regular meetings of the South Division.
Actions taken on these reports have improved the
welfare of both detainees and custody staff. For instance, in the areas of better
provision of food, hygiene and medical facilities,
Hundreds of unannounced visits are
made within the Southern Staffordshire area each year; so visitors need to be properly and fully
trained and also strive for quality throughout the scheme by acting in a professional
It takes a few hours of time each
month and full training and support is given.