Appeal for custody check volunteers
MORE volunteers are needed to go behind the scenes at Trinity Road police station and check on the welfare of detainees in police custody.
Avon and Somerset Police Authority's Independent Custody Visiting Scheme recruits local people to make unannounced visits to check custody facilities and conditions.
Mature student Joe Snell has been an volunteer for 18 months.
"It is really interesting to see what goes on inside police stations and it is a really important independent role," he said.
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"We emphasise that we do not want to know why the detainees are there, we just ask them questions about their welfare, if they have been treated according to the law or if they need to see a doctor and if they need something to eat or drink."
Custody visiting development officer Lorna Muffett said: "The credibility of custody visitors rests on the fact that they are members of the community and live and work near local police stations. This is a voluntary role and these people are independent of the police and the detainees. We want to ensure that those in custody are being treated fairly and are in suitable accommodation."
Pairs of independent custody visitors conduct all visits after attending nationally recognised training. Applicants must be aged at least 18 and live or work in the Avon and Somerset area. Volunteers will receive expenses and full training is provided.
For more information go to www.aspola.org.uk/custody, call 01275 816385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org