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Deputy PCC joins independent custody visit

Deputy PCC joins independent custody visit

Bedfordshire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has visited the force’s custody facilities in the latest check on detainees’ welfare in the county.

Ian Dalgarno joined some of the county’s independent custody visitors for a visit to Luton custody suite last week.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) runs the independent custody visitor programme, where volunteers attend police stations to check on the treatment of detainees and the conditions in which they are held.

It follows a previous out of hours visit by PCC Festus Akinbusoye last month.

Independent custody visitors are members of the local community who, working in pairs, call at police custody suites unannounced at any time.

With agreement, the visitors can speak to detainees about their treatment or conditions, and take up any issues of concern with custody staff. A short report of their findings is made prior to leaving the suite.

Their work provides the PCC and in turn the local community with assurance that anyone arrested by the police and held in custody is treated fairly and has access to appropriate facilities.

Quarterly meetings also take place between the independent custody visitors, the PCC and senior officers from Bedfordshire Police.

Mr Dalgarno said: “I am pleased to see the force embrace this level of independent scrutiny of what goes on in police custody.

“Bedfordshire Police has invested significantly in its custody facilities in recent years and my visit has further reassured me that those who are brought into police custody in Bedfordshire will be treated well.

“I found the care and welfare to those in custody to be very good, with positive feedback from all those I spoke to.

“Our independent custody visitors do a vitally important role providing that independent oversight and ensuring detainees are being treated fairly, with dignity and respect.

“I want to thank them for their ongoing work.”

The Bedfordshire OPCC is currently recruiting independent custody visitors.

For more information or to apply visit

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