The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is looking for volunteers to become Independent Custody Visitors at the new Barnsley Custody Suite, Chuchfields.

Independent Custody Visitors are volunteers who check on the treatment of people in police custody, the conditions in which they are held and ensure that their rights and entitlements are being observed.

A custody visitor is required to visit a custody suite a couple of times a month for up to two hours and report their findings back to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner funds the independent custody visitor scheme. He said: “Independent Custody Visitors are extremely important and must maintain their independence and impartiality.  I recently visited the Barnsley Custody Suite and talked to a custody visitor and the staff. This is a new facility, recently opened.

“Custody visitors do a fantastic job and their findings provide me with valuable information to feedback to South Yorkshire Police and to improve what happens there.  They offer me reassurance that detainees are being well looked after and have the care and support that they need.  We must remember that not everyone that comes into custody is a hardened criminal.”

During visits, custody visitors have access to the entire custody area, including the cells, detention rooms, charge rooms and medical room to check detainees have been offered their rights and entitlements under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.  They must treat everything that they see and hear on their visit as confidential.

Applicants must be over 18 years of age, and live or work in South Yorkshire. Full training will be given and reasonable out of pocket expenses paid.

Due to the position being independent, serving police officers and staff, special constables and lay justices cannot apply.

For an application form or more information call 0114 296 4150.