Vera Baird

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Volunteers

Advisory Groups.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria has set up advisory groups based on the six protected strands in the Equality legislation plus a victims group.  These groups are Age, Gender, BME, Youth, LGBT and Disability – members of these groups review police policies, are a sounding board for the Commissioner to share ideas with.  The groups meet on a regular basis, you can read the minutes on our scrutiny section here.

At present we have a full team of Advisory group members.  Any future vacancies will be on the Volunteering Vacancies section.

Custody Visitors.

Independent custody visiting is the well-established system whereby volunteers attend police stations to check on the treatment of detainees and the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed. It offers protections to both detainees and the police and reassurance to the community. We have volunteers visiting custody suites throughout the force area.

Independent Custody visitors (ICVs) are an integral part of ensuring Northumbria Police provide are meeting all the requirements as laid down by law in relation to custody.

It isn’t an easy role, but it is very worthwhile and fulfilling.  ICVs report their findings back to the Commissioner and any actions that need to be taken will be supervised by a senior member of police staff.

A similar scheme is in place to check the welfare of police dogs, visitors visit the kennels where the dogs are housed, can see how they are trained and cared for.

You can read previous reports in the scrutiny section of our website here.

At present we have a full team of Independent Custody Visitors. Any future vacancies will be on the Volunteering Vacancies section.

Court Observers Panel

Court Observer Panels aim to increase the understanding between the courts and victims of abuse in the hope of building confidence to report rape and sexual abuse, and unpinning criminal justice processes where necessary.

The role of the panel will be collating and publishing their observations of how the cases are tried to see how well the courts are working to improve the trial of sexual offences.  This will include considering whether a victim is provided with appropriate support in court and the use of myths and stereotypes about rape and abuse rather than focusing on facts.

Rape Scrutiny Panel

The Rape Scrutiny Panel scrutinises the police investigation and handling of rape and sexual abuse case files providing independent oversight of rape investigations in Northumbria to identify best practice and opportunities for improved working practices adding transparency to the investigation and ultimately improving conviction rates.

The Panel will consider whether the service provided to victims is the best it can get with the aim of giving more victims the confidence to report rapes, knowing that they will get the support they need to go through the criminal justice system with the aim of bringing offenders to justice.

Do you have what it takes to be a first class volunteer?

Volunteers can make a real difference in any organisation, here in the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria we value the expertise, support and advice that volunteers bring.

Many people say volunteers are unsung heroes, here in Northumbria we really appreciate their help and Vera Baird is happy to let people know how much we value their work.

There are a number of volunteering opportunities within the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, ranging from visiting those held in custody to reviewing how the police have handled complaints.

Whatever your interests, we are sure to have a role for you – so let us know what interests you.  Ring Dean Lowery on 0191 221 9800 for further details.

Each of the sections below gives you an overview of the work that volunteers undertake on behalf of the Commissioner.

Independent Audit Committee Members

The Police & Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable have a Joint Independent Audit Committee to maintain an effective internal audit of all budget issues as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011.

The committee will consider internal and external reports, ensuring good governance is maintained and appropriate risk management arrangements are in place.

You can find out more about the Independent Audit Committee Members work by clicking on to read the minutes in the Scrutiny section here.

At present we have full membership of this committee.  Any future vacancies will be on the Volunteering Vacancies section.

Police Complaints Scrutiny Panel Members

Northumbria Police always strive to get it right first time, however, on occasions this may not happen and a complaint may be received.

It is important that lessons are learnt when it goes wrong.  The committee work together to scrutinise varied aspects of policing from an objective point of view.  They will review “dip sampled” completed files and raise any issues relating to complaint handling to the Commissioner.  The members also check that all the paperwork is to a high standard.

The Panel will also look at areas of good practice so the officers concerned can be congratulated and good practice passed on throughout the force.

This committee has seven members and has no vacancies at present.  Any future vacancies will be on the Volunteering Vacancies section.