Jackie is a retired NHS complaints manager and has been an independent custody visitor since 2012.
Why did you volunteer to become an independent custody visitor?
Following retirement I had spare time and decided to use this to carry out some voluntary work. Having looked around I decided to apply to become a member of the Custody Visiting Scheme. I chose this as I felt it was a role which might possibly assist vulnerable people at a time of need.
What do you enjoy about it?
Working with others to ensure a safe environment for both detainees and police officers.
What is the most interesting aspect of being an independent custody visitor?
How willing and quickly Police Scotland are in taking action to investigate, improve and feedback to independent custody visitors on issues raised by them.
What experience do you need to become an independent custody visitor?
Full training is provided. However you must be able to communicate well with both police officers and detainees who may be angry, upset, have learning difficulties or be suspicious of your independent role.
Do you make the visits on your own?
No. You visit with one other member of the Scheme and you agree together a date and time to make your unannounced visit.
Do you have to do much travelling?
Scotland is divided into clusters, for example Lothian and Borders. Therefore sometimes you may have to travel some distance. However, the scheme co-ordinater always tries to pair up a driver with a non-driver who can travel together, and travel expenses are available.