February 2024: News from A&SPCC Mark Shelford

ARE you looking for a new opportunity – and a challenge?

Why not make this the year you get involved in supporting community safety?

There are many opportunities to volunteer through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, including several roles we are currently recruiting for.

All are crucial in helping me to effectively hold the police to account and support improvement of the service they deliver to local people. 

I am looking for people from a range of backgrounds, professions and experience who are passionate about ensuring the police are efficient and effective to become members of our joint audit committee (JAC).

The roles are voluntary but do attract an annual payment of £2,000, plus expenses.

The JAC is independent, and advises on good governance and providing assurance on the effectiveness of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.

It assesses risks to the organisation, undertakes compliance checks and ensures good financial practices are in place and followed.

You can apply for the role online here:

I am also currently recruiting for independent custody visitors, who carry out unannounced inspections of police custody centres to ensure people being held in custody are aware of their rights and what they are entitled to for their well-being while detained.

Volunteers sign up to do one visit per month to one of three custody centres located in Keynsham, Patchway and Bridgwater.

Being arrested and taken into custody will be a moment of stress, and when people are at their lowest ebb.

These roles are part of my legal responsibility to scrutinise the work of the police, and my custody visitor volunteers are members of the public who ensure the police provide the level of care and respect we expect. 

You can apply directly for this role online here:

February 6 is Safer Internet Day, a campaign designed to remind and empower people to use the internet safely.

As the national lead for Economic and Cyber Crime at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), I want to echo these sentiments and encourage everyone to practice secure internet usage, taking back control from cybercriminals.

If there’s one action anyone can take, it’s using strong and unique passwords for each online account, a simple step that can keep you protected. 

If you’ve fallen victim to a scam, know that there’s no shame in seeking support.

Contact your bank immediately, and then report the scam to Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040 or online through actionfraud.police.uk.