Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner is promoting a campaign to recruit more independent custody visitors (ICVs).
The volunteers visit police investigation centres (PICs) to check the welfare of detainees and report on custody conditions.
Visiting unannounced in pairs, the volunteers ensure legal rights have been offered and explained to people in police custody.
There are calls for more visitors to help cover the four investigation centres in the county and a recruitment campaign was launched this week.
Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said the volunteers played a valuable role in maintaining public confidence as well ensuring those in custody were treated fairly.
“They do a fantastic job. Along with special constables and cadets, they are heroes in the community. Those in custody are often vulnerable through substance abuse, I think they are often victims themselves.
“For people who want to give a few hours a month they satisfy the community.”
Michelle Rayson has been an ICV for 12 years and said she enjoyed her role at Saddlebow’s Police Investigation Centre.
“Staff here are brilliant, I have had a good response from them. They respect what we do and we respect what they do. I find the role very enjoyable. I like to be giving something back to people who haven’t had the upbringing I had.”
Volunteers must adhere to strict confidentiality rules and be empathetic. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk