Michel Rayson, second right, with custody visitors, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Norfolk High Sheriff. Picture: OPCCN/Jason Bye Photography

Volunteers who ensure the welfare of people being held in police custody in Norfolk have been praised for their commitment.

The team of Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) includes King’s Lynn-based Michel Rayson, a co-ordinator with 16 years’ service.

They have been thanked by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie and Norfolk High Sheriff, David McLeavy Hill at a ceremony at the county’s police headquarters. Long-service certificates were presented and the volunteers were praised for their support during the pandemic.

The county has 22 ICVs who are members of the community who volunteer to visit police investigations centres unannounced to check the treatment and welfare of detainees including the centre at Saddlebow.

They make weekly visits in pairs to make sure detainees are being treated fairly and with respect.

Simon Atherton, who works for the  Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, said the volunteers were an “invaluable asset” and the co-ordinator role was “important to the Norfolk scheme”.