A VOLUNTEER run police scheme has received a prestigious award for delivering high standards for detainees in police custody.

The indepedent custody visiting association (ICVA) presented Thames Valley Polices' Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner with a Code Compliant Award at a ceremony held at the House of Lords on May 15.

Delivered by a group of dedicated volunteers, the Indepedent Visitor Scheme (ICV) makes unannounced visits to police custody to check on the rights, entitlements, well-being and dignity of detainees held in police custody.

The volunteers then report their findings to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) who in turn holds the Chief Constable to account.

The ICVA is the national organisation which supports, leads and represents locally-run custody visiting schemes.

Anthony Stansfeld, PCC for Thames Valley, said: "I am delighted our indepedent Custody Visitor Scheme has been recognised nationally.

"The ICV scheme is so important in ensuring the welfare and entitlements of detainees across the Force.

"All indepedent custody visitors are volunteers and we would not be able to deliver the scheme without their continued commitment and support."

The idea behind the The Quality Assurance awards is to help schemes like the ICV ensure they comply with the code of practice, celebrate areas of strength, promote custody visiting and drive performance and increasing sharing of good practice as an example for other police forces to follow.

Katie Kempen, chief executive at ICVA, said: "Indepedent custody visiting schemes ensure the public have oversight of a high pressure and often hidden area of policing.

"These awards demonstrate how local schemes use volunteer feedback to make change and ensure that police custody is safe and dignified for all - I congratulate schemes on their accomplishments."

Volunteers Week runs from 1 - 7 June and celebrates volunteers who make a difference, across the UK.