A CONFERENCE held for North West custody visitors has been hailed a success.

CVs are volunteers who help police forces across the UK, including Cheshire Constabulary, ensuring custody facilities are being run properly.

Moira Chapman, Cheshire Police Authority’s lead member for custody, said the first North West regional conference was “an excellent example of collaboration between police authorities”.

Held in Bolton, it had been organised by Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire police authorities and chaired by Cheshire authority chief executive Mark Sellwood.

Mr Sellwood said: “One of the many responsibilities of police authorities is to organise a custody visiting scheme which involves volunteers from the local community who visit and check on the welfare of detainees held in police cells.

“The time given up by volunteers to do this important work is an important part of the arrangements for ensuring the accountability of the police service.”

The conference, attended by more than 100 volunteers from the region, was set up to give CVs an opportunity to discuss issues and to share and compare experiences.

Policing powers, disability awareness and counter-terrorism were among the topics covered on the day.

Mrs Chapman said: “This invaluable scheme enables members of the public to observe and comment on the conditions under which people are detained and report on the rules which govern their welfare.

“Custody visiting has steadily developed into an essential aspect of the scrutiny of police practice and procedures. It offers protection to detainees and builds partnerships between the police and the community.”

For details on how to become a custody visitor, call the police authority’s member services manager, Martin Eaton, on 01244 614005.