VOLUNTEERS are needed to help make sure prisoners in custody are treated fairly.

Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston is looking for people to give up their time to monitor the conditions in police custody and the welfare of the people kept there.

The scheme is designed to improve conditions, protect detainees and reassure the public and is called the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

Volunteers should be aged 18 or over and are expected to carry out four visits a month and produce reports.

Mr Alston said: “The scheme is absolutely essential in ensuring the treatment and rights of individuals being detained are respected.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for three years should contact administrator Katy Sparrow via email Katy.sparrow@essex.pnn.police.ukor by phone on 01245 291 608.

The role is not paid but reasonable expenses can be claimed.