UNANNOUNCED checks were enforced at custody suites and in police cells across Cheshire to mark National Volunteers week.

The visits were made simultaneously at 30 locations in the north west on June 1 at 7.30pm by independent custody visitors.

These are volunteers who check on the welfare of those detained in police custody and the conditions where they are being held.   

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane said the vast majority of reports received from custody visitors were 'complimentary about the conditions in custody'.

He said: "While the visits yesterday were co-ordinated throughout the region, custody visitors regularly make unannounced visits at any time, day or night to Cheshire Constabulary's three custody suites. 

"The Custody Visiting Scheme provides an important safeguard for detainees and delivers an independent audit of how people being held in police custody are being treated. 

"The volunteers are a vital part of the police family.  

"Their work helps to build trust between the public and the police.  

Cheshire custody visitor Rob Selby added: “We regularly check on detainees and the working practices of staff in the police custody suites.  

"Each time we visit, we report our findings to the police and crime commissioner.  

"This helps ensure that the custody facilities are managed appropriately. 

"In 2015 to 2016 we made 157 visits to Cheshire’s custody suites and checked on 637 detainees who were available and randomly selected to be visited.  

"We introduce ourselves to the detainees and 95 per cent of those selected agreed to speak to us and discuss matters relating to their welfare.  

"Matters raised by detainees related to their detention, medical issues, and requests for telephone calls.  

"The majority of matters were resolved by the staff in the custody suite during the visit.”