COUNTY Durham and Darlington’s new police and crime commissioner has been discovering more about a scheme to ensure the welfare of detainees.

Ron Hogg met with volunteers from the county’s Independent Custody Visiting Scheme for the first time this week and vowed to support them in their role.

The nationwide initiative that sees trained volunteers attend police stations to check on the welfare and treatment of detainees, while ensuring their rights and entitlements are being correctly observed.

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It offers protection to detainees and the police and reassurance to the community at large.

The scheme covers police stations in Durham, Peterlee, Bishop Auckland and Darlington.

“I fully support the work and day to day operation of the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme throughout County Durham and Darlington,” said Mr Hogg.

“It is essential in this age of 'policing by consent' that local communities have the utmost trust and confidence in its local police service.

“The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme is a very important part of building and maintaining this trust”.