A volunteer who for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex has been given a lifetime achievement award.

Mike Hepton from Epping was presented with the Long Service Award at the Volunteers Appreciation Event took place at Whitbreads Barn, Chelmsford.

An Independent Custody Visitor (IVC), Mr Hepton has just completed his 14th year of ensuring detainees have their welfare, rights and dignity.

Two other IVCs Leslie Mitchell from Halstead and Colin Philpott from Maldon were also given the award for their 16 years of service.

There are almost 60 volunteers for PFFC for Essex.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Our volunteers make a huge difference to the people of Essex.

“Our Independent Custody Volunteers work closely with ICVA and Essex Police custody staff to continuously improve the rights, dignity and welfare of those in police custody.

“Our volunteers have helped changed national legislation, which improves the way female detainees have access to sanitary products whilst in custody.

“This only happened following concerns raised by our volunteers.”

Roger added: “The importance of volunteering cannot be overestimated.

“Our volunteers make a huge difference to our county. On behalf of myself and the people of Essex, I want to say thank you to you all.”