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Independent Custody Visitors checking that people held in custody are treated fairly

What do Independent Custody Visitors do?


Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) make unannounced visits to the Island’s custody suites to ensure that the people being held there are being treated in accordance with the law. 

A custody suite is a facility where people who have been arrested are held securely. Guernsey has custody suites at the police station, the airport and the harbour.

Independent Custody Visitors must maintain their independence and impartiality. They do not take sides but merely look, listen and report back.

ICV visits are welcomed by the police as the feedback helps drive improvements.

There are six Independent Custody Visitors in total.


You will be:

  • Arriving at the police station, airport or harbour unannounced
  • Inspecting the facilities and filling in a detailed form
  • Sending the form to the Committee for Home Affairs.

How do you get appointed?

Appointment process

From time to time, the Committee for Home Affairs advertises for new Custody Visitors to replace people who have stood down.

To apply, you complete an application form and will be called for an interview if you get shortlisted.

What skills do you need?

No formal qualifications are required for this role. You simply need to be fair and objective. 

You need to be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people and to write accurate reports.

You will need to have a thorough understanding of detainees’ rights and police responsibilities and will receive training to achieve this.

What support or training is there?

Support and training

You will be invited to a one-day information and training day.

Further training sessions will be held periodically to keep your technical knowledge up to date.

You will be supported by a senior Home Affairs officer who will arrange the training, schedule the visits and gather the inspection reports.

What's the time commitment?

You will visit a custody suite once a month in a pair with another Custody Visitor.

The timing of the visit is up to you and your colleague. Each visit will take about 45 minutes minimum, up to possibly 90 minutes, depending upon the number of detainees.

During the visit you complete the paperwork and arrange for it to be sent it to the Committee for Home Affairs.

Do you get paid?


There is no salary, it is a voluntary role to assist your community.

Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

Rewards and downsides


Your inspection reports will be a vital source of information and may result in changes being made to protect the welfare of detainees and staff.


You need to be able to politely stand your ground in an intimidating, and sometimes challenging, environment.

Where can I find out more?

More information

Go to and follow the links for an information booklet and an application form.

Download this information

To turn all of this information about Independent Custody Visitors into a PDF, click the ‘download info as PDF’ button at the bottom of this page.


This description of the role of Independent Custody Visitor has been researched by Women in Public Life volunteers. If you spot an error, or have a question, please do let us know by emailing

Download info as PDF

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Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

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