Independent Custody Visitors checking that people held in custody are treated fairly
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is no salary, it is a voluntary role to assist your community.
Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.
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.
Go to gov.gg/IndependentCustodyVisitors and follow the links for an information booklet and an application form.
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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 email@example.com.
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