• Applications are invited to recruit more independent volunteers for visiting prisoners in police custody
  •  ICVs, as they are known, originated from the report into the Brixton riots in 1981
  • The scheme is one of the responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office (OPCC)
  • ICVs carry out custody visits to check conditions and the welfare of prisoners

It is an unglamorous job but a very important one in any civilised society. And now, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is looking for more volunteers to visit prisoners in police custody to check on their welfare.


Inside Compass House, Gloucestershire Constabulary’s custody facility

Custody visiting originated as a result of the recommendations from the Scarman Report into the 1981 Brixton riots. Initially, the provision of custody visiting was voluntary and run by the Police Authorities, but it was placed on a statutory basis in 2002 and is now the responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). 

Gloucestershire PCC Martin Surl said, “Independent Custody Volunteers (ICVs) are crucial to the welfare of prisoners and help me in my role of holding the Constabulary to account. 

 “It is also has the potential to be a fantastic opportunity for those who have a related interest such as criminology or public service students  as it  will give them ‘hands-on’ experience and enhance their CV’s”.

The facility can house up to 50 detainees in secure accommodation

ICV responsibilities include:

  • Carrying out custody visits to Custody Unit in Quedgeley, Gloucester.
  • Checking on detainee conditions: health, wellbeing, legal rights and entitlement
  • Bringing attention to the Custody Officer of any concerns/requests arising from the visit and any issues that need to be dealt with.
  • Contributing towards improving how the scheme is delivered.
Each cell has audio and CCTV coverage

OPCC Project Officer Grace Boughton, said, “We are really excited to be opening a new round of recruitment for ICVs. All applicants must be 18 or over and will go through the Constabulary’s vetting procedures. We are looking for individuals who have an interest in or a passion for volunteering within the criminal justice system”


Entrance to Compass House

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 28 September 2016.

To find out more go to the OPCC website or the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) websites or e-mail grace.boughton@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk