• Recruitment for Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) has opened for the first time since 2020
  • Volunteers receive training in order to visit detainees in custody and check on their welfare
  • ICVs report their findings directly to the OPCC.
  • The deadline for applications is Friday 27 May 2022
  • Applicants are asked to email pcc@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk to register their interest

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to spend a night in the cells, a volunteering opportunity in Gloucestershire could be the perfect opportunity – without the risk of arrest!

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteers who carry out unannounced visits to custody suites in the county to check on the wellbeing of detainees. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) provides full training, support and mentors to new volunteers involved in the scheme.

It’s the first time the project has been able to recruit for new volunteers since 2020, following restrictions on those able to enter Gloucestershire Constabulary’s custody facility in Quedgeley.

ICV scheme manager, Kezia Lane said: “Independent Custody Visitors play a very important role in assisting the Commissioner as he holds the Constabulary to account.

“Volunteers have access to all parts of the custody facility and ensure detainees have been offered their rights and entitlements, as well as checking on their health and wellbeing.

“Each visit they complete a report which is sent to our office, allowing the PCC to follow up any issues directly with the Constabulary.”

There are currently 17 ICVs in the county who visit custody around every 12 days. They attend as a pair and their visits are random and unannounced.

To become a visitor you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be over 18
  • Have a good understanding of the English language
  • Happy to work as a volunteer, only receiving out-of-pocket expenses related to the role
  • Must not be Justices of the Peace (JPs), serving police officers or civilian employees; members of staff from OPCCs or special constables
  • Applications are checked for any other conflicts of interest for people working in other areas of the criminal justice system, such as solicitors or probation service

Applicants are asked to email pcc@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk to register their interest.