Assistant PCC opens custody visitors conference

Ashley CVA

Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Ashley Bertie opened the Independent Custody Visiting Association Conference 2017.

The theme of this year's event was vulnerability and speakers included ICVA Chief Executive Katie Kempen, National Appropriate Adult Network Chief Executive Chris Bath and people with experience of vulnerability in custody.

The conference shared best practice, insight and set out the year ahead for this vital service.

The PCC is responsible for maintaining the service of custody visitors, who check on detainees to make sure they are being well treated. There are more than 100 visitors in the West Midlands scheme who check on detainees in six custody sites across the region. They are also there to protect the police from issues such as vexatious complaints.

Assistant PCC Ashley Bertie said: "The West Midlands custody visitors scheme is probably the biggest outside of London.

"Our scheme consists of around 100 visitors who are invaluable: their visits help prevent ill-treatment and harm to detainees and help to provide oversight of what is happening in custody.

"They really do some amazing work and we very much appreciate this - they are committed, dedicated and carry out some vital work that promotes public confidence in the police.

"It was an honour to open the conference and spend time with these amazing people."

The conference was held at The Studio in Birmingham on Saturday (11) and around 80 people attended.