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Martyn Underhill, Chair of the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) and Katie Kempen, CEO of ICVA, explain the important role the ICVA plays in the health, safety and well-being of custody detainees.
ICVA recently held their Annual General Meeting to confirm appointments to their Board and review progress against their Business Plan for 2018/19. ICVA Chief Executive Katie Kempen also provided news on ICVA’s work with the Home Office to improve the provisions in custody for menstruating detainees. Other discussions held by the Board included deaths in custody, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services' custody inspections and the Home Secretary’s support for Police use of spit guards and the impact this will have in custody.
Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) involves members of the local community who volunteer to check on the welfare of people detained in Police custody. These volunteers call at Police stations in pairs, unannounced, and observe the condition of custody suites as well as engaging with detainees to check on their welfare.
Each Police and Crime Commissioner has a statutory duty to oversee the organisation and delivery of independent custody visiting. The schemes can play an integral part in allowing PCCs to hold chief constables to account as well as providing public confidence that people are being treated fairly when held in Police custody.
The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) was established to provide leadership, support and representation. Through the ICVA, PCCs and their ICVs can raise issues or concerns, as well as share good practice. The ICVA also provides advice and guidance to PCCs and their staff around: standards, what a good volunteer scheme looks like, and training on emerging themes. PCCs also provide the ICVA with data from the visits their ICVs conduct and this is shared with the Home Office to influence policy and legislation. The ICVA holds regular meetings which are chaired by Dorset’s PCC, Martyn Underhill, who is also APCC Deputy Lead for Mental Health and Custody. The APCC is also present at these meetings.
On Thursday (12 July) the Emergency Services Collaboration Working Group (ESCWG) members came together for one of their quarterly meetings.
Chaired by Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, members considered updates on the 2018/19 ESCWG Project Plan, including an update on results and analysis from the Group’s national survey of Emergency Service collaboration, thought to be the largest of its kind, and proposals to share findings with the sector via a web-based platform.
The group also received input from the Home Office who highlighted Minsters’ support for collaboration.
Plans for the group to attend and deliver a seminar on collaboration at this year’s Emergency Services Show in September were also discussed.
Background, purpose and members of ESCWG:
The ESCWG is a sector-led and government-backed group that was formed in September 2014 with support from the Home Office, Department of Health and Department for Communities and Local Government. Ministers have been clear that they want to see collaboration between the emergency services go further and faster; central to this vision is that local services are best placed to determine how to collaborate for the benefit of their communities.
Underpinned by the principle that change should be centrally supported and locally driven, the ESCWG provides strategic leadership, coordination and an overview across England and Wales to improve emergency services collaboration. The aim of the ESCWG is to facilitate and encourage greater collaboration between the emergency services in England and Wales where it will enhance efficiency, effectiveness, or public safety, with a goal to embed the principles and practices of collaboration within the sector.
The ESCWG consists of key representatives from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners; National Police Chiefs Council; National Fire Chiefs Council; Association of Ambulance Chief Executives; the Local Government Association; the Maritime and Coastguard Agency; and the College of Policing, as well as the relevant government departments.
Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire has been elected as the new Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners at their Annual General Meeting.
APCC Chair, Mark Burns-Williamson said:
“I am delighted to be able to take on the position of Chair for the next year. The Association has matured and developed in recent years since it was created back in 2013 and I am proud to be part of that with my lead portfolios on Human Trafficking/Modern Slavery, Forensics and ANPR for example.
“In helping to drive forward numerous portfolio areas with my PCC colleagues, locally and nationally, it’s vital that PCCs as the elected voice for policing and community safety are playing a key role in leading strategic partnerships with the Home Office, NPCC, College of Policing and wider transformation of the Criminal Justice System.
“The role of PCCs is to work collaboratively and collectively wherever possible with partners to ensure our communities are safe and feel safe. We are now entering a crucial period where, working closely with others, the APCC will be looking to play our part nationally in securing a sustainable level of resources for the police service in meeting the difficult community safety challenges ahead and the increasing demands on policing generally.” View Video »
APCC Victims Lead, Dame Vera Baird QC, welcomes the Government’s Female Offenders Strategy but says for the strategy to achieve its intentions it needs to be properly funded.
"Female offenders are some of the most vulnerable members of society; they often have complex needs and may live with mental health issues, substance use, domestic abuse, homelessness, poor education and unemployment.
“Therefore, I welcome the strategy’s focus on diverting women from custody and, instead, supporting them in the community – which offers better public protection at a fraction of the cost of prisons.
“However, for the strategy to achieve its intentions it needs to be properly funded. The Ministry of Justice have handed back £50m to the Treasury that was earmarked for new prisons for women, as this building work is now rightly not happening, the money should be invested in to this strategy – that will show a real commitment from government that it wants this strategy to succeed." View Video »
Marc Jones, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner and APCC Deputy Victims Portfolio Lead, recently hosted a high-level round-table on Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSE/A) with key stakeholders across Law Enforcement, Government and the Voluntary Sector.
The event was used to launch a senior level, strategic, national network to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse. This network will enable better co-ordination of work being taken forward by different agencies; it will also provide a forum for a high level strategic view to shape and inform priorities going forward.
Commenting on the round-table, Mr Jones said:
“Tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse, and preventing such abuse in the future, needs to be a top priority, not just for Government but for us as a society. A huge amount of excellent work is already being done to tackle these appalling crimes and protect children and young people – but there is still a further opportunity to better align existing activity in a strategic way and identify key priorities. That is why we need to have a national, senior level CSE/A network, to bring together senior leaders across Law Enforcement, Government and the Voluntary Sector.
“I am therefore very pleased that the recent round-table marked the start of a much-needed conversation amongst all such senior leaders about how we can better align our work and priorities through the establishment of just such a national network.”
Sheila Taylor MBE, NWG (National Working Group) CEO said:
“The NWG is excited to be involved in the development of the proposed network. We hope the project will build on the existing professional network the NWG facilitates within the field of CSE, as well as connecting with other networks addressing associated forms of abuse and exploitation."
Cllr Roy Perry, Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Councils are committed to tackling child sexual abuse in all its forms, and this roundtable was a valuable opportunity for senior leaders from a range of agencies to come together and consider how to ensure that joint working at a strategic level is as effective as partnership work locally. No single agency can expect to effectively tackle child sexual abuse alone, and it is vital that all work, be it national, regional or local, is planned and carried out with the spirit of partnership at its heart.” View Video »
The second annual Police Reform Summit was hosted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the College of Policing.
The Summit brought together Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners from around England and Wales to set priorities for transformation against the Policing Vision 2025. Over 100 delegates discussed how policing can recognise the valuable contribution of the officers who keep our communities safe, and identified the investments needed to future-proof policing’s digital systems to detect and deter crime. Delegates welcomed the presentation from the Home Office as a key partner in police reform.
The outcomes of the Summit will contribute to ongoing work across the workforce and digital reform strands, and position the Service to achieve the Policing Vision 2025. View Video »