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BEDFORDSHIRE PCC OFFICE TO LEAD REGION ON SAFETY IN CUSTODY
The PCC’s coordinator for Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs), Katie Beaumont, has been appointed regional director of the scheme, in recognition of Bedfordshire’s successful recruitment of custody volunteers and Katie’s effective leadership of the scheme.

Since November, 13 volunteers have joined Bedfordshire’s Independent Custody Visiting Scheme, making a total of 34 volunteers in the team monitoring detainees across the county. ICVs make unannounced visits to custody suites in Luton, Dunstable and Kempston to check and report on their treatment, the conditions of their cells and to ensure their rights are being observed.

“Appointing Katie as regional lead for Independent Custody Visitors really shows how much hard work she has put in to making Bedfordshire an outstanding example of how ICV schemes should be run,” said PCC Kathryn Holloway.

 “From day one of my term in office, I was impressed by the stories I have heard about the commitment of our volunteers in Bedfordshire. This year alone, our ICVs have flagged health and safety issues, as well as graffiti in the cells and cleaning charts by cell doors not being used. They are also reporting back issues such as mental health concerns and potential self-harm risks, which are hugely important to share with custody staff to safeguard those that are held in custody. Together we are ensuring that our standards in custody are as high as possible and we are building public confidence in this.”

Katie, who has been with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner since November 2015, will now represent the Eastern Region at national Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) meetings, looking at strategy, finances and reports alongside other regional directors from across the country.

Katie Kempen, Chief Executive of the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA), said: “The Independent Custody Visiting Association is in place to lead, support and represent ICV schemes. Ensuring that our volunteers provide oversight of police detention and to protect the rights and entitlements of detainees, contributing to safer custody and public reassurance.

“We’re really excited that Katie is joining the Board, we have watched her initiatives in Bedfordshire with great interest and we think that she will bring her excellent local practice to a national level, ensuring that everybody benefits from Bedfordshire’s experience.”

For more information about Bedfordshire’s Independent Custody Visiting Scheme, please visit the ICV section of the PCC's website.