25 November 2015 Custody Visitors’ Training Success Thirty volunteer independent custody visitors from across Norfolk and Suffolk came together last Friday to receive an update from the Constabularies and partners on some of the key developments in custody and detainee care. Inspector Jo Garrard, from the Martlesham Police Investigation Centre, welcomed guests and facilitated the session, which gave the volunteers an insight into the wider world of custody which will help them in their role on behalf of the two Police and Crime Commissioners. Presenter Chris Brett, Liaison and Diversion Practitioner, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, updated the volunteers on their work to assist the Constabularies in identifying and assessing detainees’ individual requirements to ensure that they receive appropriate treatment and support. Penny Newton, Service Manager, Julian Support, explained her role in helping and mentoring individuals and Helen Debenham, Project Nova, detailed some of the specific needs and support given to veterans in the Criminal Justice System. The visitors were pleased to hear how the partnership was developing. The volunteers also heard from Paul Loveday, Custody Development Officer, Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, about the development of detainee healthcare from a police perspective, support for detainees with mental health, ill health or learning disabilities and reasons for medical interventions which included a session from Dr Asha Simmons, Regional Lead Forensic Medical Examiner (FME) for the Eastern Region, G4S, about the roles of Healthcare Professionals and FMEs in police custody. Dr Simmons was also very supportive of the work of the Liaison and Diversion team in assisting medical staff where appropriate. The day finished with a session on the introduction of the new Athena project from Police Sergeant Rob Jeeves who explained the advantages of integrating police IT existing systems and gaining multi-force access to information held on detainees. For more information about the volunteer Independent Custody Visitor role or to apply to join the Scheme please contact us.