The Independent Custody Visitors Association (“ICVA”) is a Home Office, Policing Authority and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) funded membership organisation set up to lead, support and represent PCC and Policing Authority led schemes. Local volunteers make unannounced visits to police custody to check on the rights, entitlements, wellbeing and dignity of detainees held in police custody, reporting to PCCs and Policing Authorities who hold Chief Constables to account.


  • Promote and support the effective provision of independent custody visiting in police forces in the United Kingdom
  • To support independent custody visitors across England and Wales in contributing, wherever possible and appropriate, initiatives to improve conditions in police custody.
  • Ensure alignment between the local delivery of independent custody visiting and the UK’s obligations under relevant international treaties, including the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and European Human Rights legislation.
  • We are members of the UK National Preventive Mechanism (UKNPM) as required by the Optional Protocol against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) – an international human rights treaty designed to strengthen the protection of people deprived of their liberty.


ICVA's vision is that detainees are treated fairly, with dignity, and free from ill treatment.


Leads, supports and represents Independent Custody Visiting schemes to be effective, ensure the welfare of detainees and to deliver oversight of police custody.


  • INDEPENDENCE – Without bias, impartial.
  • HUMAN RIGHTS – Promotes and protects.
  • RESPECT – Championing equality and diversity, dignity.
  • IMPACT – Committed to real change.
  • PARTNERSHIP – Working collaboratively to prevent ill treatment.

Meet the team

The Board comprises a majority of member directors, who represent the independent custody visiting schemes in their area, and external directors who attend the Board in their own right, bringing specialist skills to the organisation.

Martyn was the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset from 2012 to 2021 when he stood down. He has been on the ICVA Board since 2013, Chair since 2014. Martyn has overseen a new governance structure to support the organisation's work to protect vulnerable people in custody. Martyn also plays a leading role nationally on use of force, especially involving taser. Martyn has previously been a police officer and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University.

Martyn Underhill MBE


Vice Chair of ICVA and Head of Engagement at the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC). Her team focuses on engagement, policy development & commissioning, including responsibility for MOPAC's Independent Custody Visiting Scheme and community engagement strategy. Natasha has a track record of working in partnership with voluntary, statutory and private sector organisations.

Natasha Plummer

Vice Chair

Katie is the Compliance Officer for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Bedfordshire, and her role includes being the ICV Scheme Manager. Katie started her employment with the OPCC in November 2015, after nearly 9 years working in a Detention Centre, from being an officer to the Governance Manager.

Katie Beaumont


Standards and Scrutiny Manager for the Police and Crime Commissioner in Cleveland, Elise manages the Cleveland Custody Visiting Scheme and is a member of the ICVA National Expert Forum. Before joining the OPCC in 2016 Elise spent 17 years working in a local authority in various roles including Performance and Information Manager and 8 years spent in scrutiny, holding the local authority and latterly the Health Service to account. Elise’s main passion outside of work is travelling with her family.

Elise Pout


Nick Hardwick has a part time role as Professor of Criminal Justice at Royal Holloway University of London which he combines with consultancy work on criminal justice accountability systems mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. He was Chair of the Parole Board from 2016-18, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and Chair of the UK NPM from 2010 to 2016 and the first Executive Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission from 2003 to 2010.

Nick Hardwick


Elizabeth has been an Independent Custody Visitor since 1996.  She spent 20 years in the finance industry, holding senior HR roles, and is now a member of the lay judiciary with the Employment Tribunals. Elizabeth has been a District Councillor for 14 years, holding many key positions including Council Leader.  She is also a non-Executive Director in the housing sector.

Elizabeth Shenton


Rachael is the Independent Custody Visitor Manager and Police Authority Compliance Lead at the City of London Corporation (CoL).  Rachael is responsible for the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme and is a member of the ICVA National Expert Forum. She also leads on custody matters and police complaints on behalf of the Police Authority at the City of London.  Rachael has previously spent time volunteering as a Constituency Caseworker and Samaritans Volunteer; and enjoys travel, sports and dance outside work.

Rachael Waldron


Since 2017 Erika’s managed Surrey ICV scheme on behalf of the PCC.  Building upon her previous experience as a Special Constable, Erika jumped at the opportunity to move from a private sector strategy career into the criminal justice world after a career break following the birth of her young children.

Erika Dallinger


Emily is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and the Deputy Lead for Mental Health and Custody for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. Emily is committed to encouraging new and innovative initiatives to ensure custody processes are streamlined and as effective as possible and standards upheld. She has made delivering a fair and effective Criminal Justice system one of her policing priorities. Prior to being elected as Police Commissioner, Emily was a Councillor in Liverpool City Council for nine years, leading on Community Safety.

Emily Spurrell


Kirsty has over 20 years' experience within the policing environment, she leads the Scottish Police Authority's (SPA) Independent Custody Visiting Scheme in Scotland (ICVS), upholding the Authority's statutory obligation under Chapter 16 of the Police and Fire Reform Act 2012. Currently she has responsibility for monitoring 79 custody centres throughout Scotland to preserve and promote human rights.

Kirsty Scott


A Policy Officer for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, Jo manages the Humberside Custody Visiting Scheme. Prior to the OPCC role Jo worked for Humberside Police Performance Unit and also spent some time working as a groom in the Police Mounted Unit. This followed 14 years in Operational Management for a leading Racquets and Health club company. Jo still enjoys sport, including skiing and cycling. Follow Jo on Twitter @jo_nicholls01

Jo Nicholls

Company Secretary

John retired as an accountant after forty-six years back in 2014.  He is a qualified member of Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. He has been Honorary Treasurer to the Association for two years now.  His role is to provide strategic financial advice to Chief Executive and members of the Board. This involves oversight of budget preparation, monitoring reports and final accounts. In May 2018 he was appointed Lay Member - Audit & Assurance for the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group.

John Eagles

Honorary Treasurer

Ashley is our CEO. Ashley was the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands from 2016-2020, where he focused on tackling youth criminality, disproportionality in the use of stop & search powers and ensuring that custody processes in the region upheld the highest standards in detainee care and dignity. Ashley is a school governor, a trustee of a charity and enjoys sports, travel and music outside of work.

Ashley Bertie

Chief Executive

Sherry has a history of working in the criminal justice sector, from working in prisons, delivering contracts for prison leavers and gang affected young people, to varying roles in housing allocations policy and contract management for a domestic violence service. Follow Sherry on Twitter @projectICVA

Sherry Ralph

Chief Operating Officer

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