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 ICV schemes promote the welfare of detainees and deliver effective oversight of police custody in order to prevent torture and ill treatment of detainees, ensure a safe environment and deliver public reassurance.


ICVA contributes to this vision through its mission to lead, support and represent ICV schemes to be effective, ensuring the welfare of detainees, protect the vulnerable and delivering oversight of police custody.

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.

Police & Crime Commissioner for Dorset & member director for the south west region. As Chair of the ICVA since 2014, Martin 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 custody, use of force & mental health issues. Prior to his election, Martyn was a police officer for 30 years, where he spent two years as a custody officer.

Martyn Underhill


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

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

Director and Company Secretary

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


A long serving Custody Visitor in South Wales and Dyfed-Powys, Hugh is a Lay Observer with the Ministry of Justice, visiting Court Cells and Prison Reception areas.  Previously served as a Special Sergeant in the Kent Special Constabulary. Prior to retirement Hugh was a Children’s Guardian representing the interests of children in the Family Court. Former Family Social Worker, Mental Health Social Worker, Foster Parent and Officer-in-Charge of a Leaving Care Home.

Hugh Patrick


Member director and ICV Scheme Manager for the City of London, Craig's role also includes supporting the Assistant Town Clerk who focuses on areas such as security and resilience. After graduating, Craig started as a Policy Officer at the East of England Local Government Association before joining the City. Craig is Chair of City Pride (LGBT Staff Network) and is a keen hockey player for East London Hockey Club.

Craig Spencer


Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach is a former criminal law Barrister. Created a Labour life peer in 1998, he has served as Justice Minister, Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Spokesperson for Justice. Driven by fierce determination to re-establish the right to justice as a fundamental public entitlement, Lord Bach chaired The Bach Commission which produced ‘The Right to Justice’ in 2017 to widespread acclaim.

Lord Bach


A career in journalism saw him working on a number of titles before becoming Health Correspondent for the regional Eastern Daily Press. Martin joined Norfolk County Council’s Communications Department with a specialising in Fire and Rescue. Martin was also Norfolk’s communications lead for Emergency Planning. After ten years Martin switched blue lights to become Director of Communications with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk.

Martin Barsby


ICVA Chief Executive since 2015, Katie leads reforms in governance, structure and mission and developing the vision of ICVA today. She has provided a national voice for schemes and has influenced national policy on police custody. Katie joined ICVA from a senior management role working on the victims’ perspective of the criminal justice system. Katie has worked in policing for over a decade for both police authorities and police and crime.Follow Katie on Twitter @custodyvisiting

Katie Kempen

Chief Executive

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

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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