12 September 2019
A Derbyshire inspector has become the first recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Police Custody Award
Katie Andrews was presented with the accolade at the inaugural National Custody Seminar and Awards 2019 organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and held in Hinckley, Leicestershire this week.
“We are delighted that Katie has won this award,” says Tony Wetton, chair of Derbyshire Police Federation, “She has become something of a pioneer in terms of making improvements in custody, leading the way for others to follow.”
Katie joined her team at a time when inspectorates were flagging some issues of concern so wanted to shake things up.
With strong leadership, she has created a culture change and has managed to successfully improve custody provision including the removal of anti-rip suits in favour of more effective risk management.
With Katie and the Force being the catalyst for change, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) played a leading role, driving improvements. In particular, PCC Hardyal Dhindsa pushed for the pilot which was driven by his office and scheme managers Liz Kelly and Emily Wakeland. Together Katie, the OPCC and independent custody visitors have worked to improve the treatment of detainees, developing a new methodology for independent custody visiting and producing clear positive outcomes.
Children in custody are now seen quicker by an appropriate adult and improved joint working with partner agencies has reduced the amount of time detainees spend waiting for mental health care.
She has also created new training programmes with an improved focus on diversity and equality with sign language videos for deaf detainees and better menstrual care for female detainees.
While overseeing all this change, Katie was undertaking her master's degree during which she presented a dissertation on the new ‘Derbyshire model’ for independent custody visiting.
This was shared and read by colleagues across the NPCC, Home Office and College of Policing. The then policing minister also wrote to the OPCC in Derbyshire and the Independent Custody Visiting Association to show his support.
The association is working with six other pilot areas to trial the methodology that Katie developed with the OPCC and if this exceeds it will be rolled out nationally, partnering with the Home Office to review and amend the Code of Practice for Independent Custody Visiting.
The Federation’s custody lead, Clive Knight, said: “The level of contribution by Inspector Andrews is superb. Through her dedication and hard work, the changes she has developed with her OPCC are likely to improve how independent custody visiting is conducted across the UK, bringing improvements for detainees for police staff and for public confidence in policing.”
Inspector Katie Andrews is pictured (above) with Federation vice-chair Ché Donald (left) and Nigel Rabbitts from Police Credit Union which sponsored the awards.