Joanne Caffrey

Expert Witness

Author, Speaker, National Training Award Winner and Expert Witness in:

The use of force and managing of challenging behaviour

Safer detention in police or prison custody


Expert on the use of challenging behaviour and police/prison safer custody issues

Custody covers from the moment of detention in a public place, through police, court and prison custody and transport between settings.  Recent cases have included:

  • Self-harm

  • Suicide

  • Assaults on staff and prisoners

  • Use of mechanical restraints and force in custody setting

  • Safeguarding

  • Choking during stop and search

I have received national awards for my work in the safer handling of detained persons in custody.

Challenging behaviours within the education, care and clinical sectors

I currently work with over 300 schools throughout the UK, concerning the use of force and managing challenging behaviour.  I deliver training to all levels of staff and have worked on several recent cases where staff and/or children have been injured.

I am licensed to deliver training to care, clinical and SIA sectors and provide expert witness reports to civil and coroners’ courts regarding incidents in these settings.


Additional Expert Witness credentials

Professional Expert Witness with Bond Solon Legal Training in conjunction with Cardiff University Law School.  My expertise is registered with:

  • The UK Register of Experts
  • The National Expert Witness Agency
  • Expert Sources
  • Expert Witness

Media spokesperson

 I have recently worked with:

  • BBC Radio 4 File on Four investigations
  • BBC Radio 5 Live investigations
  • The IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commision)

Education | Care | Security | Police and Prison custody | Clinical

Awards and recognition include:

  • 2012 British Excellence in Performance Award, British Association of Women in Policing, for my work on the initial national Safer Detention and Handling of Persons in Police Custody.

  • 2009 National Training Award for the initial Professionalising Investigation (PIP) programme for the investigation of crimes against the vulnerable.

I have provided expert witness reports on a variety of cases including:

  • Prison suicides
  • Handcuff cases
  • Levels of observations in custody
  • Suicide and self harm recognition in custody
  • Managing challenging behaviour in schools
  • Children and staff injured in school intervention incidents

Former Police Officer with 24 years' experience

I was a Police Officer for 24 years, during which time I spent 17 years as a sergeant.  I held a variety of roles including seven years as a custody sergeant leading on to become the force custody trainer and assessor before progressing to national police and prison custody training.  This involved assessing staff in custody settings and major incident planning involving police and prison custody.

I have extensive experience in completing safer custody risk assessments for buildings and procedural practices.

Licensed training centre for NFPS

I specialise in the Safer Handling of vulnerable people:

  • Education
  • Care
  • Custody
  • Clinical

I am also an NSPCC trained trainer for child protection & safeguarding.  I deliver BTEC regulated & NFPS approved courses in:

  • Use of force
  • Self defence
  • Handcuffs
  • Emergency response belts
  • Conflict management
  • De-escalation techniques