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Ms. Joanne Caffrey

Professional Description:

Expert Witness in Safer Custody (Prison or Police), use of force and challenging behaviour

Helm Bar
CA10 1HF
Area of work:



Joanne provides expert witness services for police and prison custody cases, and all use of force incidents, and has provided her expertise for discipline, civil, criminal and coroner court cases. Safer custody is a common framework of understanding for all aspects of the criminal justice system, custody situations, covering from the point of initial encounter, stop & search, arrest, police custody, court custody, prison custody, and all transport in between. Preventing death or injury from suicide, self-harm, restraints, or underlying medical conditions.

She was a police officer for 23.5 years and specialised in custody duties and the use of force. She wrote national safer custody training programmes and worked upon prison custody major incident preparedness for prisoners being looked after in police cells and for police custody officers providing prison duties in the event of national industrial action.

She trained officers for over 17 years for custody related duties including suicide prevention, staff performance assessments, custody risk assessments, building risk assessments, use of force in custody.

Her cases involve working with legal teams from the UK and Ireland and cover topics inclusive of: suicide & self-harm, ligature assessments, mental health provision within custody and mental health units; assaults on staff; injuries to prisoners; prisoner on prisoner assaults; use of handcuffs, taser, CS, spit hoods and emergency response belts; breach of PACE; bail; vulnerability risk assessments.

She also provides services concerning the management of challenging behaviour and use of force in the education sector. Over the last 7 years she has trained several thousand school staff for managing challenging behaviour and the safeguarding issues connected. She has acted for cases where staff have been injured or children injured.

Her training and consultancy company, Total Train Ltd, is a multi-disciplinary team, specialising in the management of challenging behaviour from complex needs service users – adults and children- including dual diagnosis and reasonable adaptations for people with educational needs and disabilities. A key area being service users who bite, scratch and spit.

She has acted as an advisor and participated as a panel expert with the BBC Radio 4 File on Four programme on challenging behaviour in schools, and BBC Radio 5 Live investigations concerning inappropriate restraints.

She speaks at conferences concerning both custody and education sector use of force and management of challenging behaviour.

She has provided reports for cases involving police, prison, immigration, SIA, education, mental health units and hospitals.

She has designed and published several online CPD certified courses which include:
Anatomy & physiology: prevention of death or injury during restraint
Understanding the law: principles of criminal liability and the criminal justice system for the use of force or suicide
The safer management and administration of medication (for non healthcare professionals)
Suicide prevention awareness

She has received national awards for her custody & use of force work, including:
· 2008 & 2009 National Training Award – Professionalising Investigation Programme (PIP)
· 2012 British Excellence in Performance award
· 2018 Forensic & Expert Witness Award – Outstanding legal services to safer custody
 .2019 Forensic & expert Witness award - Specialist training provider of the year

Joanne is happy to use video conferencing for court or meetings


Professional Expert Witness with Bond Solon Legal Training in conjunction with Cardiff University Law School.


Further information on my training and consulting operations can be found at: and

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