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Blog: Dyna annual conference marks UK NPM’s 15th anniversary

The energy to act for change at the 2024 UK NPM Annual Conference was palpable, and coalesced around the conference theme: Scrutinising Culture.

Photo of the attendees of the NPM Annual Conference 2024.
Each year, the 21 organisations of the UK National Preventive Mechanism meet to review progress towards the NPM’s goal of preventing torture and ill-treatment in places where people are deprived of their liberty, to share best practices, and to discuss systemic human rights concerns and take action to address them collectively.

We welcomed an exceptional panel which included Therese Rytter, vice president of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and of DIGNITY, Natasha Porter OBE of Unlocked Graduates, and His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland Craig Naylor, who each spoke about the different ways that organisational culture can affect outcomes for people deprived of their liberty.

Sharing best practice was another highlight of the conference. HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Charlie Taylor, Maureen Erne, Inspector at Criminal Justice Inspectorate NI and Sherry Ralph, CEO of Independent Custody Visiting Association presented case studies on successfully advocating for change to improve treatment of people in detention. As the conference was hosted in Cardiff, Myfanwy Moran of Care Inspectorate Wales and Abubakar Askira of Healthcare Inspection Wales generously shared insights on challenges and progress being made in Wales. This best practice sharing is something we hope to continue to promote across NPM bodies at future events.

To mark the UK NPM’s 15th anniversary, NPM Chair Wendy Sinclair-Gieben welcomed all former NPM chairs to speak in a panel about the challenges faced and successes achieved throughout the NPM’s lifetime, and their hopes for the future. Through the lens of time, it became apparent how far the UK NPM has come in coalescing as an organisation, and how much still needs to change to improve the treatment of people deprived of their liberty in the UK.

Finally, this year’s conference marked the first time more than one delegate from each organisation was invited to attend. By inviting both the official representative and an operational team member, all attendees benefitted from additional perspectives at a strategic and practicable level. More of the staff and volunteers from the bodies that make up the NPM could connect, learn about the NPM and what we do, and share unique insights. It is our hope that in 2025, even more of the staff and volunteers carrying out this important preventive work will be able to participate in our annual conference, whether through in-person or virtual attendance.

We hope that attendees have been inspired by one another. For our part, the NPM Central Team is working hard to follow through on key issues raised at the conference, and making plans for the next annual conference to continue building on what was created this year.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the conference for their contributions and feedback. We look forward to seeing you next year!

The UK NPM Central Team is made up of Sam Gluckstein, Head of the UK NPM, Jane Kilpatrick, UK NPM Secretariat Officer, Chelsea Keenan, UK NPM Secretariat Officer, Serife Suleyman, UK NPM Assistant and Claire Pizzurro, UK NPM Summer Intern. Thank you for reading our summary of the 2024 Annual Conference. We hope you to see you in 2025!