Our People

Mr Eric Baskind

Principal Associate

Full biography

Eric Baskind is a consultant in violence reduction and the safer use of force, and senior lecturer in law at Liverpool John Moores University. He is also Chair of the Centre for Physical Interventions, British Self Defence Governing Body.

Eric’s particular research focus is concerned with the evaluation of the many different systems of managing disruptive, aggressive and violent behaviour which include de-escalation, communication, behavioural management, disengagement and restraint.

Eric is experienced across a broad range of systems used by the Prison and Police services, healthcare including secure hospital establishments, and other institutional settings providing secure accommodation, schools and other kinds of educational establishments including the juvenile secure estate, as well as those methods used by security personnel within the fields of personal safety and public order.

Much of Eric’s work is involved in devising and advising on effective and safer methods of dealing with disruptive, aggressive and violent behaviour and the related question of assessing risk to identify and inform subsequent strategies for the reduction of and coping with such behaviours and in the reduction in the use of physical interventions and restraints generally.

Eric has published articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and chapters in professional textbooks. He also speaks several times a year at conferences, many of which he chairs. His papers focus on a range of related topics including violence-reduction strategies, the use and misuse of physical restraint and the current thinking on the use of non-pain inducing techniques, prone-restraint positions and mechanical restraint devices.

Eric serves on a number of steering and expert groups including the Security Industry Authority, College of Policing, the four UK High Secure Hospitals and ProtectED.

Eric has advised numerous other bodies including the BBC, the Howard League for Penal Reform, various Inquiries and the Parliamentary Resources Unit. He has appeared in a number of high-profile Inquires including the Lord Carlile Independent Inquiry into the Use of Physical Restraint in Prisons, Secure Training Centres, and Local Authority Secure Children’s Homes and served as a Commissioner to the National Independent Commission on Enforced Removals with specific responsibility for the management of violence and aggression and the use of restraint. The Commission was chaired by The Lord Ramsbotham, GCB, CBE, formerly Chief Inspector of Her Majesty’s Prisons, and was established in March 2012 following the death under restraint of Mr Jimmy Mubenga during his deportation from the UK in 2010.

Eric has been instructed as an expert witness both in the UK and in other countries in more than 3,000 cases including by the Ministry of Justice/Home Office, Prison Officers’ Association, Police Federation and Scottish Prison Service in a range of cases where issues of physical intervention/restraint have arisen both in training and operationally. He has considerable experience of dealing with cases involving deaths in custody and giving evidence at Inquests and Fatal Accident Inquiries.

Dr Anthony Bleetman

Principal Associate

Full biography

Dr Bleetman is in full-time active clinical practice as a consultant in Emergency Medicine, formerly serving as Clinical Director of Urgent Care at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  Prior to taking this post, he was Lead Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust.  He holds the position Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Warwick Medical School.

Tony holds a part-time contract as a Senior Emergency Physician in Beilinson Hospital, Israel.  He served in the Israeli Defence Forces in a number of roles between 1981 and 1991.  He completed medical school in 1989. He trained on a surgical rotation in Glasgow and received the FRCSEd in 1993. He commenced higher specialist training in Accident and Emergency Medicine in 1994 and was appointed Consultant in Accident and Emergency Medicine at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in 1996.

The hospitals evolved into a Foundation Trust incorporating three hospitals and Tony served as clinical lead for Emergency Medicine at Good Hope Hospital until May 2010 prior to moving to London to assume the lead for Emergency Medicine at North West London Hospitals NHS Trust.

Tony received a PhD in Occupational Health from the University of Birmingham in 2000.  He directs Advanced Trauma Life Support courses and regularly instruct on other accredited life support and resuscitation courses.  He served as Clinical Director for HEMS for West Midlands Ambulance Service and continued to fly on air ambulances providing an emergency medical and trauma service until 2013. In 1992, Tony was awarded the Diploma in Immediate Medical Care by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He was awarded the Queens Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals for his pre-hospital emergency work.

Tony has written and exercised multi-agency major incident plans. He sat on government advisory committees for disaster and emergency planning.  He is a medical advisor to the Ministry of Defence serving on SACMILL (Scientific Advisory Committee on Less Lethal Weapons).  His PhD was for work on developing body armour for the police. This arose from his development work for the Home Office and the Police Federation on officer safety programmes, addressing protection from knives and bullets. Tony continues to work for the police on these programmes and is the first doctor to qualify as a police instructor for unarmed defensive tactics, safe prisoner restraint, handcuffing, tactical communication skills, incapacitant sprays and knife defence. Through this interest, Tony has been able to offer opinions on use of force, and injuries sustained during arrest and detention.

Tony has been involved in developing strategies to protect health workers against aggression and violence in the Health Service. He has completed studies for the Department of Health and other national bodies to identify ways of improving staff and subject safety. He is engaged in developing safe physical interventions and effective training strategies across a number of agencies.

Tony served on the guidelines development group of the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee.  He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed professional journals.

Mr Peter Turner

Principal Associate

Full biography

Peter Turner is an experienced specialist with a demonstrated history spanning over 30 years of working within high secure and forensic mental health settings. He is skilled in the design and delivery of violence-reduction and least-restrictive clinical and operational strategies to predict, prevent and manage acute behavioural disturbances.

Pete has extensive experience of working with some of the most vulnerable and violent groups who require enhanced support to proactively deliver safe recovery-focused care within very challenging settings and unique set of circumstances. He provides direct oversight, support and supervision to multi-disciplinary teams to develop proactive cultures and whole system approaches to provide safe, responsive and consistent levels of care.

Pete has developed a sound knowledge base and understanding of best practice guidance, relevant laws and legislation, biological and social influences and associated risks pertaining to this complex subject matter. He has gained vast experience of designing theoretical and physical PMVA training programmes for hospital, care and public authority environments. He is Chair of the high secure service PMVA manual steering group with the responsibility of overseeing, developing and maintaining consistency of approaches across all of the UK high secure estates, including numerous NHS services and private care environments that work under the auspices of the developed model. Part of this work is the designing and testing of all physical restraint procedures before being considered legally and ethically safe for inclusion into the hierarchy of response options for all service line populations.

Pete has led in the design, innovation and testing of high secure escort vehicles, emergency response equipment, mechanical restraints, de-escalation furniture and environments, redevelopment programmes to improve environmental safety, personal safety and therapeutic alliance, large scale hospital rebuild projects and purpose-built use of force training centres.

Pete has developed effective leadership skills to lead and manage large service improvement projects to reduce violence and the unnecessary use of restrictive interventions. With high clinical and operational responsibilities for developing individualised and group care pathways, along with being available 24/7 to provide expert advice to service leads, clinical teams and other stakeholders.

Pete has extensive experience of the operational responsibility of leading teams and the decision-making process to advise the operational command structure in the management and resolution of high-risk incidents involving individuals and large-scale disturbances with serious and sustained intent of harming themselves and/or others.

Pete has extensive teaching and lived operational experience of the use of specialised equipment i.e. handcuffs, mechanical restraint devices, public order equipment, method of entry and crime scene preservation.

He is efficient in the analysis of incident data and reviewing of CCTV and body-worn camera footage, which is essential to the continuous cycle of learning and improving practice. His combined expertise is often called upon to lead/support serious incident reviews to ascertain factual information during localised reviews and during legal proceedings.

Pete continues to work closely with many public authority agencies to share best practices and to seek essential learning opportunities as well as maintaining a sound knowledge base of the use of equipment and procedures that may be considered necessary during incidents that may require a collaborative multi-agency approach.

More recently, and through such collaborative work, Pete has made significant contributions to the reduction of violence and the use of physical restraints (including prone restraint) within the West Yorkshire police custody settings.

Pete sits on many national groups including the NHS England expert reference group to reduce the use of restrictive practice within commissioned mental health services. He is also an external examiner at the University of South Wales for their BSc (Hons) in Professional Practice (Violence Reduction).

Within this field of expertise, Pete provides advice to many leading experts and public authorities during national policy writing, best practice guidance reviews, individual clinical care pathway reviews, procedural and operational consultations, training programme reviews and general advice/support to multi-disciplinary teams, organisations and trainers.

Prof Simon Holdaway

Associate

Full biography

Simon Holdaway, Professor Emeritus of Criminology and Sociology at the University of Sheffield is known internationally for his research and policy related work about policing generally and police race relations in particular. Simon left school aged 16 with minimal qualifications. He joined the Metropolitan Police Cadet Force and served subsequently as a constable and, then, sergeant, for eleven years. During his service he was seconded to Lancaster University for undergraduate study, returning to his force with a first class honours degree, promotion to Sergeant and registration as a part-time PhD student at LSE.

Simon’s doctorate was the first ever covert, empirical study of policing in the UK. He documented uniquely what has become a ‘common-sense term’ within policing – police culture.

In 1975 Simon was appointed Lecturer in Sociology at Sheffield University, subsequently becoming Professor of Criminology and Sociology. He was Director of Sheffield’s world-renown Centre for Criminological Studies. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. During his last years at Sheffield he was Head of the School of Law.

Apart from his research about police culture Simon has also written 5 books and many academic papers about aspects of race relations within constabularies. Apart from a focus on academic concerns, Simon’s research has had important applied aspects. He wrote the Commission for Racial Equality’s evidence to the Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. His research about Black and Minority Ethnic police officers has informed national policies; public inquires into policing by the Home Affairs Select Committee; and other bodies; key industrial tribunal cases when he has acted as a professional witness for BME officers; the work of Black Police Associations across the UK; and police forces in Europe and Canada.

Simon has extensive experience of the evaluation of policies; the provision of policy and practice advice; acting as a professional witness in race related cases; the assessment of how race might have influenced the outcome of policy or other actions; the translation of research findings into practice; report writing for police and other organisational audiences; and leading teams of researchers working at the highest level of expertise.

Mr John Sutherland

Associate

Full biography

John Sutherland joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1992 and served as an officer for more than 25 years until his retirement in 2018. During the course of his career, he worked in seven different London Boroughs, in a variety of ranks and roles, both in uniform and as a detective. He was posted to Scotland Yard on three separate occasions.

John was awarded the ‘Baton of Honour’ as the outstanding recruit in his training school intake. He served as a member of the Stephen Lawrence Review Team, set up by the Metropolitan Police to respond the findings of one of the largest and most important public inquiries of the last fifty years. He served as a Detective Inspector on the Racial & Violent Crime Task Force and was involved in developing and supporting the early work of the Met’s first Independent Advisors, members of the community brought into the organisation as critical friends to offer guidance on everything from organisational policy to the conduct of individual murder investigations. He also played a leading role in developing the police response to Critical Incidents, high profile cases that were the subject of significant community concern.

John served as a Staff Officer to the Commissioner. He was responsible for leading Community Policing operations in several London Boroughs and is highly experienced in the development of police-community partnerships. He served as the Borough Commander for Camden in north London and, later, as the Borough Commander for Southwark in south London; one of the largest and most challenging police commands in the country.

John is an experienced Hostage and Crisis Negotiator, serving on both the national and international cadres.

John is the author of ‘Blue: A Memoir’, a book that was published in 2017 and became a Sunday Times bestseller. His second book, ‘Crossing the Line’ was published in May 2020 and was selected as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.

John is a respected media commentator on matters relating to policing and society, regularly appearing on national radio and television and writing for a variety of national newspapers.

Dr Stanislav Lifshitz

Associate

Full biography

Dr Stanislav Lifshitz MD is an emergency physician with broad experience in trauma management, military medicine and pre-hospital care. Combining experience of trauma with a solid grounding in physical interventions he provides bio-mechanical support to medical risk assessments of use of force interventions. He has assisted in medical and safety reviews of physical and mechanical interventions across a broad range of organisations that include children’s homes, mental health and custodial services. His knowledge and experience allow him to provide advice on physical intervention in specific vulnerable populations in care.

Mr Rob Welsford

Associate

Full biography

Rob Welsford is a recently-retired police officer having served with Northamptonshire Police for thirty years. He qualified as a defensive tactics instructor under the late Inspector Peter Boatman QPM and was part of his team that revolutionised the teaching of unarmed defensive tactics, batons, handcuff training, tactical communication and edged-weapon awareness. These training packages became the foundation for the national training programme. Rob assisted in the adoption protocols in the UK for aerosol incapacitants, taser conducted energy devices, body armour, leg restraints and spit guards.

For 14 years Rob was the Chief Instructor in Defensive Tactics for Northamptonshire Police. During this time he developed and maintained a use-of-force reporting system that pioneered the adoption of body-worn video as an integral part of the review process. The information harvested from this system steered the development of scenario-based training for all officers and reduced injuries and complaints in Northamptonshire to an all-time low.

Rob has advised the national Self Defence and Restraint Committee and has represented the police in civil litigation on matters of police use-of-force and deaths in police custody. He has presented on numerous media including several TV reality documentaries.

Rob has been a qualified Police Support Unit Instructor teaching public order tactics and a Method of Entry trainer. He has been a uniform patrol officer throughout the entirety of his career maintaining his operational credibility by serving in the challenging sphere of response policing.

In 2014, Rob received the Boatman Shield for bravery and the Northamptonshire nomination for the National Police Bravery Awards. He has received numerous commendations especially in the contentious field of training effective stop and search. In 2018, he received Northamptonshire Police Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in promoting officer and public safety.

Since retiring, Rob has shared his experience with Warwickshire Police and Northampton General Hospital trust. Rob is a graduate of the University of Kent where he read Modern History.

Dr Julia Renton

Associate

Full biography

Dr Julia Renton is a full-time Clinical Director of community mental health services across West London. Her portfolio includes all community services for those of working age alongside inpatient services for those with complex psychosis (rehabilitation services) and Tier IV inpatient personality disorder services.

As one of the few Clinical Psychologists holding a Clinical Director post, Julia has utilised this opportunity to think about how formulation and trauma-informed perspectives can positively impact the journey for service users. In developing services, she has engaged locally in co-production and development leading to developments and service innovation that is experienced as relevant and acceptable to both service users and staff.

Julia has previously been Head of Psychological services and her career has involved working across inpatient, Psychiatric Intensive Care Services, low and medium secure forensic services and community services with a focus on delivering excellence in line with the evidence base and Department of Health recommendations. Within her roles, she has worked with diverse communities to help them access mental health support appropriate to their needs.

Her specialism has been working with those with complex mental health problems focusing on those with co-existing substance-use difficulties. She has led assertive outreach teams, set up court diversion services and worked closely with police colleagues.

Julia was previously the Clinical Lead for Early Intervention in Psychosis across the East of England working with the Strategic Clinical Network and NHSE. She has completed a postgraduate certificate in Mental Health Law to gain a legal perspective on restricted practice, capacity and involuntary admission and treatment.

Julia has a large number of academic publications and has ensured that her clinical experience remains up-to-date and in line with current guidelines. She enjoys the challenge of teaching and developing other clinicians to strive to constantly improve and develop their clinical, organisational and leadership skills.

Julia gained her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Manchester University and continued her post-doctoral training at Oxford University. She has the benefit of having worked across many Health Trusts, Local Authorities and Academic Institutions. During her career, she set up the Salford Cognitive Therapy Training Centre in conjunction with the University of Manchester and has continued to develop her Cognitive Therapy experience over her career, focusing on working with individuals for psychosis. Julia continues to lecture, write and participate in research.