Laura Paton has a background in human rights law with a particular focus on the treatment and conditions of those deprived of their liberty and the rights of children and young people. Prior to joining HMICS, Laura worked with HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) in England and Wales providing policy and human rights advice on the independent inspection of prisons and other forms of custody. This included advising on the joint inspection of police custody in England and Wales by HMIP and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, and developing a framework for the inspection of military detention facilities in Afghanistan. Laura was also the coordinator of the United Kingdom’s National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), a group of organisations tasked under international law with monitoring all places of detention. Laura regularly advised governments and NPMs around the world on independent inspection of detention. Previously, Laura worked for Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and children’s voluntary sector organisations and was editor of Childright, a journal of law and policy affecting children and their families. Laura is a trustee of Together, an alliance of Scottish children’s charities that works to improve awareness, understanding and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since joining HMICS in 2013, Laura has led a range of inspections of policing. Her inspection duties primarily cover local policing, custody and crime recording.