Members wanted for Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels

We are looking to recruit some new members for our Homophobic/Transphobic Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel and our Racist and Religious Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels.  Panel members need to have an interest in improving public service, by acting as a critical friend to the CPS, ie be prepared to challenge us in a constructive way so that we can learn how to do things better in the future.

Homophobic/Transphobic Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel

We are looking for panel members who have experience of working with victims of Homophobic and/or Transphobic Hate Crime (whether reported to the police or not).

Racist/Religious Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel

We are looking for Panel members who have experience of working with victims of Racist and/or Religious Hate Crime (whether reported to the police or not).

We are also particularly keen to recruit new members who have links with one or more of the following communities:

  • African/Caribbean 
  • Refugees/Asylum Seekers
  • Eastern European
  • Chinese
  • Bangladeshi
  • Gypsy/Roma/Traveller
  • We are also keen to involve some younger Panel members (in the 17-25 age group).

Interested?

If you are interested in joining either of these scrutiny panels, please send an email to: northeast.comms@cps.gsi.gov.uk and we will send you an application pack with further details. Closing date for completed applications is Monday 22 September for the Homophobic/transphobic panel and Wednesday 17 September for the Racist/Religious panel. Detailed knowledge of the criminal justice system is not essential for either panel, as training will be provided.

Working in the Community

Caroline Ayres Equality and Diversity ManagerAcross Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland, we aim to work with all groups and communities to ensure that new policies adopted by the CPS reflect the diverse society we live in.

We acknowledge that public trust is measured against our ability to work with the public in key areas, which is why we established Local Scritiny and Involvement Panels throughout the North East to examine key parts of CPS policy.

Community Involvement Panels

CPS North East has three Community Involvement Panels (CIPs) one for each of the police force areas (Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria). The three Panels meet together to form the North East Joint Community Involvement Panels. The panels are a partnership between the CPS and local communities, working together to deliver improvements to the way we make decisions and deliver our service.

We consult the Joint Community Involvement Panels about, amongst other things, our Business Plan and our Equality and Diversity and Community Engagement Strategies. By retaining individual CIPs, we make sure that we do not lost sight of the concerns of individual local communities within the North East. Panel members are drawn from a wide cross-section of community groups including charities, inter-agency partnerships and local authorities. The overall chair of the Joint Community Involvement Panels is the Area Business Manager. The panels meet three times a year.

The overall remit of the Community Involvement Panel is to provide a forum for dialogue between the CPS and the diverse communities we serve, so that the role of the CPS can be more widely understood and to ensure that we actively consult on the delivery, determination and identification of our business objectives.

Scrutiny Panels

We have four specialist Panels which scrutinise our handling of specific types of cases, as follows:

  • Homophobic/Transphobic hate crime.
  • Racist/Religious hate crime.
  • Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
  • Disability Hate Crime (A sub-group of the Joint Community Involvement Panel).

These Panels consist of community representatives who have knowledge and expertise of the sorts of cases they are scrutinising, and have experience of working with victims of that sort of crime. They are jointly chaired by the CPS North East Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor and an independent Co-Chair who has specialist expertise in the field.

The Panels scrutinise closed files, to identify issues, common themes and trends in the decision-making process, looking in particular at the impact of CPS decision-making on relevant communities. They make recommendations as to how we can improve CPS performance and better support victims and witnesses. Panel recommendations are fed back to Area Senior management, and then through the management structure to prosecution teams.

The overall aims of the Scrutiny Panels are to :

  • Continue to identify ways to improve performance on hate crime and VAW as well as other specific casework areas.
  • Identify good practice and learning points to inform local service improvements.
  •  Continue to raise awareness and confidence in the role and function of the CPS.
  • Enable improvements to communication with and support to victims and witnesses of crime.