Local Scrutiny and Involvement Panel

In 2008 we created a number of scrutiny and involvement panels across the South West. Over time these have evolved and we now operate one scrutiny and involvement panel, namely the South West Scrutiny and Involvement Panel which brings together members of the community from across Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and Gloucestershire to scrutinise cases and shape policies.

The panel reviews files from hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence prosecutions to raise awareness amongst communities of how and why decisions are made and identify issues and trends in our decision-making process.

They aspire through their work to encourage more victims to come forward to report these horrendous crimes and ensure they stay with the legal process until its conclusion. This coupled with what we have learnt on how we handle cases helps us to bring more successful prosecutions.

The panel ensures that we consider the impact on the community in identifying priorities and delivering our business. This is achieved for example through consultation on strategies, plans and policies that inform policy, casework, employment and training.

We are currently looking for new panel members - if you are interested in joining, please find out how on this site.

Hate Crime

Being a victim of crime is a traumatic experience for anyone. Being victimised because of racial origin, religious beliefs, disability or sexual orientation is even more offensive and CPS South west is working hard to successfully prosecute cases of hate crime.

The National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) and the CPS have agreed a common definition of hate crime: Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudiced against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.

We have specific policies tackling:

  • Racist and religious hate crime
  • Homophobic and transphobic hate crime
  • Disability hate crime
  • Crimes against older people

You can find further information on our how the CPS prosecutes hate crime and crime against older people elsewhere on the CPS website.

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

These crimes touch all communities; victims of domestic violence, rape and other sexual offences live in fear of their perpetrators and that the crime(s) committed against them have a devastating impact on their lives even after the defendant has been convicted.

This includes domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based violence, femal genital mutilation (FGM), rape, sexual offences, prostitution, child abuse and pornography.

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:

"any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality."

The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling Behaviour

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive Behaviour

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.