CPS Inclusion and Community Engagement Strategy
There are five key elements to our Inclusion and Community Engagement Strategy:
Being a diverse and inclusive place to work
We want to do more to ensure that we’re reflective of the communities we serve. The CPS is proud to be one of the most diverse departments in the Civil Service, but we know we still have a long way to go. That’s why as part of our community engagement work we reach out to communities who are under-represented in the CPS to showcase what a great place this is to work and helping to break down any barriers that might stop people from applying for a job with us.
We’re proud to be one of the UK’s most inclusive employers – and we’re committing to building an even more inclusive culture at the CPS where everyone is supported to achieve their very best.
Maximising our digital capability to engage with more people
Our digital capability plays such an important role in helping us to engage with our staff, our communities, and our partners. Investing in new digital communication tools can improve how we talk to our communities and help us reach more people with information about who we are and what we do.
Our improved digital capability will also help us to gather better data about our audiences, both inside and outside the CPS, to make sure we’re properly responding to what people need from us. We want to be a leading voice on inclusion across the criminal justice system and digital technology is a key part of that.
Working with our strategic partners to be a leading voice on inclusion across the criminal justice system
We will work with our partners to be a leading voice on inclusion across the criminal justice system and facilitate meaningful change.
We’ll continue to build strong partnerships, both locally and nationally, so we have a diverse network of partners to work with on issues impacting the criminal justice system - whether that’s community groups, voluntary sector organisations – including those who work with victims, witnesses and defendants, or our criminal justice partners, such as the police.
Feedback from our community engagement activities will not only inform our own policies, but we’ll also share learning with our partners in government departments and use it to influence change.
Using insights and feedback from communities to improve our casework quality
As prosecutors, we represent the public interest in the criminal justice system. As such, it’s absolutely vital that we understand the needs and concerns of the people we serve – the public.
We can only achieve this by talking openly to our communities and partners, both locally and nationally. Communities are best placed to tell us what’s working well and where we can improve. They act as our critical friend by scrutinising our decisions and our casework.
Engaging with communities also helps us to understand their needs and their experiences of the justice system. This in turn helps us to improve our policies and the way we work in a way that’s fair for everyone. For example, feedback from community forums has helped us to improve the way we conduct needs assessments for vulnerable witnesses, improve the training we offer to our prosecutors on issues such as hate crime and violence against women and girls and identify ways we could improve our communications to make them more accessible.
Engaging with the people we serve to build public confidence in the CPS
The criminal justice system is complex and can be difficult to understand. That’s why a key part of our community engagement work is reaching out to communities to explain our work and how we make our decisions. Delivering independent and fair prosecutions is only possible if people have confidence in us that we will treat them fairly and examine their case on its own merits.
As part of our public confidence work, CPS staff regularly speak to schools and colleges, community groups and the voluntary sector about our work. We’ll continue to reach out and build relationships with people who represent our diverse communities to help raise public awareness and confidence in the work we do, taking the time to explain our data, our casework outcomes and our decision making.