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Inclusion plan puts community at heart of CPS work


Strengthening links with different communities is central to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) vision outlined today in an aspirational plan to encourage more engagement and trust with diverse groups.

The Inclusion and Community Engagement strategy, launched today during National Inclusion Week, sets out how the CPS will become a more diverse and inclusive organisation and will prioritise listening to the communities it serves to help shape the national prosecution service.

The plan seeks to enhance recruitment and bring in even more people from diverse backgrounds – across all levels - and develop casework scrutiny panels to allow for more engagement with community-based stakeholders. The CPS will also invest in new digital communication tools to engage better with communities, as well as improve its data collection in cases involving protected characteristics to identify trends and inform better working practices.

Community engagement remains a core component of the CPS’s work to build trust, understanding and confidence in the criminal justice system. The new commitments will support the effective functioning of the system, for example in securing cooperation from victims and witnesses, particularly in communities where we know there are low levels of trust and who may be disproportionately impacted by certain crime types.

Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to how we work at the CPS. This strategy places inclusion and community engagement firmly at the heart of how we deliver justice. It’s only by being truly inclusive and understanding our communities that we can build confidence in the criminal justice system.

“We also want to make sure that we respond to the needs of the communities we serve by taking more time to listen and better understand their concerns. We will also take further action to challenge ourselves to ensure we are as inclusive as possible, so that everyone is treated with respect and dignity and we remove any barriers to progress.”

The CPS is already recognised as one of the UK’s most inclusive employers according to the social mobility employer index, as a disability confident leader and as one of the top 10 most family friendly workplaces in the country. It has increased its workforce diversity – making it one of the most diverse organisations across the Civil Service.

Fiyaz Mughal OBE, founder of Tell MAMA, the Director of Faith Matters and Co-Chair of CPS Inclusion and Community Engagement Accountability Forum, said: “It is good to see and welcome that the CPS has placed engaging with communities at the heart of this strategy. I know from my personal experience that CPS community forums help it to better understand and respond to the needs of the communities it serves. The forums provide an opportunity for the CPS to hear from a range of experts and community representatives on issues relating to criminal justice. The feedback and ideas gathered from these forums help the CPS to improve the way it works.”

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