External Consultation Group (ECG)
What are our External Consultation Groups?
The CPS runs two regular External Consultation Groups (ECGs) – one on hate crime and one on violence against women and girls.
The groups are made up of experts who help inform our work. Members include community organisations, the voluntary sector, victim advocacy groups, public sector organisations, academics with relevant expertise, and other criminal justice partners.
The groups meet three to four times a year. We update them on our work and ask for their feedback.
Why are ECGs important?
They’re also an opportunity for us to hear from a range of experts on issues relating to criminal justice and to help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve.
ECG members scrutinise our policies and practices, letting us know what is working well and where improvements can be made. They provide valuable insights into the lived experiences of those impacted by crimes, which help inform the ways we work.
The ECG also give us a great opportunity to share our work with our partners and build public confidence in the CPS. ECG members help us build confidence in the criminal justice system by talking about our work to the communities they work with, and by encouraging reporting of crimes.
The ECGs are a core part of our wider Inclusion and Community Engagement Strategy. They run alongside other activities, at both local and national level, which help us consult with partners and communities on our work. For example, we run Local Scrutiny and Involvement panels in each CPS area to discuss local issues and identify areas where we’ve done well or could improve. We also host Community Accountability Forums (CAF) to discuss important and emerging issues in the criminal justice sector with academics, criminal justice and public sector organisations, support services and charities with relevant expertise.