Working with our Community

Increasing public confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

CPS Thames and Chiltern remains committed to building relationships and working in partnership with our local communities and partners. This involves us explaining our role and promoting awareness on how we make decisions to maintain public confidence in us and the Criminal Justice System. Our work on providing support to victims and witnesses during 2016-17 has involved continued engagement with a range of partners. Our work on improving services to victims of Domestic Abuse is being taken forward by working with the Thames Valley Domestic Abuse Forum. In Hertfordshire, we are involved in work to support victims of Honour Based Abuse. Two posts have been awarded funding by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to support the BME and Traveller communities in Hertfordshire. In Bedfordshire, the CPS has worked as a key partner on the Hate Crime Partnership. The Partnership commissioned Milton Keynes Equality Council to deliver Disability Hate Crime training to frontline professionals in a multi-agency context, which was recently completed.   

CPS Review of Community Engagement

CPS Thames and Chiltern has been involved in national CPS discussions to update the Community Engagement Standards and overall approach to improving public confidence. This stock take of community engagement work will enhance the best practice that is already in place to ensure that we better understand, and respond effectively to, the needs and views of our communities.

The Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel (LSIP) is the main mechanism through which the CPS engages with communities and partners. The work of the panel is also currently under review and will inform the future strategic and operational direction of this structured engagement.

In the meantime, CPS Thames and Chiltern continues to meet with its community and public sector partners via the LSIP which provides the CPS with feedback to influence the CPS' decision making processes. These discussions help CPS Thames and Chiltern to deliver on the CPS priorities in relation to Hate Crime and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) prosecutions. The panelís subsequent recommendations enable the CPS to make improvements to how it prosecutes such cases. Feedback on wider CPS business received from the LSIP also helps performance improvements.

Key areas of CPS work that have been discussed with the LSIP this year include updating panel members on the Thames and Chiltern Area activity which took place to celebrate the CPS 30 years anniversary. The Area shared some very interesting history about the work of the CPS over the last 30 years.

Panel members advised the CPS that people from BME backgrounds may be reluctant to report hate crimes because of institutional racism. Our Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) was able to reassure the panel that the CPS came out well in the David Lammy Review findings into race disproportionality and that every effort is made to afford justice to victims in hate crime cases. Concern continues about the withdrawal of victims and witnesses during court proceedings especially in domestic abuse prosecutions. Feedback from the panel is informing solutions to these concerns both nationally in the CPS and with local criminal justice partners.

For further information please contact the Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager, Inderpal Kaur-Singh via email on inderpal.kaur-singh@cps.gsi.gov.uk or by telephone on 0118 908 2509 or by mobile on 07769 258088.