Joint Audit Committee. Warwickshire and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner. Criminal Justice Boards

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1 Joint Audit Committee 15 th December 2014 Warwickshire and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner Recommendation Criminal Justice Boards That the Committee receives the report and discusses the Criminal Justice Boards for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police. 1 Introduction 1.1 The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 sets out the requirement for Police and Crime Commissioner and Criminal Justice Bodies to co-operate in order to provide for an efficient and effective criminal justice system. At the September meeting of the Joint Audit Committee a brief discussion took place concerning the Criminal Justice Boards in Warwickshire and West Mercia. As minuted, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire suggested that a report be compiled on the Criminal Justice Boards for discussion at the December Audit Committee meeting. 1.2 The Criminal Justice Boards operate in different ways across the Alliance and this report provides a brief overview of the Criminal Justice Boards, their role and their priorities. 2 West Mercia Criminal Justice Board 2.1 The West Mercia Criminal Justice Board (WMCJB) is the mechanism by which criminal justice bodies and their partners work together in a meaningful way and co-ordinate their activities not only to deliver an effective and joined up criminal justice system but a system that compliments and co-ordinates the wider aspects of community safety within local communities. 2.2 Established in 2003, the WMCJB brings together the Chief Officers and Chief Executives of those bodies who have a major role in improving justice, preventing harm and protecting the public of West Mercia.

2 2.3 The WMCJB provides a strategic framework for bringing senior partners together with the aim of agreeing and delivering shared outcomes. This framework ensures consistent strategic leadership, a constant focus on delivering results and a strong partnership focus which allows members to hold each other to account for delivering results. 2.4 Current funding is provided for by the West Mercia Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, with HR support provided by the Police. The WMCJB is currently supported by a full time business manager. 2.5 Elected annually, the WMCJB s current Chairperson is the Chief Constable and the Deputy Chairperson is the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. 2.6 The following are members of the WMCJB: Chief Constable, West Mercia Police Chair Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Vice Chair Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS West Mercia Assistant Chief Officer, National Probation Service Chief Executive, Warwickshire and West Mercia Community Rehabilitation Company Regional Head of Crime, Her Majesty s Court and Tribunal Services Justice Clerk, Her Majesty s Court and Tribunal Services Head of Service, Worcestershire & Herefordshire Youth Offending Service Governor, HMP Hewell, representing HMPs Defence Solicitor Director of Public Health, Shropshire Director of Public Health, Worcestershire Chief Executive, Shropshire Council Head of Family and Community Services, Telford & Wrekin Council Director of Places and Communities, Herefordshire Council Regional Head of Service, Victim Support Business Manager, WMCJB 2.7 In recent years the WMCJB has focused on partnership work which is designed to reduce the overall rates of offending and reoffending in West Mercia. By focusing on reducing the demand placed on criminal justice services and by working in partnership to improve the speed and quality of those services the WMCJB is helping to reduce the overall operating costs associated with the justice system. 2.8 The WMCJB constantly strives to improve the quality of services delivered to the communities in West Mercia and has set out its key objectives for 2013/14 which are: Priorities for West Mercia Criminal Justice Board

3 Efficiency and Effectiveness - To improve the end to end effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system. To continue working towards developing a system which is entirely digital, thus creating a paperless environment between agencies To reduce the overall costs and waste in the justice system through better use of video technology Victims and Witnesses To consult with victims and witnesses of crime and to implement improvements based upon their feedback and concerns. To provide scrutiny and oversight of agencies to ensure compliance with statutory requirements To improve the overall satisfaction and confidence of victims and witnesses. Reducing Re-offending To provide strategic governance and oversight of Integrated Offender Management and Section 108 responsibilities. To work partnership to understand the profile of high risk offenders in the community and to implement appropriate strategies to reduce their offending behaviour. To reduce overall crime in West Mercia through appropriate partnership approaches. 2.9 The WMCJB plays a key role in coordinating and consulting with strategic authorities and partners to ensure that issues linked to significant public harm are being addressed and that good governance and risk management systems are in place. One example where the WMCJB has engaged in such activity surrounds the agenda to reduce the harm caused by high risk offenders in the community. The WMCJB, working with partners has secured over 200k to fund partnership working which is designed to reduce crime and support offenders in the community In addition the WMCJB provides strategic support to the OPCC and was instrumental in securing an additional 330k in support from the MoJ to improve services for victims of domestic and sexual violence The WMCJB provides the PCC with a West Mercia wide strategic forum which is designed to improve and strengthen our partnership approach to reducing crime and reoffending, while driving efficiencies across the criminal justice system The WMCJB may provide strategic leadership and oversight for areas of business linked to the Board s agreed objectives. 3 Warwickshire Strategic Criminal Justice Board

4 3.1 The Warwickshire Justice Strategic Board (WJSB) incorporating the Local Criminal Justice Board is there to co-ordinate and ensure the efficient delivery of Criminal Justice Services in Warwickshire. The WJSB is responsible for the effective & efficient management of the Justice Centres. The Police and Crime Commissioner sits on the WJSB and his staff attend the sub-groups. 3.2 There are two Justice Centres in Warwickshire; the Northern Justice Centre in Nuneaton and the Southern Justice Centre in Leamington Spa. The Justice Centres are unique in the fact that they house all the criminal justice services; Police, the Courts (Crown, County and Magistrates), Probation, Youth Justice and the Coroner in one building. 3.3 The WJSB has an overarching goal that; Warwickshire Justice Services by working together will be accessible and efficient in reducing crime, reducing reoffending, protecting communities and supporting victims and witnesses. Within that there are a number of specific priorities: Reducing Crime and Disorder/ Protecting Communities from harm Violence Robbery House Burglary Anti Social Behaviour Preventing and reducing reoffending Support to those with mental health issues Integrated Offender management coordination and links with the Community Safety Board Improve Victim and Witness care Services Improve the quality of investigation of domestic violence Increased use of restorative justice Including adults and young people Continued improvement in the administration of justice Efficiency initiatives Embedding early guilty please scheme Extended use of live links Engagement with the Police and Crime Commissioner To ensure an effective and efficient criminal justice service

5 Staff Engagement To engage and inform staff of organizational change Efficient Management of the Justice Centres The cost effective use of space, energy and facilities management services. 3.4 Appendix A overleaf is a copy of the WJSB s Terms of Reference which outlines the purpose, responsibilities and membership of the Board.

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