The Merseyside Criminal Justice Board brings criminal justice agencies together to join up processes to reduce crime and re-offending and focus on the needs of victims and witnesses.
Take a look at some of the key achievements of the Board in 2018/19:
Developed a female offender strategy to address the particular needs of female offenders, which includes support for the Merseyside Women’s Alliance, the inauguration of a Women’s Review Court and addressing the behaviour of the top 20 female offenders who continually return to prison on a regular basis;
The Board has also supported the further development of the Complex Case Court to address offenders with mental health, alcohol and drugs related problems, all with a view to reducing the reoffending by offenders and consequent benefits for victims;
To address the needs of victims and witnesses, the witness service has now been included within the membership of the Board and checks have been undertaken to ensure that the various elements of the Victims Code of Practice are complied with across the criminal justice agencies;
Developing a single Merseyside Special Domestic Violence Court that went live in the first week of April 2018 managing all domestic violence hearings, including all trials, supported by specialist police, CPS Lawyers and Magistrates;
The Board has commenced actions to address crimes committed against vulnerable elderly victims;
The Board continues to support further developments to improve criminal justice efficiency via the implementation of the Common Platform IT system for the management of cases digitally. It has also supported the extension of the “Section 28 Pilot” which enables the examination of vulnerable victims to be video recorded, prior to a trial, there by reducing the stress on victims and witnesses enabling them to provide best evidence.
- The Board has continued its actions to address the unnecessary criminalisation of Looked After Children and, via its involvement in the Youth Detention Scrutiny Panel, seeks to reduce the number of for young people arrested and kept in police detention for lengthy periods. The Board is has also commenced work to reduce the criminalisation of Care Leavers and agreed a protocol to reduce the unnecessary criminalisation of Looked After Children in care homes with all Merseyside Local Authorities;
- Supporting the Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company to reduce reoffending so that Merseyside now has the lowest rate frequency of reoffending by offenders in the country;
- Supporting hate crime prosecutions that now have success levels in excess of 85%, while providing a Merseyside forum for agencies and partners involved in addressing hate crime.