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 2015/16
- Successfully implemented the Merseyside Special Domestic Violence Court in the Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts. This court now deals with all first appearance of domestic violence cases with specialist staff dedicated from all the Criminal Justice Agencies. This has led to successful outcomes at court in excess of 80% of cases. Its conviction rates are within the top 10 in the country.
- Rape conviction rates are now in excess of 60%.
- This year, the Board has seen the number of first-time entrants into the Criminal Justice System down by a further 50%.
- Helped to reduce the detention of youths in police premises. The number of young people refused bail is down to less than five per month and there are less than 15 young people kept overnight each month
- Pioneering the creation of a Harmful Practices group and developing an action plan for its future work.
- Successfully implementing a Criminal Justice Efficiency program. This means all courts have In-Court Presentation IT which enables all parties to present evidence electronically to the court and each other in real time. All Courts also now have WiFi allowing all business users to access their home systems and negate the needs for paper. This has increased speed and efficiency. This program has also included the introduction of the Magistrates Court N]Bench Solution to allow Magistrates to views files and evidence via tablets which they can take to the deliberations rooms with them. It has also seen the introduction of Livelinks to allow witnesses to give evidence from remote locations.
- Better use of Prison Court Video Links, thereby reducing the costs of transferring prisoners to and from court. Merseyside now has one of the highest user rates in the country.
- Hate Crime Outcomes conviction rates are now in excess of 80%.
- Merseyside has also been chosen as one of the pilot forces for the Common Platform Programme, a system to all allow all agencies and the defence to access files subject to access control and transfer these from police to CPS to the court, from one court to another plus the defence and probation and YOT services
- Introduced a single justice procedure whereby a Single Magistrate and Legal Advisor can deal with low-level cases electronically.
- The MCJB is also in the process of introducing the Plea on Line System whereby defendants can make a plea on line for low level motoring cases without the need to attend court