Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Community Prosecutor

The real heroine of today for me was Grace Ononiwu of the Crown Prosecution Service (however she always is ... just love her smart dressed lady look ... just wish that I was able to pull it off). Having been invited to the Northamptonshire CPS staff development day, it was a real eye opener to see the drive to embrace the role of community prosecutor. Despite my dislike of much that has come out of Louise Casey, this is a real revolutionary step forward in transforming the organisation responsible for ensuring that justice is delivered for victims into something that is a public service in the real sense of the word (focussed on communities, delivering to communities and being held to account by communities).

Over the last few months there has been a growth in hate incidents without identified victims. These include aggressive racially and religiously motivated graffiti in public places. All the evidence shows that the increase in this kind of offence increases offences of violence against people and property in addition to having a significant impact on relationships within communities.

The concept of the community prosecutor, encourages the gathering of a different kind of evidence ... evidence that relates to impact on the community. To date impact evidence has generally focused on impact on individuals and sometimes even that is not consistently presented. The concept of the community prosecutor will also provide opportunities for other criminal justice agencies to raise their game by putting the focus on the community. Can't be a bad thing.

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