The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) recently held their monthly Bedfordshire Criminal Justice Board meeting (BCJB).
The BCJB is made up of partners who work across the criminal Justice System in Bedfordshire.
These include the Crown and Magistrates Courts, Crown Prosecution and Defence, Youth Offending, Police and Probation, health organisations, Prison and Citizens Advice.
The aim is to improve communication, co-operation, and collaboration within the partnership in order to provide fair, efficient and effective criminal justice services in Bedfordshire.
The BCJB also strive to provide the best possible service to victims of crime and witnesses, reduce offending and reoffending, and increase public confidence in the Criminal Justice System (CJS).
Francoise Julian, Criminal Justice Project Manager said “I am delighted that we are progressing on with our Criminal Justice strategy. The Board meeting is an excellent opportunity for partners to share updates in order to provide an effective criminal justice system in Bedfordshire.
“I’m looking forward to continuing this collaborative approach and I can’t thank everyone enough for their dedication and support in creating a professional space for us to share and innovate. It is invaluable in ensuring we are putting the victim at the heart of everything we do”.
The Board met on 19 September 2023 and discussed outputs from BCJB’s three subgroups:
- Victims and Witnesses Subgroup – responsible for ensuring that all victims of crime, know and understand their rights under the Victims Code of Practice and receive the advice and support they need.
- Reducing Reoffending – work together to support adults and young offenders to move away from crime.
- Performance and Programme management –focus on what is working well in the criminal Justice system, as well as areas which may require improvement.
Modernising criminal courts
There was an update regarding the national roll out of a new ‘common platform’ in Bedfordshire.
The Common Platform is part of the Government’s plan to modernise the criminal court in England and Wales. It allows the police, judiciary, solicitors, barristers and criminal justice agencies to access and edit case information.
Children and Young People in the Criminal Justice System
The Youth Offending Team also discussed ‘Children and Young People in the Criminal Justice System’ including.
- The disproportionate representation of young adults aged 18 – 25 from disadvantaged communities in custody and the issues with transition to adult services
- Disproportionality and the Youth Offending Service
A business plan has been put together and final drafts will be tabled at the December Board meeting.
Mental Health within CJS
Work regarding Mental Health is being progressed in consultation with the local Mental Health partners.
Annual General Meeting
The first BCJB Annual General Meeting will be held on 19 December 2023. This meeting will be recorded and uploaded on the OPCC website and social media for public viewing.
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