Praise for Commissioner's first Herts Criminal Justice Board in Public
The Hertfordshire Criminal Justice Board received approval from residents in Hertfordshire following its first board meeting which was held in public on Monday, July 9th.

The meeting, which was attended by 70 members of the public, was held in St Albans City and District Council offices allowing the people of Hertfordshire to meet and put questions to those who run the local justice system.

Topics discussed included the victim’s experience of the criminal justice system and ways their journey can be improved.

A number of presentations from member agencies set the scene locally and nationally around the criminal justice system and gave a flavour of the roles and different agencies involved, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities to improve the system for all those who come into contact with it.

David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire and Chair of the Board said:

“It is brilliant to see so many people here today. As Chair of the Board I am ambitious to bring about a level of democratic engagement to the local criminal justice system and explore ways that we can work together to deliver a more effective and efficient structure.

“Sadly we do know that things don’t always go well when victims and witnesses come into contact with the criminal justice system and it often doesn’t take into account the victims and witnesses’ entire journey from a crime being committed to the court case and after care support.

“I am committed to looking at improvements we can make, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to chair the criminal justice board meeting in the first place. Holding this meeting in public for the first time is a very important step in improving the public’s perception of the local justice system.”

Special guest speaker - Dame Vera Baird, Former Solicitor General from 2007 to 2010, and the current Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, spoke about how PCCs can work with local partners to revolutionise the victims’ journey through the criminal justice system.

Dame Vera Baird QC said:

“PCCs are the voice of local residents, who tell us what is going right and when improvements are needed. We work together with our partners to deliver the best service possible.
 “We always ensure that victims’ rights are at the heart of everything we do, for them to have the confidence to come forward and report crimes and we want to ensure that they feel valued through every step of the process. 

“The Victims’ Code is an important document and to ensure it is effectively delivered it needs to come into the hands of the Local Criminal justice Board – this will ensure all partners remain focused on ensuring we get it right first time, every time.”

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