On 14th May 2018, the Crown Prosecution Service released its reinvigorated Inclusion and Community Engagement Strategy.
Alison Saunders, CPS Director of Public Prosecutions, said, “the CPS commitment to inclusion and equality is at the heart of how we work. It is important to us both as an employer and in the way we approach our responsibilities as a prosecuting authority. The two are closely linked – supporting a diverse workforce allows us to provide a better service to the public. This three-year inclusion and community engagement strategy sets out our ambition to build on strong foundations, making sure we continue to lead the way on promoting fairness, equality, diversity and inclusion across the criminal justice system.”
In October and December 2017, Forward Thinking facilitated an inclusive process of dialogue to promote greater understanding of how to support effective community engagement between the CPS and the diversity of British Muslim communities. A summary of the visits can be found here.
Forward Thinking facilitated discussions between Baljit Ubhey OBE, Director of Prosecution Policy and Inclusion, Graham Ritchie, Head of Prosecution Policy and Inclusion and representatives of 22 diverse Muslim community organisations in: Bradford, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Stockport, Greater Manchester and London. The conversations included voices from communities who have had no prior experience of engaging with the CPS.
Baljit Ubhey said of the visits, “They have really brought home to me the need to have meaningful, ongoing dialogue and the need to involve young people in these conversations… I am certain that our work in this area will be more effective as a result of these meetings and Forward Thinking’s support for our work’.
These efforts do not mark the end of a conversation, but the start of an ongoing dialogue between the CPS and communities.