Sharing Insights from the CPS Community Conversations Pilot Programme, 12th February 2019

The Crown Prosecution Service’s Community Conversations Pilot is a new dialogue initiative between British Muslims and the CPS, which Forward Thinking is helping to facilitate. It aims to reinvigorate inclusion and effective community engagement between the CPS’s Local Chief Crown Prosecutors (CCPs) and British Muslim communities, in all their diversity. CCPs are senior lawyers within the CPS whose responsibilities include carrying out prosecutions and informing national CPS policy. Community Conversations creates a space for CCPs to meet with Muslim voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations on their own terms, listen to their challenges, and then identify collective actions to overcome them. To date, the programme has been piloted in two areas – the North West and Yorkshire Humberside. 

On 12th February 2019, Community Conversations participants travelled to London to provide briefings on their experiences thus far, share good-practice from the initiative and spotlight the need for community conversations and engagement more generally. 

Meetings were held with Max Hill QC, CPS Director of Public Prosecutions; Baljit Ubhey, Director of Prosecution Policy and the CPS’s Inclusion and Community Engagement Managers. Participants also spoke at a parliamentary briefing, kindly hosted by Lord Raymond Hylton, which  was well attended by cross-party MPs and peers. Those who have helped develop and implement Community Conversations also spoke at the event including: Graham Ritchie, CPS Head of Prosecution Policy and Inclusion; Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor North West; Gemma Rice, CPS Inclusion and Engagement Manager; Jordan Morgan, Forward Thinking UK Programme Manager, and British Muslim community representatives from Greater Manchester.

Since its launch, Community Conversations  has been led by the priorities of participants, to shape new programmes of work to tackle hate crime and increase diversity within the CPS NW. Discussions highlighted that Community Conversations is a growing priority for the CPS and underpins the CPS’s national ‘Community and Inclusion Strategy 2020’ – a multiyear strategy focused on promoting fairness, equality, diversity and inclusion across the criminal justice system.