Community Roundtables Report

Supporting Effective Community Engagement between the Crown Prosecution Service and British Muslim Communities

March 2018

Over the last 6 months Forward Thinking have worked to facilitate an inclusive process of dialogue to promote greater understanding and confidence between the diverse British Muslim communities and Baljit Ubhey, CPS Director of Prosecution Policy and Inclusion, and Graham Ritchie, Head of Prosecution Policy and Inclusion, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The attached Forward Thinking report, which includes a foreword by Baljit Ubhey, outlines practical steps forward to reinvigorate the CPS’s community engagement strategy, which can better inform local and national policy making and support individuals and communities affected by crime. The CPS have long recognised that listening to communities builds trust with the public, improves victim and witness satisfaction, and leads to better informed prosecution policy and practice. This report does not mark the end of a conversation, but the start of an ongoing dialogue.

These visits to London, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester included:

  • 24th October 2017: Dewsbury, Bradford Huddersfield
  • 25th October 2017: Didsbury, Stockport, Whalley Range
  • 20th December 2017: London (Finsbury Park Mosque)

It is important to emphasise that this a Forward Thinking report to which the CPS have contributed a foreword, it is not an official CPS document. The recommendations and themes within the attached report are not our own, but are directly from the communities themselves. These soundings are by no means authoritative of every Muslim community across the UK, however, they are illustrative of contemporary challenges faced and solutions to overcome those challenges. 

These roundtables formed a part of Forward Thinking’s ‘Building Bridges’ Programme which facilitates inclusive dialogue between UK Muslim communities and grassroots organisations, and British authorities (local government, parliamentarians, policymakers and the national media). Since 2004, we have facilitated community meetings with Ruth Kelly, the former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; John Reid, former Home Secretary; David Anderson QC, former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation; Max Hill QC, current Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, in addition to over 400 British civil servants. The ultimate aim of all such engagements is to promote greater understanding between communities and British authorities and to develop shared approaches to common challenges.