FACTS AND FIGURES
There are currently 201 full time staff positions in the Criminal Justice department structure
• The total budget for the department is £4.1m
• Lancashire Constabulary arrests an average of 34,000 people a year
• A further average of just under 6,500 people per year are brought in under Voluntary Attendance arrangements
• The Criminal Justice Prosecutions Unit prepares in excess of 6,800 upgraded case files a year for the purposes of trials in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts
• The Witness Care Unit handles in excess of 10,100 witnesses a year who are required to attend court
• An average of just under 900 identification procedures are carried out each year.
The Criminal Justice portfolio within Lancashire Constabulary is made up of several distinct areas. These are a Policy team which provides a corporate overview with regard to the national criminal justice agenda and implementation of national and local policy and process; a Prosecutions Unit which manages all court file administration and the building of trial files in liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service for both Crown and Magistrates Court cases across the Constabulary; a Centralised Unit which deals with non-court disposals, court resulting, warrants administration, Criminal Injuries Compensation claims, interview transcriptions, identification procedures and Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice is a process where offenders and victims are brought together so the victim can explain the impact the crime has had on them, and the offender can try and explain why they did what they did. At the end of the meeting all sides then reach agreement about what needs to be done to repair the harm. The Constabulary deals with around 550 cases restorative justice interventions each year. There is also a Witness Care Unit, a joint police/CPS initiative aimed at ensuring that witnesses and victims are better informed, better prepared and better supported throughout any court proceedings.
Finally there is a Central Process Unit that deals with all traffic matters and speed enforcement.
The Custody and Case Preparation system is the biggest operational IT system in the Force, and the Criminal Justice policy team based at Headquarters has management and ownership responsibility for this. The role of the Criminal Justice department is to support operational policing by removing the administrative burden from operational officers wherever possible. It aims to do this in a cost-effective manner by ensuring services are delivered in the most efficient, effective and responsive way possible. As well as responding to demand locally, the department’s work is also influenced at a national level by the Criminal Justice reform agenda. This is a mandatory and continuous agenda which the Constabulary has to implement, and that often requires significant thought, negotiation, development and training. Having a national agenda also limits the scope for making isolated local decisions, because the effects of these could have a negative impact on the wider criminal justice system. Of course, Criminal Justice is not something the police work on in isolation. It is the Constabulary’s responsibility to engage with criminal justice partners across Lancashire, and discussions take place at a strategic level through the main Lancashire Criminal Justice Board (LCJB). The Criminal Justice department also has responsibility for providing business management and support to this Board.