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ONE YEAR ON - LOCAL PROGRESS ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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The criminal justice system is getting better at delivering effective ...
The criminal justice system is getting better at delivering effective

justice, according to statistics published today.

Local performance figures on delivery against key government criminal

justice targets are published for the first full year since the 42

Local Criminal Justice Boards were set up in April 2003.

The figures for quarter four compared to quarter one show an increase

in the number of offences brought to justice. Ineffective trials in

the crown court have also reduced from 23.4 per cent to 18 per cent.

Progress on fine enforcement has been made with a rise in payment

rates from 69 per cent to 76 per cent and the pledge to halve the

time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders has been

met consistently throughout the year.

Constitutional affairs secretary Lord Falconer said:

'Increasing the confidence of the community it serves is crucial to

improving the criminal justice system. It is about putting victims

and the law-abiding citizen first, without compromising fairness.

'More co-operation between the criminal justice agencies has led to

increased collection of fines from offenders, as well as fewer

ineffective trials. This has improved the court experience for

victims and witnesses, difficult in any situation. Local criminal

justice boards are critical to this teamwork and we will continue to

strive for these improvements.'

Baroness Scotland, Home Office minister for criminal justice, said:

'The creation of local criminal justice boards last year was a big

step towards increasing the effectiveness of the criminal justice

system around the country. Each local board has tailored their

approach to the specific needs of their area so in each case the

action needed to improve performance is different. The figures

published today demonstrate that this approach is working.

'But we cannot be complacent. It is vital to continue to work hard to

ensure this progress is sustained if we are to improve the experience

of the criminal justice system for victims of crime. The strategic

plan for the criminal justice system published last week sets out how

we will make sure this happens.'

Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, said:

'The LCJBs are the visible proof of the criminal justice agencies

working effectively together to make communities safe. The boards

have made significant progress over the last year, helping to bring

more offences to justice and fewer ineffective trials.

'My vision for the 21st century prosecutor is as a champion for the

rights of local communities, committed to the efficient progress of a

case from charge to sentence. With prosecutors taking an active role

in their LCJBs, they are taking another step closer to achieving that

vision, to the benefit of all the communities they serve.'

The statistics also show:

Offences brought to justice

National target to increase the number of offences brought to justice

to 5% above the baseline level of 2001-02.

Q1 (Jun 03)

* National performance was at 5.3% (ahead of target).

* June 2003 data was available for 25 of the 42 areas.

* Of these 25, 11 areas were achieving the target.

Q4 (Mar 04)

* National performance was at 9.4% (further ahead of target).

* March 2004 data was available for 29 of the 42 areas.

* Of these 29, 21 areas were achieving the target.

Ineffective Trials - Crown Court

National target to reduce the percentage of trials that are

ineffective to 20.4% by the last quarter of 2003-04.

Q1 (Jun 03)

* National performance was at 23.4% (behind target).

* Of the 42 areas, 14 areas were achieving their individual targets.

Q4 (Mar 04)

* National performance was at 18.0% (ahead of target).

* Of the 42 areas, 33 areas were achieving their individual targets.

Ineffective Trials - Magistrates' Courts

National target to reduce the percentage of trials that are

ineffective to 26.5% by the last quarter of 2003-04.

Q1 (Jun 03)

* National performance was at 29.4% (behind target).

* Of the 42 areas, 11 areas were achieving their individual targets.

Q4 (Mar 04)

* National performance had improved to 27.7% (behind target).

* Of the 42 areas, 22 were achieving their targets.

Confidence

National target to increase the percentage of people who are very or

fairly confident in the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System

in bringing offenders to justice from 39% in March 2003 to at least

40% in March 2006.

No data published in Q1 (Jun 03)

* National performance was at 39.6% (behind required target) although

too early to publish statistically sound results for areas.

Q4 (Mar 04)

* National performance was at 41.2% (ahead of required target).

* Of the 42 areas, 7 have shown a statistically significant

improvement on their baselines, 1 has shown a statistically

significant decline, and the other 34 have not changed significantly.

Fine Enforcement

National target to increase the payment rate indicator to 75%.

Q1 (Jun 03)

* National performance was at 69% (behind target).

* Of the 42 areas, 18 areas were achieving the target.

Q4 (Mar 04)

* National performance was at 76% (ahead of target).

* Of the 42 areas, 30 areas were achieving the target.

Timeliness - Persistent Young Offenders

Rolling national target to keep the average number of days from

arrest to sentence for PYOs at or below 71.

Q1 (Jun 03)

* National average was at 62 days for the quarter (ahead of target).

* Of the 42 areas, 32 areas were achieving the target.

Q4 (Mar 04)

* National average was at 66 days for the quarter (ahead of target).

* Of the 42 areas, 33 areas were achieving the target.

Timeliness - Magistrates' and Crown Courts

No national targets. Individual areas have different targets for 10

different categories of cases and trials. Performance is measured in

terms of the number of targets met over the year 2003-04.

Q1 (Jun 03)

* Of the 42 areas, 33 areas were meeting at least 50% of their

timeliness targets.

Q4 (Mar 04)

* Of the 42 areas, 25 areas were meeting at least 50% of their

timeliness targets.

Notes

1. Local criminal justice boards were set up on 1 April 2003 to

manage the criminal justice system at local level

2. Figures for the 42 criminal justice areas are available for the

year April 2003 to March 2004 on www.cjsonline.gov.uk

3. The CJS strategic plan was published on 19 July 2004 and can be

found on www.cjsonline.gov.uk

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