Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Londoners to love, respect and be proud of their Met

Criminal Justice Management 2013 Conference

The 13th annual Criminal Justice Conference, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on Thursday 26th September 2013 kicked off to a great start with the attendance of over 350 of the UK’s finest justice professionals. The lively event brought together practitioners, strategy leads and suppliers to share national and local examples of policy through to practice in policing, reducing reoffending, youth justice, skills development through to estates efficiency.

Chaired by Richard Ford, The Times Home Affairs Correspondent, the day promised policy insight, improvement ideas and the chance to question key speakers on current strategies. Antonia Romeo, Director General, Criminal Justice, Ministry of Justice opened the conference covering the Criminal Justice Action plan and the positive role of digital migration to the CJS efficiency programme. Ian Blakeman, Director, Commissioning and Commercial, National Offender Management Service continued the discussion by exploring co-commissioning, worth over £1bn in services, and emphasised the need to focus on recidivism. He showcased interesting risk profiling slides* based on gender, length of sentence and age and the need to deliver solutions based on evidence-based thinking. Kate Davies OBE, Head of Public Health, Military and Offender Health Commissioning, NHS England focused on the transfer of commissioning responsibility from individual police forces to MHS expert commissioners of health services. This raised a number of questions from the audience on meeting patient outcomes, funding challenges, current system inefficiencies and managing the revolving door of reoffending. Delegates throughout the conference raised questions and helped to provide an informative knowledge exchange platform.

The morning session closed with the hotly anticipated speech from Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM. His moral raising speech was well documented by the BBC, The Telegraph and The Evening Standard and covered how he wanted “Londoners to love, respect and be proud of their Met”.  He presented to delegates a full range of statistics comparing crime figures from 2011 to 2013 and how the Met has achieved the lowest rates in since 1985. As the Telegraph reported, the Commissioner said “there had been improvements in the use of stop and search, which has previously been a source of friction between the police and ethnic minorities”. Later in a private one-to-one interview with the BBC at the conference, the Commissioner covered the threat of cybercrime, terrorism in London and the recent investigations in the Met. For more snippets from the BBC video report please click here.

Following the morning’s busy exhibition, full of key service providers who played an important part in the day’s success, facilitating seminars, networking over coffee, and an opportunity for delegates to find solutions to meet their needs, the conference returned to hear from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS case study showcased its efficiency programme and the positive impact of migration to digital court services and using electronic case files. This raised the challenge that although having the technology is great, ensuring the effective co-ordination to realise optimum benefit was essential. Frances Done CBE, Chair of the Youth Justice Board’s passionate speech raised the youth element to the agenda and covered transforming custody, re-offending and using restorative justice conferencing to support this vulnerable group. This was followed by breakout seminars which brought together intimate groups to discuss, debate and learn about developments in predictive policing; offender learning and employment; operational efficiency and improving social outcomes. Questions and debate were aplenty and unearthed both problems and solutions to aid justice improvement.

The afternoon session opened with Liz Calderbank, HM Chief Inspector of Probation covering the heavily debated outsourcing of probation services which sparked great interest from the delegation and raised questions of the practicalities of delivering the proposed changes. This was followed by an understanding of the politics and functionality of the Police and Crime Commissioner delivered by Andy Champness, Chief Executive at Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire. With the delivery of change locally and increasing role of the PCC this was a great addition to the day. The final two speeches were covered by Merseyside Police and Ministry of Justice Estates on delivering efficiencies through using ICT as frontline operational tools, and balancing value for money with service requirements respectively. Questions were raised around the resettlement of prisoners as estates closed in local areas.

*Delegates who attended the conference will have access to all presentations post conference