Abstracts: July 31st, 2008

This Cabinet Office review explored how to involve communities more
effectively in the fight against crime whilst also raising public confidence in the criminal justice system. The starting point was that without public action, support and confidence, the police and other criminal justice agencies cannot make communities safer. However, for the public to play their part, they need to see and experience services that tackle crime effectively, give them confidence and back them up.

The report concludes that radical change is needed to help the public become more engaged in tackling crime and to halt the erosion of community spirit. It looks at five broad areas: putting victims, witnesses and other law-abiding citizens first; fighting crime and delivering justice for communities; a new approach to crime statistics; the citizen’s role in tackling crime and freedoms and accountability.

The review recommends the appointment of a public commissioner on crime to be the independent voice of victims of crime and to champion crime issues on behalf of the wider public; greater protection for vulnerable victims and witnesses including special measures for older or disabled people and for giving police community support officers powers to detain and to issue fixed
penalty notices.

The review is available from the Cabinet Office.