Headlines: July 10th, 2000

There is a lack of confidence in the Criminal Justice System. It is not perceived to be effective at reducing crime, delivering justice, nor at punishing or rehabilitating offenders. This was the key finding from a Home Office workshop and a survey of views from the general public. Although reported crime fell between 1993 and 1999, high profiles cases of wrongful conviction or incompetent investigation have led to the perception that the system is failing.The survey showed public support for the police, but little confidence in Judges or Youth Courts. There was also a strong view that the system is unfair both to ethnic minorities and poorer people. Wealthier people can employ good lawyers.

Work has started on analysing the British Crime Survey 2000 to establish a baseline of how the criminal just ice system is perceived. Targets for improving confidence will be set by March 2001 for achievement by March 2002.

Among measures being taken to improve the situation are building in public confidence as a part of new strategies, more joint working between criminal justice agencies and educating young people through the school system.

Information provided by Horn Ltd, suppliers of specialist police information http://www.Horn.ltd.uk