Headlines: July 5th, 2002

Giving people basic information about the Criminal Justice System will improve public confidence, according to a new research study.Improving Public Attitudes to the Criminal Justice System: The Impact of Information shows that straightforward factual information significantly reduces overall worry about victimisation and increases people’s awareness and understanding of sentences given by the courts. In possession of the basic facts, people are less likely to think that sentencing is too lenient.

The research measured public opinion, particularly in relation to sentencing and confidence in the system.

The Government says that the new information is an important tool in combating fear of crime. It says that crime is an issue of concern for a lot of people and yet key issues are often poorly understood.

The research study is online at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/whatsnew1.html

The findings from the research have been used to form a public information booklet, ‘Catching up with crime and sentencing, also available online at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds