Criminal Justice Partners
The Commissioner has a pivotal role in helping local criminal justice partners to work together as well as introducing greater accountability, which will contribute to the delivery of justice. By using their public mandate, the Commissioner will bring greater clarity to the way that these partners prioritise and collaborate across the criminal justice system.
The Commissioner sits alongside partners on the Criminal Justice Board to bring together local criminal justice agencies to promote joined-up criminal justice processes across a range of areas
Criminal justice partners
Criminal justice partners have a long and established relationship with the police, which continues to be case.
There is a reciprocal duty for the Commissioner to work in co-operation with 'responsible authorities' and to have regard to their priorities; and for the Commissioner to work with local criminal justice bodies to provide an 'efficient and effective criminal justice system for the police area'.
Duty to Co-operate
The criminal justice bodies included within the duty to cooperate are the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), prisons, probation and youth offending teams.
The duty places a flexible framework for partnership working between the Commissioner and their community safety and criminal justice partners, that aims to ensure that all partners' decisions taken on local priorities and investment take account of their wider implications.
The Crown Prosecution Service, police and other criminal justice partners will continue to work together to bring improvements across the whole criminal justice system, and while the Commissioner will want to work with partners in the criminal justice system, the principles of operational independence, impartiality, individual priority-setting and accounting responsibilities are respected.
Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel
An out of court disposal (OoCD) is a method used by the police to deal effectively and efficiently with less serious and often first time offending that can be more appropriately and proportionately handled without going to court. An OoCD can be used in limited circumstances and only when the suspect takes responsibility for the offence. The methods used for dealing with suspects in this way include restorative approaches, community resolutions, conditional cautioning, simple cautions, cannabis warnings, Penalty Notices for Disorder and interventions for young people.
Gwent’s Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Panel was established by Gwent Police to enable partners from a range of agencies to independently review a selection of anonymised cases that have been resolved by the police with an OoCD.
The panel aims to determine whether the method of disposal is considered appropriate, based on a review of the information or evidence available to the decision maker at the time. The panel cannot reopen a case and has no referral or appeals capability. The purpose of the panel is not to re-judge these cases but to assess the process and identify any appropriate learning to assist the police with continuous improvement. The panel meets on a quarterly basis and identifies themes to scrutinise.
The intention of the panel is to provide transparency and accountability and to increase the public’s understanding, confidence and trust in how Gwent Police use OoCds, with a particular focus on the delivery of appropriate and proportionate justice.
Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel Terms of Reference
Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Panel Minutes and Actions - January 2021