There are two current consultations and a competition around criminal justice at present, as well as some safeguarding and related news.
Children and young people in custody – inquiry – closing 1 October
The Justice Committee is holding a major inquiry into children and young people in custody. This will look at how the young offender population has changed and what the challenges are in managing this group, whether the secure estate is a fit and proper place to hold children and young people, as well as arrangements for resettlement and rehabilitation. The Committee is particularly interested in the experience of Black and Minority Ethic children and young people across the system.
The Committee would welcome written submissions of up to 3,000 words on all or some of the questions set out in the terms of reference on their website.
Proposals for revising the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime
The National Criminal Justice Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Justice, is consulting the public on their proposals for revising the Victims’ Code. Becoming a victim of crime is often a traumatic experience, which can have a profound and deeply personal impact on the victim. How people are treated immediately after a crime, and subsequently within the justice system, can significantly impact their ability to recover and move forward. The team welcomes views to assist them to continue to improve the service offered to victims of crime.
Have your say before 11th September on the Consult.justice website.
Criminal Justice Alliance Outstanding Organisation and individual awards, 2019
The CJA Awards celebrate outstanding organisations and individuals who have made a marked contribution towards a ‘Fair and Effective Criminal Justice System’ which is Safe, Smart, Person-Centred, Restorative and Trusted.
The 2019 Awards – generously supported by the Hadley Trust – will give prizes of £4,000 and £2,000 to two organisations and £1,000 to an individual to support their work.
The awards nominations close on Friday 27 September, and will be presented in London on Friday 29 November.
For full details of how to enter or nominate, see the CJA website.
The following with thanks to SafeCIC, for their safeguarding roundup.
Better tools to investigate indecent images
The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced forces across the UK will have access to new tools, which will speed up investigations of online child abuse and limit the number of indecent images of children (IIOC) police officers have to view.
CAID is a single database of IIOC which enables UK law enforcement to work collaboratively to safeguard children and bring people to justice.
The new tools to be phased in following successful trials are:
- a fast-forensic tool to rapidly analyse seized devices and find images already known to law enforcement
- an image categorisation algorithm to assist officers to identify and categorise the severity of illegal imagery
- a capability to detect images with matching scenes to help identify children in indecent images in order to safeguard victims
Chemical intervention and restraint
Reducing the Need for Restraint and Restrictive Intervention: Children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and mental health difficulties in health and social care services and special education settings June 2019. This new advice relates to Children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and mental health difficulties in health and social care services and special education settings. You can download it from the Government’s site.
Also, following a legal challenge funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities will be better protected from the misuse of chemical restraint in prison. Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has made changes to the way it intends to roll out PAVA spray. Prisons will now be required to record the protected characteristics of people it is used on and must demonstrate that they understand the trends in the use of force at their establishment before they will be signed off for PAVA. Find out more on the EHRC website.
So-Called Honour-Based Abuse and Forced Marriage Legal Guidance updated July 2019
Breast-ironing should be prosecuted as a form of child abuse, the CPS says in new guidance published recently for England and Wales.
The harmful procedure, which involves flattening a girl’s chest with a hot stone or other objects to delay breast growth, is often performed by family members to prevent unwanted sexual attention.
Charities have estimated 1,000 girls in the UK have been affected by the practice, which doctors say can cause breast cancer, scarring, infections, breastfeeding problems, and psychological trauma.
Now CPS legal guidance makes clear to police and prosecutors that breast-ironing is a crime that can be caught under existing law, even if it is said that the victim has consented.