Justice Award Winners 2004
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The Justice Awards recognise those individuals who are working extra hard to put victims and witnesses at the heart of the service, to work in co-operation across agencies and to bring more offences to justice.
Award winners 2004
Carol Chilcott from Bristol received this year’s shield for her outstanding contribution to working with offenders. Carol is a remand foster carer and volunteer ‘appropriate adult’ for her local Youth Offending Team. Since 1999 she has looked after 32 young offenders, some convicted of GBH or arson, in her home, along with her own children. Carol also volunteers 15 hours a week as an appropriate adult, often going to the local police station for young people in trouble. She is also a panel member for young offenders on referral orders.
Individual awards were given in the following categories:
Outstanding achievement in caring for victims
Mary Lindrea in Somerset has been volunteering in the Criminal Justice System for 34 years. She began as a lay magistrate and member of the Avon & Somerset policy authority in the early 70’s. In 1981 she joined Victim Support Somerset in order to help victims of crime. She has been trustee for many years, championing expansion and new services, but helping the organisation stay true to basic principles, such as face-to-face support for victims of crime.
Outstanding achievement in caring for witnesses
Inspector Andrew Plant began as the Nottinghamshire police identification officer in 1998. He soon realised that ID parades needed to make more positive identifications and that the service offered to witnesses should be improved. He began by listening to the concerns of the Witness Service and building up a huge database of volunteers for ID parades. He also introduced transport for witnesses and parades scheduled for evenings and weekend. In 2001 he started piloting video ID parades in Nottingham and he and his team now take the ID parade to the witness. A process that used to take over a month can now be done in a matter of hours and positive identification rates have risen from 2% to over 50%.
Outstanding contribution to tackling youth crime
Kelly Woodcock in Walsall uses peer educators, cognitive behaviour therapy and drama workshops to help vulnerable girls and young women who are at risk of being drawn into prostitution. The project began last year and so far 50 girls and young women at risk that have undertaken the course have not been drawn into prostitution. The course is expanding to reach more children and social workers in Walsall. It is hoped that reducing prostitution will also reduce associated criminality in the area.
Outstanding contribution to working with offenders
Carol Chilcott in Bristol won this category for her work as a foster carer for young offenders on remand. See the Justice Sheild Winner above.
Outstanding contribution to engaging local communities
Vinny Bolina works for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Birmingham, an area with a wide range of ethnic groups. He promotes the work of the CPS to Black Minority Ethnic groups and is educating the West Midlands CPS about cultural diversity in the area. He ensures that there is a CPS presence at different cultural events, for example, speaking to the Sikh community group or having a stand at the Caribbean Festival. This enables him to take community concerns back to the CPS. His work has also earned him relationships with national ethnic newspapers, TV and radio channels.
Team awards were also given in the following categories:
Outstanding achievement in engaging communities
Pennine Division Community Safety Team in Lancashire. The team’s work includes dealing sensitively but effectively with local minority ethnic groups around the issue of forced marriage, the development of FLAG (Forum for Lesbian and Gay population) and their work with elderly and vulnerable members of the community. The team’s successful local partnership work was also highlighted, including a partnership with MENCAP, the Group Intervention Panel (‘GRIP’) to deal with young people aged 10-14 on the verge of criminality, and ‘Building Bridges’, a multi-faith charitable organisation at Nelson and Brierfield.
Outstanding achievement in caring for victims and/or witnesses
The Witness Service at Winchester Crown Court won for the way they try to engage the whole community in their efforts to help witnesses. Volunteers receive extra training to help them give support during the 2,000 – 3,000 serious cases heard every year at Winchester Crown Court. Six of the volunteers are also specially trained to support child witnesses. Furthermore, they organise fundraising events such as ‘Trial by Jury’ staged in the court and help with popular open days.
CJS Innovation Award
The staff at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London are piloting XHIBIT, an IT system that is improving case management for victims, witnesses and the agencies involved. The IT is fairly standard, but its application in a legal setting is innovative. The system keeps victims, witnesses, the police national computer, probation, prisons, Crown Prosecutors and the defence up to date with trials. It is hoped it will save time and money as well as improve the experience for victims and witnesses.
Outstanding commitment to diversity
Voice UK is a national charity based in Derbyshire. It provides support to witnesses with learning disabilities and their families, while providing genuine employment opportunities to people with physical and learning disabilities. Voice UK helps about 15 crime victims, along with their relatives, carers and professional supporters, every month. Cases where the main witness has a learning disability are notoriously difficult to convict, so Voice UK helps victims, witnesses and the court process.
Partnership of the year
For Operation Hatch in Hull, local criminal justice agencies and others teamed up to clear the city of drug dealers. Meticulously planned months in advance the operation was a 2 week swoop on drug dealers by the police with the CPS, courts, probation and prisons ready to receive them. The police financial investigations unit was also able to seize criminal assets.
Last update: Friday, September 05, 2008