Inspection Reform: Establishing an Inspectorate for Justice and Community Safety


Inspection Reform: Establishing an Inspectorate for Justice and Community Safety

The Government is planning significant reform to the inspection of criminal justice and community safety agencies. It is minded to create a new single agency responsible for their inspection – the inspectorate for justice and community safety. It is seeking your views by 15 June on the proposals.

Title: Inspection Reform: Establishing an Inspectorate for Justice and Community Safety
Author: Home Office, Dept for Constitutional Affairs, and Attorney General’s Office
Number of pages: 68
Date published: March 2005
Availability: Download consultation document PDF 707Kb

The report poses 3 main questions, based on 3 aspects of inspection.


Inspection for justice and community safety should act as a catalyst to help those agencies inspected improve performance both individually and working together to improve the criminal justice system (CJS) as a whole. Inspection should work across institutional boundaries to evaluate impact on service users. It should deliver independent judgements, reporting in public to provide assurance to Ministers and the public about the safe and proper delivery of services, including the treatment and conditions of those in custody. Inspection should inform policy and standard setting and be concentrated where it will add most value and deliver value for money.

Question 1: Do you agree with the proposed definition outlined above?

A single inspectorate

The creation of a new inspectorate is an opportunity to do more than simply aggregate the subject areas and activities of existing inspectorates. The report lists a number of objectives that it believes the creation of a single inspectorate can deliver.


  • Deliver the Government’s principles of inspection. Inspection that provides both public assurance and service improvement that is proportionate to risk and offers value for money.

  • Embed a user perspective in inspection.

  • Support wider structural reforms of the police service, the charging process and the National Offender Management Service.

  • Support CJS reforms. Inspection to support cross-CJS public sector agreements and Local Criminal Justice Boards.

  • Safeguard inspection of the treatment and conditions of those in custody.

  • Build strategic direction and leadership and coherent prioritisation of inspection.

  • Support the frontline by reducing burden and aligning inspection methodologies.

  • Raise the profile of criminal justice inspection.

  • Deliver inspection rationalisation.

Question 2: Do you support the creation of a single inspectorate?


This consultation document invites views on what services should be inspected in the future. It outlines support for a new inspectorate to inspect the police, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Courts, the National Offender Management Service, Youth Offending Teams, HM Revenue and Customs, Customs and Excise Prosecution Office, the treatment and conditions of those in custody and increased cross-CJS inspection to support Local Criminal Justice Boards.

Practitioners may be interested to note that with respect to CDRPs the report states that:

” CDRPs do not currently have a statutory inspectorate and are not inspected as a separate body, although the agencies which make up CDRPs are of course inspected on a single agency basis, and often in relation to their effectiveness in partnership working. The question of whether CDRP agencies, operating as a partnership, should collectively and regularly be inspected (as CDRPs) in order to drive through improvements in their performance has been considered. Such additional inspection would increase burdens on frontline staff, and will duplicate inspection activity undertaken in the individual CDRP agencies where this already evaluates their contributions to CDRPs. Therefore it is likely to remain the case that CDRPs will not be subject to separate inspection. ” [para 26.9]

Question 3: What services should be included (and/or excluded) within the core remit of a single inspectorate?

Joining in

You can download a copy of Inspection Reform: Establishing an Inspectorate for Justice and Community Safety PDF 707Kb from the Home Office website. The full document gives in depth analysis of the proposals and raises further questions that you might like to consider.

If you have views on the proposals outlined in the document then you can contribute to the consultation by 15 June 2005. The address for contributions is:

CJS Inspection Policy Unit
Ground Floor, Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
London, SW1P 4DF
[email protected]


Last update: Monday, September 25, 2006

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