Covid-19: CPS Engagement with Local Communities and External Stakeholders

Attorney General – in the House of Commons on 18th March 2021.

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Photo of Saqib Bhatti Saqib Bhatti Conservative, Meriden

What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of CPS engagement with (a) local communities and (b) external stakeholders during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Solicitor-General, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

I know that the Crown Prosecution Service liaised with external stakeholders through the pandemic, because I spoke to the Director of Public Prosecutions in my role as a former Justice Minister. I am aware that the CPS continued to engage proactively with local communities throughout the pandemic. This engagement assists the CPS in improving its policies and practices. For example, feedback from the CPS’s external consultation groups has helped to develop a joined-up criminal justice system approach to domestic abuse cases.

Photo of Saqib Bhatti Saqib Bhatti Conservative, Meriden

I welcome the Solicitor General to her new position.

Many of my constituents in Meriden are deeply concerned about recent events and violence against women and girls. Can my hon. and learned Friend please tell me how the CPS is working locally to better understand these issues and to respond to violence against women and girls?

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Solicitor-General, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

My hon. Friend is right to raise this vital and important issue. The CPS works with victims groups through the Violence Against Women and Girls external consultation group and it also regularly engages with people at a local level. Last month, the CPS West Midlands chaired a meeting with independent sexual violence advisers and independent domestic violence advocates to discuss these issues. That forum meets four times a year to discuss casework with victims’ groups and specialist services.