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Local criminal justice partnership welcomes defence representatives for the first time
The criminal defence community will now have their views represented on a partnership board tasked with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system across Cleveland and Durham.
Following feedback from members of the defence community, Cleveland and Durham Local Criminal Justice Partnership (LCJP) sought individuals to represent the group on their board.
The most recent meeting of the Partnership took place virtually on 16 June and through Tees Valley Law Society, welcomed experienced family, employment, criminal and general litigation practitioner Lawrence Petterson.
Cleveland and Durham LCJP was established in 2016 with the aim of bringing together police, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), probation, prisons and the Crown Prosecution Service to streamline criminal justice processes, improve rehabilitation of offenders and prioritise the needs of victims and witnesses.
Co-chair and Cleveland PCC Barry Coppinger said: “It’s really important that we listen to all groups working within the criminal justice system and the Partnership thanks members of the defence community for expressing their interest in taking part.
“During the Covid-19 crisis, the defence community has been under particular pressure to continue service delivery at what has been a difficult time for the entire criminal justice system. We look forward to seeing how they can enrich our discussions and strategy development.”
Co-chair and Acting Durham PCC Steve White said: “Lawrence and the defence representatives are a welcome addition to the partnership. It is essential that we have representation from a range of partners across the sector as they all bring a valued contribution.
“They highlight key issues and perspectives from their respected disciplines, all of which are essential when the partnership is looking at how to improve the rehabilitation of offenders and prioritise the needs of victims and witnesses.”
Defence representative Larwrence Petterson said: “We welcome the decision to invite Defence Practitioners to join the Local Criminal Justice Partnership and look forward to seeing how progress can be made.
“During the challenging time presented by COVID-19 all agencies within the Criminal Justice System have worked tirelessly so that as many cases as possible can progress.
“As things slowly return to normal it is key that the momentum gained is not list. It is hoped that the spirit of cooperation can continue in what are still going to be extremely challenging times”.
Posted on Friday 10th July 2020