Guernsey Press

New justice framework's aim is to keep crime low

GUERNSEY’S broad approach for how it will minimise the harm done to the island’s community through crime is set to be approved by deputies next month.

(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30717137)

The newly-published justice framework covers justice in its broadest sense – including social, family and criminal justice – and, says the States, will support the island maintaining a safe and fair, just and inclusive society.

‘Justice is a matter of great importance for every civilised community and we live in a community which rightly has high expectations to maintain a low-crime rate,’ said Home Affairs Committee president Deputy Rob Prow.

‘Justice is not only about law enforcement and addressing criminal activity but is closely linked to social and health factors, such as poverty, education and substance use, which requires us to work together to see the desired improvements.’

The cross-committee framework covers all work done across the island to minimise the impact of crime, protect the vulnerable, rehabilitation of offenders, reviewing of sentencing law, the operation of the criminal justice system, and prioritising tackling financial crime, border security and cyber security.

The development of the framework builds on an extensive review of the justice system undertaken in 2020, which included public feedback. Work on other areas of justice, including the treatment of drug offences through the courts, continues.

A seven-year timeframe has been put forward for the delivery of justice outcomes. The process of addressing the strands of the framework will be looked at every year as part of the Government Work Plan process and a review of progress will be taken to the States once in every electoral cycle.

‘As I have said previously, the Committee for Home Affairs recognises the challenges that government is facing,’ said Deputy Prow.

‘Funding or resources will not automatically be available and a collaborative approach will be needed to ensure that actions are prioritised and phased, according to our capacity to deliver and the needs, interests and values of the community as understood at this time.’

Two areas the States will have to address is keeping crime at low levels and securing public confidence in the justice system.

‘The community has a relatively high fear of crime and perceive that it is a medium-sized problem, which does not correlate to the levels of crime,’ the committee said in its report.

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