This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Cambridgeshire Local Criminal Justice Board - Meetings, Papers and Contact Details'.





 
 
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INTRODUCTION 
 
The aim of this document is to support the Criminal Justice System (CJS) 
agencies and stakeholders delivering the Streamlined Forensic Reporting 
(SFR) work stream. The National SFR Board, chaired by Chief Constable Neil 
Rhodes, is working to deliver the implementation of SFR in the majority of 
areas in England and Wales by March 2013. 
 
SFR is a revised case management procedure for producing forensic 
evidence at court and seeks to reduce unnecessary costs, bureaucracy and 
delays in the criminal justice system.  The scheme operates by taking a more 
proportionate approach to forensic evidence through the early preparation of a 
short report that details the key forensic evidence the prosecution intends to 
rely upon. The aim is to achieve early agreement with the defence on forensic 
issues but where this cannot be achieved in the first instance, to identify the 
contested areas. In supporting the case for SFR the Senior Presiding Judge, 
the Right Honourable Lord Justice Goldring made the following comments: 
 
“When prosecution wish to rely on forensic evidence, it is lengthy, may not be 
in dispute, takes a long time to prepare and is expensive. SFR is a more 
proportionate approach. First a short report is prepared by forensic science 
detailing the findings. Defence then have a decision to make: 
Do they accept the findings? If so, it is admissible evidence 
Do they dispute the findings? If so, the issues are addressed.” 
(Right Honourable Lord Justice Goldring, 21March 2012) 
 
SFR has been designed to enable investigators, scientists and prosecutors to 
comply with the Criminal Procedure Rules (CPR) in the interests of justice and 
complements other criminal justice initiatives including the Early Guilty Plea 
Scheme (EGP) and the ‘Stop Delaying Justice’ initiative. Across all these 
initiatives there is a desire to tackle delay and inefficiency through robust case 
management and to ensure justice is dispensed more swiftly. This strategic 
intention was reiterated in July 2012 with the publication of the Government’s 
‘Swift and Sure’ White Paper that set out the programme of reforms to the 
 
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criminal justice system in England and Wales and integrated SFR into this 
process. 
 
COMMUNICATION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES 
The objective of the strategy is to ensure effective communication to 
agencies, stakeholders and staff in order that all parties understand SFR, its 
benefits, and are able to positively promote these. 
 
KEY MESSAGES 
Communication activity during the project aims to ensure that there is an 
agreed, timely and consistent approach to providing updates and relevant 
materials to all partners and stakeholders with a vested interest in SFR.  The 
views of those involved in the development and delivery of SFR will be 
considered in a post implementation review. 
 
The key messages are as follows: 
 
•  The history of SFR and what it is 
•  The objectives of SFR: 
1.  To reduce costs and delay associated with forensic evidence where 
such evidence adds no value to the administration of justice 
2.  The provision of a stronger basis for Stage 2 forensic reporting through 
compliance with the Criminal Procedure Rules which sets out the court 
case management requirements for the early identification of the real 
issues 
•  The benefits of SFR to each agency and the criminal justice system as a 
whole 
•  What the SFR process looks like and how it can be implemented 
•  The timescales for implementation and governance 
 
 
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When the key messages are being delivered they should be positive, 
reassuring and inclusive. In addition, they should be focused on the benefits. 
 
SFR Benefits 
Effective use of SFR can lead to: 
•  A lower level of discontinued cases through improved case management 
and earlier agreement on forensic issues between the prosecution and 
defence 
•  An improvement in the early guilty plea rate resulting in fewer cases 
coming to trial unnecessarily thereby easing pressures on court time and 
costs   
•  A reduction in the number of cases requiring additional forensic evidence, 
saving time and costs associated with gathering such evidence 
 
 
Benefits to the court include: 
0B
 
•  Forensic evidence provided in a simpler SFR format prompting more 
effective court case management and the early identification of real case 
issues 
•  Increased early guilty pleas and reduced discontinuance of cases 
•  Courts are not left waiting for forensic evidence when that evidence is 
neither a contested issue nor adds any value to the administration of 
justice 
•  Swifter resolution of cases involving forensic evidence 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Benefits to the police include: 
1B
 
•  Fewer officers and staff required to attend court as witnesses due to 
increased early guilty pleas  
•  Reduced forensic costs. Cases built according to requirements with stricter 
adherence to the criminal procedure rules 
•  Fewer delays waiting for full forensic evidence when an early guilty plea is 
anticipated 
•  Improved timeliness and efficiency 
 
 
Benefits to prosecution include: 
2B
 
•  The SFR Stage 1 report provides key forensic evidence in a way that 
makes it easily understood 
•  SFR makes it easier to establish the early identification of issues reducing 
the opportunity for defence ambush tactics 
•  SFR is suitable for digital transmission 
 
 
Benefits to the defence include: 
3B
 
•  Early provision of SFR evidence allows the defence to advise their client 
accordingly and ensure the appropriate plea is entered at the first hearing 
•  Supports the concept of maximising sentence discount 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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OUTCOMES 
The effectiveness of the communication strategy will be measured by 
progress towards the activities included within the project plan. With 
successful delivery of the key messages the outcomes are: 
 
•  CJS staff and stakeholders have knowledge and understanding of SFR 
and its benefits to the CJS, victims, witnesses and defendants and are 
prepared to speak positively about the process as a whole 
•  CJS agencies and stakeholders are kept up to date with progress towards 
implementation of SFR nationally 
•  CJS staff and stakeholders are aware of the processes and procedures to 
follow with implementation of SFR 
 
THE AUDIENCE 
There are a large number of interested groups and individuals that need to be 
reached.  A structured communication approach will ensure that all relevant 
groups and individuals are reached in an appropriate way, using an 
appropriate medium, with an appropriate message at an appropriate time
 
National SFR Board Members are required to identify key individuals within 
their respective organisations who need to receive SFR communications.  The 
priority groups have been detailed below and will be reviewed regularly. 
 
Police Service: 
•  Police Forces in England & Wales 
•  ACPO Criminal Justice Portfolio 
•  ACPO Forensic Portfolio 
o  Performance & Standards Group 
o Market 
Development 
o  Business Change Group (BCG) 
 
 
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Home Office: 
• Commercial 
Liaison 
•  Forensic Strategy Board 
•  CAST (Centre for Applied Science & Technology) 
 
 
Other Stakeholders: 
•  CPS (including CPS Direct) 
•  CJS Efficiency Board 
• Ministry 
of 
Justice 
•  Forensic Science Regulator 
•  Forensic Service Providers 
•  Legal Services Commission 
•  HM Courts & Tribunals Service 
• Judicial 
Office 
• Law 
Society 
•  Criminal Bar Association 
• Defence 
Community 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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COMMUNICATION TOOLS 
 
•  E-mail  – this should be used as a quick and effective means of 
communicating with SPOCS 
•  Personal letter – this method should be used where key individuals and 
organisation leads need to be contacted and can influence SFR take up 
•  Intranet – a specific section on an intranet can be used to provide further 
information such as a copy of the SFR toolkit or update sheets 
•  Police Online Knowledge Area (POLKA) – this is a national police 
system used for sharing knowledge and information within the police 
community. The SFR toolkit has been uploaded onto the site and is 
available at: 
https://polka.pnn.police.uk/en/Communities/Documents/?clubId=7&folder=
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Streamlined%2bForensic%2bReporting U
•  Briefings & Workshops – this method relies on a distinct, clear and 
consistent message at each event. Other communication i.e. email should 
follow for reinforcement and feedback purposes 
•  Highlight Reports – these should be produced for providing up to date 
statements on progress in line with the relevant governance structure e.g. 
National SFR Board and CJS Efficiency Board 
•  Guidance Documents & Training Materials – these materials should be 
used for communicating with staff working within the SFR process and 
includes process maps to ensure the correct procedures are followed. The 
National SFR Project Team are working on a range of materials to assist 
areas including an NCALT e-learning package 
•  Leaflets & Posters – these can be used to increase knowledge across the 
defence community and should be accessible in court waiting areas 
•  Specific Publications – such as CPS News and Police Professional,  for 
case studies and articles from early adopter areas 
 
 
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COMMUNICATIONS CLEARANCE & SINGLE POINTS OF CONTACT 
 
All communications material should be cleared through the appropriate 
individuals below via e-mail in the first instance. If required, communications 
activities can be escalated to the National SFR Board for further discussion. 
 
 
 
Management of communications to be administered by: 
 
 
Lincolnshire Police:  
Simon Bromiley - xxxxx.xxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx 
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Lincolnshire Police:  
Sarah Virr - xxxxx.xxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx 
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National SFR Board:   Jo Ashworth - xxxxxx.xxxxxxxx.xxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx 
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Home Office:  
Keith Edwards - xxxxx.xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx 
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CPS:  
Karen Squibb-Williams - xxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
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KEY COMMUNICATION: NATIONAL SFR BOARD MEMBERS 
  
Chief Constable Neil Rhodes 
xxxx.xxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx 
ACPO Lead 
Jo Ashworth 
xxxxxx.xxxxxxxx.xxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx 
Senior Responsible Officer, East 
Midlands Regional Director of Forensics 
Karen Squibb-Williams  
xxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
Strategic Policy Advisor 
Crown Prosecution Service 
Mike Logan 
xxxxxxx.xxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
Jurisdictional Operational Support 
Manager, Her Majesty’s Courts and 
Tribunal Service 
Jeff Adams 
xxxx.xxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
Forensic Science Regulation Unit, 
Home Office 
John Armstrong  
xxxx.xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
Forensic Supplier Contract,  
Home Office 
Sandra Glenister  
xxxxxx.xxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx 
CJS Efficiency Programme 
Sara Carnegie 
xxxx.xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
Legal Secretary to Senior Presiding 
Judge, Judicial Office 
Simon Stanley and  
xxxxx.xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
Stephen O’Connor 
xxxxxxx.xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
Legal Services Commission 
 
 
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Please note that processes have been developed to facilitate representation 
and feedback from the following bodies to the National SFR Board: 
 
•  The Law Society 
•  The Criminal Bar Association 
•  The Bar Council 
•  The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) 
 
 
 
 
Further Information & Guidance 
 
It is recognised that areas may want to tailor local communications to meet 
the needs of their local audiences and a checklist is provided at appendix A to 
assist this. For further information and guidance do not hesitate to contact the 
project support team. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Appendix A 
 
Local Area Communications Plan Checklist 
It is acknowledged that areas will want to engage with local stakeholders in 
different ways. The following are suggested activities that can be considered 
by forces and CPS. The list is not exhaustive but provides a steer for potential 
engagement. 
 
Internal Engagement 
•  Key stakeholders briefed? (Police Officers, Case Builders, File 
Checkers, Forensic Staff, CPS Lawyers?) 
•  Intranet site link to SFR guidance including 60 second briefing & other 
internal media e.g. Yammer? 
•  Routine Orders entry (forces)? E-bulletin (CPS)? 
•  SFR posters distributed? 
•  Media officers briefed on SFR? Are they in a position to field journalist 
interest in SFR or know where to signpost queries? 
•  Consultation with IT department regarding digital issues? 
 
 
External Engagement 
•  Meetings held with CPS & Courts? Is there local agreement? 
•  Briefings held with Resident Judge & Justices’ Clerks? 
•  Defence community engagement? 
•  Posters & leaflets distributed in court waiting areas? 
•  Local criminal justice forums updated? 
•  Mechanisms in place to capture feedback from affected staff? 
•  Chief Officer blogs? (May be useful in explaining SFR to public & 
showing wider support for criminal justice efficiency) 
•  Websites updated with information about SFR for public consumption? 
 
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