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Narrowing The Justice Gap

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets have been set under the Narrowing the Justice Gap programme. [109591]

The Public Service Agreement target to bring 1.2 million recorded offences to justice by 2005–06, with an improvement in all Criminal Justice System areas, a greater increase in the worst performing areas, and a reduction in the proportion of ineffective trials, is referred to as the 'Narrowing the Justice Gap' target. This target applies to the criminal justice system in England and Wales as a whole. The various criminal justice services have not been set their own 'Narrowing the Justice Gap' targets: rather, the services in each area need to work together to deliver the target. For 2003–04, each Local Criminal Justice Board has been set a 'Narrowing the Justice Gap' target to increase the number of offences brought to justice in its area by 5 per cent., compared with the area's performance in 2001–02. From 2004–05, the worse performing areas will be expected to achieve a greater performance increase than the national average performance improvement required in order to achieve the 2005–06 target. Local Criminal Justice Boards have been asked to set a 2003–04 target for their own area for reduction of ineffective trials.