Scottish criminal justice community takes a step further in information sharing.

Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) is a Scottish Government non-departmental public body with responsibility for protecting children at risk. Referrals are made to SCRA about children who may be in need of legal intervention to help them address their needs and/or behavior. The referral may be made on offense grounds and/or care and protection grounds.

What the SCRA needed

SCRA’s business need was to deal more quickly and effectively with the 30,000 offense referrals they receive each year from any of Scotland’s eight police forces. SCRA asked us to implement a new Standard Prosecution Report (SPR) protocol. This would allow the SCRA case management system to receive all of the relevant data for a juvenile (under sixteen, below the age of criminal responsibility) who had been accused of committing an offense, automatically, accurately and securely.

The Challenge

  • Each of the eight forces handled young offenders in different ways
  • Three forces sub-contracted their applications management to a third party
  • Each of the forces had changes they were in the process of implementing that affected this project and had to be taken into consideration
  • COPFS had particular requirements to ensure any new processes would not lead to challenges being made in court
  • The system had to be implemented within six months
  • The data being handled was highly sensitive and had to be secure at all times The requirement was to put the new solution “live” simultaneously across all eight forces

Our answer

We wrote the initial feasibility study for SCRA and ISJIS to define the scope of what needed to be done to achieve SCRA’s goal of importing data on juveniles who had been accused of a crime into their case management system. We got together all the stakeholders to agree on new common processes that would allow data relating to these juveniles to be transmitted electronically. This involved a series of workshops to understand the lower level process in detail and how they would align with any system changes. Business users, analysts and technical staff from all eight forces were involved.

A success story

The changes made opened up electronic communication channels with an additional member of the Scottish Criminal Justice community, the SCRA. They save police forces considerable time by removing the administrative burden of delivering paperwork to local SCRA offices. This allows warranted officers to do what they do best—focus on front line policing. SCRA staff can deal with cases more quickly and effectively as they are imported directly to their case management system. The approach is faster and more secure, and thus better for the young people involved. Finally: the project itself was delivered on time and under budget; a truly successful partnership.

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