News: Criminal justice insights presented by Churchill Fellows
Published: 17 Dec 2020
International insights on criminal justice were presented by Churchill Fellows at the Conference to Enhance the UK Criminal Justice System on 16 December.
The proportion of crimes solved by police in England and Wales has fallen to the lowest level recorded, according to data from the Home Office. Between March 2018 and March 2019, only 8% of offences resulted in someone being charged or summoned, down from 9% in the previous period.
The Conference to Enhance the UK Criminal Justice System was organised by eight Churchill Fellows and shared international learning from their collective Fellowships. Through a series of presentations and workshops, Fellows discussed the latest innovations and international best practices to improve efficiency and effectiveness in criminal investigations.
The event focused on knife and firearm investigations, sexual offences and the forensic value of trace and materials evidence. It was designed primarily for practitioners working in the UK criminal justice system such as police officers, forensic scientists and legal professionals, as well as academics and researchers.
Organiser Rachel Bolton-King said, “There are increasing demands on frontline officers and criminal justice systems across the globe, who are experiencing similar challenges to reducing and preventing crime. Therefore it is vital that we share our knowledge and find better ways to work together across all sectors of the criminal justice system, to develop streamlined and integrated solutions.”
The Fellows who organised the event are:
- Rachel Bolton-King (CF 2019): Firearm and knife crime and firearm investigations
- Zoe Cadwell (CF 2019): Firearm and knife crime and forensics of buried materials
- Leisa Nichols-Drew (CF 2018): Firearm and knife crime and knife investigations
- Claire Gwinnett (CF 2018): Sexual offences, trace and materials and trace evidence
- Dr Laura Walton-Williams (CF 2017): Sexual offences, trace and materials and sexual offences
- Dr Kelly Sheridan (CF 2020): Trace evidence
- Emma Tilley (CF 2020): Sexual offences
- Dr Debra Carr (CF 2012): Firearm investigations
WCMT’s Chief Executive Julia Weston took part in the event and interviewed Fellow Debra Carr about her Fellowship, which explored forensic textile science in Australia and New Zealand. Julia also spoke to recently awarded Fellows Kelly Sheridan and Emma Tilley about what they hope to achieve from their 2020 Fellowships.
Julia said, “This important conference, designed and convened by eight Churchill Fellows who represent a range of expertise within the criminal justice sector, illustrates the collective potential of the Churchill Fellowship. It demonstrates that when Fellows come together, they can seed ideas and start conversations that will lead to real and lasting change where it is most needed.”
If you are a Fellow and are interested in organising a similar event, you can apply for funding and assistance from WCMT.