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NEWS : Making the difference to criminal justice in Dorset

Outstanding Achievement Award for 2021/22

Four projects in Dorset have been highlighted as outstanding in getting better criminal justice outcomes for the public in the county.

The panel of the Dorset Criminal Justice Board was overwhelmed by the level of outstanding achievement displayed by each nominee and in particular, this year’s winner.

The person who received the Outstanding Achievement Award for 2021/22 was a prison officer from HMP Verne who works on the category C, sex offenders wing and was nominated for showing exemplary levels professionalism and dedication whilst facilitating schemes and training for prisoners and working with her peers and colleagues to deliver essential social care within the prison system.

The officer was also nominated for her charity work - introducing fund raising events at the prison and working alongside inmates and colleagues alike to raise hundreds of pounds for good causes.

The Board also received nominations for Megan McGhee representing the legal defence community in Dorset. Megan’s extra work over the pandemic period was highlighted as all of the liaison, representation and implementation work she did on behalf of solicitors across the county, was completed in addition to her full-time job as a solicitor.

There was also a nomination for Cheryl Flude, a Senior Legal Manager, her nomination centred on her work over the pandemic, where she went the extra mile - literally to ensure that courts across the South-West region stayed open.

Due to a shortage of legal advisers across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset during the Summer of 2021, Cheryl regularly travelled to take courts in Devon – crossing county borders to manage courts, travelling back and forth, staying away from home, often at a personal cost.

The final nomination was for the work of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences team at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Dorset Police.

The prosecutors at CPS and the police officers involved in bringing these cases to court are driven by their dedication to do their best for victims. The enhanced working structure, now in place, has led to strong cases being built, witness care being delivered, and offenders being brought to justice. 

Recognising the achievements of all of the nominees as outstanding in their achievements for the communities of Dorset, Dorset Local Criminal Justice Board chair Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: ”The dedication and hard work that has gone into improving criminal justice outcomes for the people and communities of Dorset is to be rightly applauded and on behalf of all the people you have helped, I would like thank the individuals and the projects that have been recognised for their outstanding achievement.”

Dorset Police Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “All of these projects are excellent examples of how partners are coming together to improve public confidence in the criminal justice system and using innovative approaches and solutions at a time when the pandemic has challenged many of our frontline service deliveries.

“I’m sure there is many other pieces of work taking place across the Wessex region which have been developed to ensure we have all been able to continue to strive to give exceptional services to victims, witnesses and all those touched by the criminal justice systems.

“These projects in particular show we have many talented individuals with committed teams who ensure the communities of Dorset are at the core of all of our combined endeavours.”

Suzanne Llewellyn, Crown Prosecution Service Wessex Chief Crown Prosecutor said: “All of the people who have been recognised by the Dorset Criminal Justice Board have demonstrated exceptional dedication to securing the best outcomes for individuals and communities across Dorset.

“Many of them will have worked hard to contribute to the Criminal Justice System for a long time, but the recent pandemic has really highlighted how important and valuable their contribution has been, at a time when they have had to completely change ways of working, be agile and flexible, and find alternative ways to provide vital services.

“It is only right that the public should know how hard our Criminal Justice Board partners are working together to improve outcomes and public confidence in our work, and indeed the people and projects recognised today are shining examples of excellent work.”


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