21 Apr 2020

Data governance and connectivity identified as key areas that can enhance the justice system by new techUK report

  • Report finds digital transformation will enhance the UK’s justice system and put the service users at the core
  • Secure access to data and technology can deliver the right services for users by improving efficiencies and supporting rehabilitation
  • Investment in data governance set to address the backlog in the justice system

techUK, the leading technology trade association, today published a new paper exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the criminal justice system and what comes next for digitising courts, prisons and probation services as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

‘Digitising Justice: Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’ highlights the importance of closer collaboration between stakeholders and industry in order to improve the justice system. While digital adoption across the criminal justice system accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term change is needed to enhance the system for all its users, with data sitting at the core of this change. Investment and adoption of new technologies will improve efficiencies and will result in better joined up services across the criminal justice system.

In order to achieve this, there is a need to:

  • Provide access to the right data at the right time to make informed decisions and improve efficiencies
  • Support better sharing of data throughout the user journey through the justice system
  • Improve data quality and data standards as a foundation to deliver justice more efficiently

The paper also touches on existing challenges to overcome such as connectivity issues in prison estates and interoperability, as well as looking ahead at the opportunities for digital adoption to improve efficiencies and better support staff and those moving through the criminal justice system.

Moreover, the paper introduces the work of techUK’s ‘Digital Justice’ working group, which was launched in January 2021. The working group is a platform to encourage collaboration between the tech industry and stakeholders across the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals (HMCTS), Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services (HMPPS) and academia.

The working group explores the importance of driving digital transformation across the criminal justice system in areas such as:

  • Digital prisons, health and security
  • Education, skills, prevention and rehabilitation
  • Digital courts, common platform and forensics

The working group sits under techUK’s Justice and Emergency Services Programme which represents suppliers selling into law enforcement and public safety services including the justice system and blue light services.

Georgie Henley, Programme Manager, Justice and Emergency Services, techUK said : “It has been a difficult year for our criminal justice system, but with these challenges have come opportunities to learn, adapt and change. This paper highlights the vital role technology plays in modernising our criminal justice system, helping to build back better, and also how important it is for stakeholders to engage with the tech industry.”

Natalie Farr, Public Safety Manager, UK Public Sector, Google said:

“The Justice sector is facing unprecedented challenges, which have only been accelerated as a result of Covid 19. The impact has been felt throughout the entire criminal justice system. The journey through the system for the accused, for the victims, witnesses and solicitors alike is ever more challenging”.

“techUK’s Digital Justice working group aims to provide techUK and Industry with expert advice on the role that technology plays in our justice system of tomorrow. It looks to provide guidance on how to address current challenges and build agile platforms of the future. The group ensures techUK are engaging in areas that will drive meaningful change, responding to customer strategies, engaging with key stakeholders across the entire justice ecosystems, understanding priorities and ensuring an inclusive suppliers’ market”.

Following this paper, techUK’s Digital Justice Working Group will be publishing a report in November 2021.


Notes to Editors

Media Contacts: Margherita Certo | T 07462107214 | E [email protected]

The full report can be downloaded here.

About techUK

techUK is the trade association which brings together people, companies and organisations to realise the positive outcomes of what digital technology can achieve.

With over 800 members (the majority of which are SMEs) across the UK, techUK creates a network for innovation and collaboration across business, government and stakeholders to provide a better future for people, society, the economy and the planet.

By providing expertise and insight, we support our members, partners and stakeholders as they prepare the UK for what comes next in a constantly changing world.

Georgina Henley

Georgina Henley

Programme Manager, Justice and Emergency Services, techUK

Georgie joined techUK as the Justice and Emergency Services Programme Manager in March 2020.

Georgie is dedicated to representing suppliers by creating a voice for those who are selling into blue lights and the justice system, but also by helping them in navigating this market. Georgie is committed to creating a platform for collaboration, from engaging with industry and stakeholders to understand the latest innovations, to the role tech can play in responding to a range of issues our justice and emergency services are facing 

Prior to joining techUK, Georgie managed a Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) in Westminster. She worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and London borough councils to prevent and reduce the impact of crime on the business community. Her work ranged from the impact of low-level street crime and anti-social behaviour on the borough, to critical incidents and violent crime.

[email protected]

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