Chapter 1 – Leadership
9. Leadership is a way of being accountable, motivating and encouraging others to contribute to the success of the organisation and being committed in what is to be achieved.
10. Community Engagement is a topic of considerable interest to the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, who has encouraged Procurators Fiscal to engage with the communities they serve. In particular she and the Solicitor General attend many community events and she introduced in 2010 a special award for Community Engagement to the annual Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Excellence Awards.
11. In the foreword to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Strategic Plan 2009/12 the then Crown Agent stated the following:
- 'C rown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is committed to playing its part in making Scotland a safe place to live … listening to the concerns of local communities……'
He also stated that:
- ' All elements of our Strategic Plan reflect our strategic aim to serve the public interest at all times, and to prosecute cases independently, fairly and effectively.'
12. With regard specifically to engaging with the community one of the stated aims of the Strategic Plan is to:
- ' engage with local communities and respond to their needs and priorities'
13. Further to this one of the five values that Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service observe in carrying out its work states that the needs of the public will be ' recognised'.
14. The above statements make clear the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service intention to listen to local communities and to serve in the public interest both of which are at the heart of the organisation in making Scotland a safer place.
15. The corporate lead (Portfolio Owner) for community engagement lies with one of the Area Procurator Fiscals 2. This responsibility was established in 2009 and the role is to take the lead and act as champion in this respect. It involves liaising with other portfolio owners where common interests arise and report on work being undertaken. This post holder identified a need for a specific strategy to ensure that all Fiscal Areas 3 were working to the same goal. This is further discussed in Chapter 2.
16. All Area Procurators Fiscal signed up to the community engagement strategy and to encourage staff within the offices for which they are responsible to engage with the community although there is no specific document detailing these responsibilities.
17. District Procurators Fiscal have a standard objective relating to community engagement which includes arranging for the office to participate in events and to capture all work on the Area's Community Engagement Planner. All other staff have a standard objective to participate in community engagement work when given the opportunity to do so. Further details on these responsibilities are discussed in Chapter 5.
18. In addition to this there is an established structure in place relating to 'Equality and Diversity' 4. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is part of the Scottish Government's Equality Scheme and has an Equality Action Plan 2008/11 5 in place.
19. This plan states a commitment to promoting equality and tackling inequality and there are certain criteria to be achieved. With a specific reference to the Community Engagement there are three actions to be met one of which relates to giving a senior member of staff the responsibility of a recognised role with specific responsibilities to undertake and targets to achieve. Although these specific responsibilities have been allocated they are not yet written down.
That specific responsibilities and targets to be achieved in relation to Community Engagement, in particular those relating to Area Procurators Fiscal and the Portfolio Owner, should be identified, written down and made available in order that future staff will know what their responsibilities are.
20. The Equality Action Plan currently relates to three particular strands of diversity (Race, Disability and Gender) 6. There appears to be duplication of responsibilities given that Crown Office Policy Division's Diversity Team monitor achievement towards engagement with the community in this respect and in a wider context the Community Engagement Portfolio Owner also monitors through Community Engagement Planners. A review of the Area Diversity Team equality reports sent to Policy Division detail similar information to those in the Community Engagement Planners.
21. Further to this additional responsibilities were established in relation to the WSREC7 contract which was set up in 2008 for two years and extended in 2010 for another year but will finish April 2011. This contract was for the provision of services to the four Strathclyde Fiscal Areas (Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Argyll and Clyde and Ayrshire) and a member of staff was appointed to monitor this contract which again included provision of evidence of work undertaken in relation to community engagement. Quarterly reports on progress are produced.
22. Given that Diversity is part of a wider community engagement strategy it is inevitable that there will be an overlap 8.
23. Overall we consider that the above statements, aims, values and responsibilities show there is commitment to engaging with the community from the very top tier of management in Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and although there is some degree of duplication of responsibilities there appears to be a universal belief in the importance of engaging with the communities in order to provide a service that meets the needs of the public.
24. This is verified in the Crown Agent's statement in the Strategic Plan 2009/12 on the future:
- ' All our staff appreciate the important role that a prosecution service plays in any civilised society. In this plan we have set out how we aim to better serve the communities of Scotland. We believe that Scotland has a prosecution service it can be proud of. However, we will always strive to improve the service we provide and continue to work together with communities and other criminal justice agencies to be the best.'
25. We also consider that through this commitment the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service are taking steps to address Scottish Government national outcomes, in particular: 'Improved life chances'; 'Making us safer'; 'Creating stronger and more supportive communities'; and 'Ensuring better public services'.