Transforming Justice

Blog contributed by Petrina Mullen, Policy & Strategic Partnerships Officer, Surrey County Council

What is Transforming Justice?

Transforming Justice is one strand of Surrey’s Working Together programme. It is a planned new approach to dealing with offending behaviour to reduce offending and increase satisfaction for victims and witnesses of crime.

Transforming Justice is directed upon the philosophy of ‘putting people first’ in recognition that system and process often come before the needs of those who go through our justice system.

Surrey already has a track record of transforming the justice system with the successful Youth Restorative Intervention work which reduced youth crime by 50% and saved £1.35m.

What are the intended outcomes?

  • A reduction in crime and reduced costs of the criminal justice system
  • A better experience for victims and witnesses
  • There will also be wider social benefits attached to a holistic multi-agency approach to offending

Stakeholder engagement

There are many partnering agencies involved in the approach to Transforming Justice.

We have held two partnership events to bring agencies together to explore and identify where we could do better in the criminal justice system in Surrey.

The most recent event (facilitated by the Public Service Transformation Network) looked at certain points in the system where we could have the biggest impact, and discussed what we could do differently at those points.

There were representatives from a large number of agencies including Surrey Police, Surrey Criminal Justice Partnership Board, Crown Prosecution Service, National Probation Service, Women’s Centres, Domestic Abuse Outreach and NHS England.

The four key intervention stages in the justice system that have been identified are:

  • Prevention
  • Reported offending
  • Post-arrest/pre-charge
  • Conviction

A holistic and multi-agency approach to informed decision making at each of these points will mean that more offences can be resolved in less time with better outcomes for everyone involved.

It is intended that some of the interventions will be piloted in 2016 with specific target groups. We will continue to share updates via Shift as Transforming Justice progresses!



Digital innovation for public service transformation

Blog contributed by Lucie Glenday, Chief Digital Officer, Surrey County Council

Digital is a dangerous term, which is why here at Surrey County Council we’re beginning to shy away from it – the word that is.

Digital means many things to many different people. In a recent poll of the public ‘radio’ came radioup as the most common association, but for many it’s websites or social media, and in the higher echelons of Government it’s most commonly associated with Channel Shift or putting transactions online. However none of these are focus areas for us; we’re interested in connections.

For the most part our residents value outcomes rather than services – street lighting, police on patrol, regular litter collection, youth clubs etc. An outcome of safer streets could come from a number of partners successfully delivering their distinct part towards it. But the way our technology and organisational cultures are set up means we focus on the delivery of our part with little understanding of whether the overall outcome is being achieved.

My team and I work across organisational boundaries creating a way for data and knowledge to flow in order for us to be more outcomes focused. It also helps us be smarter about how we deploy our resources and reduce duplication across the system; removing some of the burden of the efficiency savings we’re all being asked to make.

Joining up information and promoting whole systems thinking will transform some of our services and certainly make things better for our residents; however it’s innovative modern technology that offers the truly transformational opportunities. Computing power is continuing to double every year and as a consequence technology is changing the way we work, learn and interact. We have no idea what local public services will look like in ten years but we do know they won’t be delivered in the way they are today.

So alongside our crusade to make things open we use modern technologies and analytics to question and – at times – disrupt the status quo of service delivery. The Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence all have a home here in Surrey and they are here to stay.

Bringing partners together to prepare for Universal Credit

Blog contributed by Tom Griffiths, Strategic Partnership Manager, Surrey County Council

Universal Credit is due to be introduced in Surrey for single Jobseekers Allowance claimants from February 2016. It is DWP’s flagship reform but it also poses a challenge and an opportunity for local services that have a crucial role in supporting people with the new system.


Services need to adapt to changing needs – for example in supporting people to get online and improve their personal budgeting skills. We recently held an event to bring partners together to prepare in Surrey.

Whole system approach

There are many different agencies involved in Universal Credit. We wanted to get everyone together to look at the whole system. We had representatives from DWP, Jobcentre Plus, Housing Associations, Citizens Advice, local authority housing officers, revenue and benefits officers and a whole range of local support services.


Sharing learning

The event was an opportunity to share some learning. Hastings Borough Council has already gone live with Universal Credit and they came along to share their experience and lessons learned. Elmbridge Borough Council shared work they are doing to prepare and DWP set out their plans for the upcoming introduction in Surrey. In our Digital Inclusion workshop, Reigate and Banstead shared their experience of putting all of their existing benefits applications online.


We gathered together tools that local partners had found useful in preparing for Universal Credit such as templates for mapping support services, a survey for assessing claimant needs and data work. We’ve made these available in a toolkit for local services: Universal Credit Toolkit

Working towards a local model

The highlight for me was our workshop on employment support. We had Paul Edwards from the London Borough of Southwark talking about their Universal Support Delivered Locally pilot. The pilot involves a single triage system and collocation of support services at Jobcentre Plus so claimants can get whatever support they need there and then. Giving people intensive support to set up a bank account, learn how to use a computer and manage their finances can really improve their job prospects. It prompted discussion about how we can take a similar whole system approach to support in Surrey.