Accelerating Multi-agency Collaboration through the Hertfordshire Criminal Justice Board: A Leapwise Case Study


Hertfordshire’s Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB) (1) brings together leaders across the criminal justice system and plays a critical role in identifying priorities and coordinating action across a complex system. The Hertfordshire LCJB had recorded several successes in the partnership – from improving court attendance and efficiency through text message reminders to defendants, to providing citizen ID cards to offenders released from prison to enable access to housing and other benefits that reduces reoffending risks. However, the system was under stress in the face of increasing budget pressures across agencies. 

The Challenge

Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd recognised that key public priorities – for example, reducing the time it takes to successfully prosecute crime or reducing reoffending rates – would not be solved efficiently in organisational silos. In 2023, on behalf of the Hertfordshire LCJB, he engaged Leapwise to benchmark Hertfordshire’s current criminal justice system performance, and identify opportunities for further cross-agency initiatives that could more effectively drive outcomes for the public. 

Our Approach

The Leapwise team worked closely with the Office of the PCC and partners across the LCJB across two phases. In the first phase, we undertook detailed analysis and worked with members of LCJB and its sub-groups to generate a shared understanding of the scope, scale and nature of the challenges across Hertfordshire’s criminal justice landscape, benchmarking its performance and identifying key opportunities for cross-agency partnership action. This evidence base supported collective decision making on priority areas to invest additional partnership action. 

Based on this, the PCC and LCJB selected two areas for rapid analysis through short ‘sprints’ to further build the evidence base and support the strengthening of individual and collective plans of criminal justice agencies: 

  1. How Hertfordshire can increase appropriate use of diversion to reduce demand for the criminal justice system while keeping crime low, and improving or maintaining outcomes for individuals. We worked with leads across Hertfordshire Constabulary taking a behavioural approach to identify challenges relating to knowledge and training, opportunities to use diversion, and officers’ motivation that caused relatively lower use of diversion through out of court resolutions. We then identified a range of potential interventions, including process changes to nudge greater use of out of court resolutions, which are now being explored by the constabulary. 
  2. Addressing challenges relating to highly prolific individuals driving demand in the criminal justice system through high-volume, low-harm shoplifting crimes. We brought together data from across the police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and probation to understand the offending patterns of and challenges associated with prolific shoplifting offenders, often driven by complex needs and substance dependency. Through this process, LCJB partners identified particular gaps due to lack of services to help these individuals become intervention-ready and post-intervention support. In a context of budgetary pressures, this process brought LCJB partners together to develop a more nuanced understanding of these highly prolific individuals, and identified data sharing and commissioning gaps between criminal justice agencies, health and third sector partners due to which these individuals may drop through the widening cracks in the systems. 


Notwithstanding a challenging financial landscape, Hertfordshire OPCC’s focus on evidence-based working towards shared priorities across the LCJB including criminal justice agencies and other partners including the third sector, produced a nuanced system-wide understanding of key issues. In doing so, the LCJB supported better coordinated, collaborative action through the local criminal justice board. 

Leapwise worked closely with the OPCC and key partners while scoping the challenges facing the LCJB. Reviewing the Board’s past successes, the current landscape, and stakeholders’ priorities, the team were able to guide productive discussions and assist in our understanding of cost and demand in the CJS. The in-depth reviews on Out of Court Resolutions and the prolific shoplifting cohort helped to inform operational practices and the Board’s 2024-25 delivery plan.

Dr Amie Birkhamshaw, Deputy Chief Executive, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire 

The challenges faced by the Hertfordshire LCJB will be familiar to many jurisdictions across England: across the public sector, austerity has raised the risk that criminal justice partners ‘shrink apart’. The Hertfordshire PCC’s emphasis on data-driven action across the local criminal justice board provides a useful example of how local partnerships can effectively identify emerging issues in the system, and develop cross-agency solutions that provide better value for the public than action by a single agency alone. 

For more insights on addressing complex multi-agency challenges, please reach out to our team to discuss. 

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