Catch up on all the justice sector headlines you may have missed this month...
More police commissioners to take over fire service governance
A number of fire services are set to come under the governance of police and crime commissioners, following an announcement from the Home Office.
Hereford & Worcester and Shropshire fire and rescue services will be governed by West Mercia PCC John Campion, while the Staffordshire service will come under Matthew Ellis. Cambridgeshire PCC Jason Ablewhite will also take control of his local fire service.
Mr Ellis said the move is an "opportunity" to improve the way the two services work together.
"The change to governance and oversight will not affect front-line operations of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Officers and staff should not be unduly worried - it's entirely business as usual,” he added.
Last year, Roger Hirst, of Essex, became the country's first police, fire and crime commissioner.
Body cameras ‘reduce need for tasers’
Police who wear body cameras have tasered fewer suspects, a West Yorkshire police chief has said.
According to Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle, people modify their behaviour when the cameras are switched on.
There were 27% fewer taser incidents in West Yorkshire in 2017 compared to 2016.
Armed Forces athletes honoured
The UK Armed Forces Sports Board has held its annual awards, recognising sporting excellence across the Forces.
Winners included the Army Women’s Swimming Team who were named Team of the Year, after scooping 28 medals at the World Masters Games in New Zealand, and Ejay Harris, who was named Sportswoman of the Year after she became the first Army cyclist to win a National Road Series race.
Northern Ireland’s justice system ‘not delivering value for money’
Northern Ireland’s criminal justice system has come under scrutiny after it emerged that cases consistently last twice as long as in England and Wales.
A report from the Northern Ireland Audit Office highlighted that it takes on average 515 days from the date of a crime being reported to completion of the trial.
Auditor general Kieran Donnelly said: “The only way to address these issues effectively is through developing true partnership working between the police, prosecution, courts and the judiciary within which specific reform projects can be pursued."
London Fire Brigade launches drive for more female firefighters
London Fire Brigade has launched a campaign aimed at recruiting more female firefighters.
The drive, which kicked off on International Women’s Day, aims to challenge outdated ideas of what being a firefighter involves, and will see a number of recruitment days taking place across London.
Dany Cotton, London Fire Commissioner, said that she didn’t want old stereotypes of firefighters to prevent women from applying for roles.
She added that firefighting is about teamwork so a complement of men and women is crucial.
Under pressure police ‘taking days’ to respond to 999 calls
Slashed budgets and increased demand mean that police are taking days to respond to some 999 calls, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
Almost a quarter of forces across England and Wales are struggling to deal with emergency calls in a timely manner, according to the watchdog’s report.
West Midlands, Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire were singled out as having the worst record on delays in dealing with 999 calls.
Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, said she had “major concerns that policing is under significant stress”.
New mental health service for veterans in the north
A new mental health service for veterans, covering the north of England, is being planned.
The Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service is being provided by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which is working with leading charity Combat Stress.
Rollout of the service will begin in early April, offering therapies for veterans experiencing psychological trauma, as well as help with substance misuse, physical health, employment, relationships and finances.