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PCC reacts to first public Parole hearing

12 December 2022

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Donna Jones, has reacted to the first public Parole hearing saying that the process is ‘long overdue.’

The PCC has made the comments as the Parole Board prepares to hold a hearing regarding the case of Russell Causley who killed his wife in 1985.

The public hearing comes after changes in the law designed to boost public confidence in the justice system. Parole Boards used to be held in private but the new rules came into force in July which mean that the public, press and other interested parties are allowed to request a case is reviewed to bring about more transparency and accountability.


Reacting to the landmark moment, Donna Jones said:


“This is long overdue. Some poor decisions have been made by the Parole Board in recent years, including the release of Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P who was brutally murdered by her and her partner.


“Hearings in public are vital to ensure the public know what considerations are being taken into account and why decisions have been made, including the professional assessments of the individual’s threat to the public if released.


“Allowing hearings to be held in public is a major step forward for victims who want to see justice being served.


Following on from the first televised sentencing earlier this year, the Commissioner said: “This is another breakthrough in the overhaul of the system which is rightly putting victims and public protection at the heart of the justice process.


“For people to have trust in decision makers, and for victims to have confidence in our criminal justice system, open-justice like this is imperative.”