New chief crown prosecutor: we want to deliver for victims of crime

Joanne Jakymec, chief crown prosecutor for CPS Wessex
Joanne Jakymec, chief crown prosecutor for CPS Wessex
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Heelan pictured outside Portsmouth City Council's civic offices. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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THE new chief crown prosecutor has told of her ‘delight’ at taking over in the area.

Joanne Jakymec, now chief crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex, used to be head of organised crime for the CPS.

As such, Ms Jakymec was responsible for prosecuting human trafficking, cyber crime, drug crime, money laundering and child sexual exploitation crimes.

Prior to that she was responsible for the volume crime prosecuted in crown courts at CPS London, including some work at the Old Bailey.

‘I’m able to bring with me my experiences of dealing with volume work and also the top-end serious organised crime work as well,’ she said.

‘For Wessex with Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire it’s amazing there are a lot of similarities and overlaps in terms of both the work and really from the dedication of the people across the organisation and their commitment.

‘Arriving in CPS Wessex as chief here has been a real delight, the people are so lovely and we’re a really high-performing area.

‘The staff are really engaged, a lot of them live locally, which has an impact because they care about what happens in their communities and want to deliver the highest quality service to their friends and their community.

‘They want to deliver that high-quality service to any of victims of crime and the witnesses that are involved.’

Ms Jakymec said the area secured a conviction rate in the magistrates’ courts of 85 per cent and 81 per cent in the crown courts. Hate crime had a 92 per cent conviction rate and domestic abuse was just under 84 per cent.

Asked about cuts to the service under austerity, Ms Jakymec said it was ‘challenging’, adding: ‘I’m confident that we are delivering a really high-quality service with the staff that we have.’

Ms Jakymec took over the post in late June from Kate Brown, who is still in the CPS.