A GOVERNMENT Minister dropped in to a mock trial to celebrate Inside Justice Week.
Baroness Scotland, Justice Minister at the Home Office, attended the event at Chester University as part of the week-long event aimed at opening up the criminal justice system to the public.
Earlier the same day, she visited the offices of the Chester, Ellesmere Port & Neston branch of the Crown Prosecution Service.
There she met staff from the Witness Care Unit and the new domestic violence court at Chester, Ellesmere Port & Neston Magistrates's Court, and also judged a Design a Superhero competition.
Ian Rushton, chief crown prosecutor for Cheshire, said: 'The week was about involving people to look at the work we do. A lot of agencies make up the local Criminal Justice Board, like the police, CPS, probation, courts and Youth Offending Team.' The CPS is the second in a four-link chain of agencies who are involved whenever someone is arrested.
Mr Rushton explained: 'The process is that a victim of a crime contacts the police and they investigate.
'As CPS lawyers are now based in police stations 9am-5pm, we authorise most of the charges brought now, as well as ensuring there is enough evidence and even assisting the police with lines of enquiry.
'Then there are the courts. We prosecute in cases and, on sentencing, the probation, prison or YOT services are then brought in.'
Another event for Inside Justice Week was the promotion of careers in the legal field at West Cheshire College's careers open evening.
Steve Collett, chairman of Cheshire Criminal Justice Board, said: 'Justice matters to everyone.
'The criminal justice system must also have the confidence of the law-abiding majority. This is why Inside Justice Week is so important.
'It was a chance for the public, who may have never come into contact with the system, to look behind the scenes, ask questions and find out more.'