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HM Courts Service (National): Witness champion for North & West Yorkshire wins national awards

Press Release   •   Oct 01, 2010 12:26 BST

Witness Champion for Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) in North and West Yorkshire, Daljit Kundi, has been awarded the Lord Chancellor’s Award and the Supporting Victims and Witnesses individual award at the HMCS National Awards ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Daljit’s leadership, enthusiasm and commitment has transformed victim and witness care in North and West Yorkshire. She developed a network of witness liaison officers from across the area who share best practice, resolve issues and audit systems to deliver a consistent and improved service.

Daljit produced a Witness Liaison Officer pack, which is now recognised as a model of excellence nationally. She also negotiated a deal using a mobile telephone loan system, so courts can liaise with victims without the need for them to wait in court.

Presenting the award on behalf of the Lord Chancellor, Courts Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:

“Daljit is an inspiration to her colleagues and has made a tremendous contribution to witness care across the area and the whole of HMCS.

“I am extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and innovation demonstrated by all of those whose achievements have been recognised today. In supporting victims of crime, enabling witnesses to give their evidence and helping those who need to use our civil justice system to resolve their disputes, your role is vital in maintaining public confidence in the justice system.

“I hope these awards go some small way to showing recipients how much their personal commitment and hard work is appreciated.”

HMCS Chief Executive Chris Mayer [Mrs] said:

“All of today’s winners have responded imaginatively to challenges and taken the opportunity to improve the way we work within HMCS and across the justice system.

“Without their hard work and dedication, we wouldn't have the courts service we have today. They are the people who make justice happen in all corners of England and Wales, ensuring that it is done and seen to be done. Their work makes a real difference to the people who use the courts and I feel privileged to work with such talented and inspirational people.”

Daljit said:

“I’m very proud and it’s an immense honour to receive not just one but two awards. It’s a credit to the fact that I’ve got a fantastic Area Director who has given me his full support and the freedom to take forward initiatives.

“I’ve also got a fantastic team that works with me. I think as long as you’ve got strong foundations you can build as high as you want. I’m very lucky with the people I work with and the support network I’ve got around me. This award is for everybody I work with, not just for me. It’s a credit to the courts in North and West Yorkshire.”


1. Her Majesty's Courts Service is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. Our remit is to deliver justice effectively and efficiently to the public. We are responsible for managing the magistrates' courts, the Crown Court, county courts, the High Court and Court of Appeal in England and Wales.

2. The HMCS National Awards celebrate significant achievements and excellent practice on the part of teams and individual members of HMCS staff.

3. The category winners of this year’s HMCS awards are:
The Lord Chancellor’s Award
Daljit Kundi
Area Witness Champion and Area Lead for Equality and Diversity, HMCS North & West Yorkshire

The Chief Executive’s Award
Rachel Hunt
Head of Operations, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Wiltshire

Community Engagement
The Community Engagement Award marks an achievement in engaging with local communities to build lively and effective partnerships, based on a sympathetic understanding of the needs of those communities.

Individual award - Joint winners
Nisha Gautama, Legal Team Manager, West London Magistrates’ Court
Jane Wignall, Acting Deputy Justices’ Clerk, Sefton Magistrates’ Court

Team award winners
Derby City & Southern Derbyshire Community Engagement Team

Customer Service
The Customer Service Award is given in recognition of an individual having shown a personal commitment to assisting their customers, sensitivity to their needs, and an ability to work with them as well as for them.

Individual award - joint winners
Rebecca Cobbin, Family Team Manager, Bristol County Court
Kim Whiteley, HMCS Wales Customer Service Improvement Manager

Team Award winner
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court

Equality and Diversity
This award recognises excellence. The winners have worked towards reducing inequalities in the areas of race, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and disability. Their commitment to diversity has been proved in their everyday work and been an inspiration to their colleagues and customers.

Individual award winner
Marie Day
Operational Support Manager, Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court

Team award winner
Bow County Court Management Team

This award recognises improvements to processes and services through innovation. Winners will have pioneered new ways of working in a dynamic, flexible and proactive manner, resulting in benefits for our stakeholders and/or customers.

Individual award winner
Stephen Younger, Fine Enforcement Officer, Lincoln Magistrates’ Court

Team Award winner
HQ Sustainable Development Team

Inspirational Leadership
This award recognises exceptional leadership skills. The winners will have demonstrated these skills by setting clear vision and direction for those they lead.
Junior category winner
Caroline Harris, Team Leader, Adoption Centre, Principal Registry of the Family Division
Senior category winner
Keith Leightley, Court Manager, Gateshead Law Courts

Supporting Victims and Witnesses
This award recognises the importance of effective support for victims and witnesses who attend our courts. Judges were looking for individuals and teams who have shown initiative and made a significant difference in ensuring that the needs of victims and witnesses are met when attending court to give evidence, this may be through developing new and innovative practices and/or through excellent customer service reflected in demonstrable improvements in customer satisfaction and feedback.

Individual award winner
Daljit Kundi - Area Witness Champion and Area Lead for Equality and Diversity

Team Award winner
Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk Witness Leads Team

4. For more information please call HMCS Press Office on 020 3334 6698.


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