A graduate from the University of Lincoln is leading ambitious plans to reform the Criminal Justice System on the Isle of Man.

Juan Watterson graduated from Lincoln in 2001 with a first class honours degree in Management and qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG, before joining the world of politics in 2006.

Elected as the second youngest politician ever in the Isle of Man’s parliament, he has been involved in various community projects, and has been working on a Criminal Justice Strategy for over a year since taking over as Home Affairs Minister in late 2011.

Juan and his team have been identifying key problems and how to tackle them, and are now looking ahead to a four year programme of improvements in criminal justice. He has already brought key stakeholders – police, prisons, probation, prosecutions, courts, administration and the law society - together for the first time and had the strategic direction endorsed by Parliament. He is now working on the details of a shared vision.

This is despite the Isle of Man currently experiencing its lowest crime rate since 1981.

Juan explained why he is not one to rest on his laurels. He said: “To date, the island has had much success - we enjoy low crime and high detection rates. But for many people, the criminal justice system is shrouded in mystery, has archaic practices, doesn’t always seem to be joined up, and does little to communicate with victims. So, we need to move forward creatively, consider new ideas, new ways of working and instil a culture that delivers joined up justice. 

“The hard part, as ever, is yet to come as we actually give the strategy life and bring it forward via legislation over the next couple of years. But we now have a road map in place.”

Juan now hopes to stay in in Home Affairs to drive these changes through, and to continue his career in politics as long as he can continue to make a difference.

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