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Harry Fletcher, Criminal Justice Director of Digital-Trust, CIC

As a leading UK criminal justice expert with 30 years of experience, and ex NAPO Assistant General Secretary, Harry Fletcher, has joined the Digital-Trust, to help the criminal justice system meet the increasing challenge of digital abuse.

Harry is well known for working in partnerships to improve the criminal justice system. He has, and will continue to, champion a broad range of issues from domestic violence to probation privatisation to changes needed in the family court system.

However, he has identified that the biggest challenge today facing the criminal justice system is the impact that digital technology is having.  Harry will consider how technology is influencing criminality, risks, victimisation within today's criminal justice and victim support agencies. He will
continue his successful work with Parliamentarians, government departments, police, probation, CPS and charities to help recognise and address new digital developments.

Harry wants to leverage his long term relationships and involve new partners so that Digital-Trust can offer world-leading advice on how to identify and combat digital, abuse so that victims are better protected.

Harry's experience

Harry Fletcher is a leading UK criminal justice expert, who passionately believes in the elimination of injustice and is committed to the protection of the vulnerable.

During his 20 year tenure as Assistant General Secretary of NAPO, the trade union and professional association for Family Court and Probation Staff, Harry undertook a wide range of parliamentary campaigning on behalf of numerous MPs and organisations.  To date he has personally drafted twenty Private Members Bills as well as thousands questions for MPs, prepared papers for adjournment and other parliamentary debates and written scores of briefings for MPs and Peers of all Parties on legislation. Amongst other achievements was involved in establishing a number of cross-party and trade union groups to address criminal justice issues.

Harry recently has joined the Digital-Trust, a new not-for-profit organisation, which will formally launch in the Autumn of 2014, and aims to challenge digital abuse on all levels through project and continuing campaign work.  A key objective is to develop a continuously updated ‘centre of excellence’ as a guidance resource for victims, charities and criminal justice agencies and which advises third sector organisations and victims on the nature, consequences and combating of digital abuse.

Presently Harry is a key mover in the campaign to bring in a new domestic violence Bill on coercive control.  He has managed the consultation process with stakeholders, victims and lawyers, and produced seven drafts. The final version is now with Parliament.

Previously in 2011 Harry also organised events in both the Commons and the Lords to highlight and inform Parliamentarians of the need for reform of stalking and harassment legislation, ultimately this work lead to the introduction of the stalking laws in England and Wales and culminated in the revisions to the Harassment Act in 2012.

A qualified Social Worker, between 1990 and 2010 Harry campaigned successfully for NAPO, on a great many criminal justice issues. The scope of this work included Parliamentary liaison, media representation, editor of the association’s monthly journal, public speaking and campaigning and advising members on personal and professional issues.

During 2012/13, Harry raised funds to create Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy Service along with others.  Last autumn, Harry left Paladin in order to become self-employed. He managed a campaign to prevent privatisation and fragmentation of the probation service for NAPO. 

He also assists a number of stalking and domestic violence organisations on a voluntary basis, including Voice4Victims, and Veritas – all of whom assist victims and campaigners.

Detailed Summary of Achievements


  • Harry has have been involved in many significant campaigns with Napo and anti-Stalking groups over the past 20 years. 
  • In recent months Harry has been involved in exposing the proliferation of drugs in prison and the lack of harm reduction strategies; highlighting the impact of the previous Labour government’s introduction of End of Custody Licence on victims of domestic violence; campaigning about the lack of support for the high number of ex-Services personnel who end up in custody or on community penalties, calling for a review of legislation on prostitution and campaigning for reform of the laws on stalking and harassment.
  • Other campaigns involved exposing the abuse of process in the family courts and highlighting unacceptable workloads for family court social workers.
  • Harry has also been involved in the last two to three years in arguing that public services should not be privatised.
  • Harry also worked on a Bill, which is now complete, which places a duty of local authorities to prevent gun and knife crime and on the government to ensure they are properly resourced and funded to do so.
  • Harry campaigned on Napo’s behalf for two years between 2006 and 2008 to prevent the Labour Government from centralising the commissioning of offender services and worked with the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Cross Bench oppositions to ensure that if commissioning was to take place it would be done on a local basis. 

Parliamentary Activity

  • In 2013, Harry recruited 35 Parliamentarians to be members of an All Party Group on Stalking and Harassment.
  • Harry established a trade union group focusing on criminal justice, family court and veterans’ issues for the Welsh Assembly in 2011.
  • In 2011, Harry acted as an adviser to the Justice Union’s Parliamentary Group inquiry into the need for a review of stalking and harassment laws, proper training in this area for criminal justice professionals, strengthening of sentencing guidelines and improved support for victims.
  • In November/ December 2009 he organised five seminars on law and order for the Conservative Opposition front bench team and in 2011, Harry coordinated similar seminars on Payment by Results and the Purpose of Sentencing for the Labour Shadow Justice Team.
  • In 2008, Harry was involved in launching a third cross party parliamentary group which focuses on the relationship between drugs, alcohol and the criminal justice system.
  • Harry was also involved in establishing a cross party working group on issues affecting ex-service personnel in the criminal justice system bring together Parliamentarians, practitioners, charities and support organisations working with veterans, under the auspices of the Justice Unions’ Parliamentary Group. This was followed in 2006 by the establishment of a similar cross party group looking at family court issues. 
  • In 2004, Harry was instrumental in establishing a cross party trade union group on criminal justice issues, which now has over 50 Parliamentarians as members.


Harry has worked closely with a range of trade unions and professional bodies on issues of criminal justice and family law.  They include:

  • The Police Federation of England and Wales
  • The Magistrates’ Association
  • The Prison Officers Association
  • The National Black Police Association
  • The Society of Black Lawyers
  • The Prison Governors Association
  • The Public and Commercial Services Union

Harry was a founder member and treasurer of the Trade Union Coordinating Group which brings together public sector unions to defend the public sector and public services.  The membership currently comprises the Fire Brigades Union, the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, the POA, PCS, NUJ, RMT, Napo and the United Road Transport Union.

Membership of organisations, committees and groups  

  • Member of All Party Groups on Stalking and Harassment (since 2013)
  • Advisor to the Innocence Project, University of Bristol (2011)
  • Member Policing (2011)
  • Advisor to the Independent All Party Parliamentary Group on Stalking Law Reform (2011)
  • Organiser of All Party Parliamentary Group on Veterans in the Criminal Justice System (since 2009)
  • Treasurer of the Trade Union Coordinating Group (since 2009)
  • Joint organiser of Cross Party Parliamentary Group on Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Harm Reduction (since 2008)
  • Advisor Cross Party Family Court Unions’ Parliamentary Group (since 2005)
  • Founder member of ASBO Concern (2004)
  • Advisor Cross Party Justice Unions’ Parliamentary Group (since 2004)
  • Treasurer of the Justice Forum, an organisation bringing together unions in the Justice System (since 1996)
  • British Representative on CEP - Conférence Permanente Européenne de la Probation (1987 to 2001)
  • Member of Unite (the organisation representing trade union officials) (since 1978)

Publications and Papers (a representative selection) 

  • A Crisis of Management (NOMS) – Article for Public Service Review (2010)
  • Sentencing Green Paper – Article for Criminal Law and Justice Weekly (2010)
  • Comprehensive Spending Review and Justice – Guardian Comment (2010)
  • The Demise of C-NOMIS – Article Whitehall and Westminster World (March 2009)
  • Shattered Lives – Article New Statesman (2008)
  • Changing Lives – An oral history of probation published to celebrate the Probation Service centenary (February 2007)
  • Rainer Collection of Essays – Supervision in the Community an Alternative Approach (July 2006)
  • Reducing Crime – Changing Lives – Napo’s response to the Carter Report (January 2004)
  • Contributor to Policing Diversity – the Metropolitan Police Service Handbook on London’s Religious and Cultural Communities (1997)
  • Contributor of Chapter 14 to “We Will Support You”  (Edited by D Bull 1994)
  • Promotional document on the work of the Probation Service in England and Wales (1994)
  • Against Natural Justice – a study of children in care (1982)

 Harry writes between 20 and 30 briefing papers for the parliamentarians and press per annum.  The following is a selection.

  • Alternatives to Custody (May 1986)
  • Irish Prisoners – The Case for Transfer (October 1986)
  • Magistrates Courts and Custody (May 1987)
  • Racism, Representation and the Criminal Justice System (October 1988)
  • Prisoners, Risk and HIV (January 1989)
  • Women, Children and Custody (March 1989)
  • Black People and Remands in Custody (December 1989)
  • Drug Users and Custody (February 1990)
  • Causes and Consequences of the Prison Riots (March 1991)
  • Working a Way Out of Crime (December 1991)
  • Hostels, Violence and Staffing (February 1992)
  • Miscarriages of Justice (March 1993)
  • Probation Caseloads – A Study of the Financial Circumstances of Offending (May 1993)
  • Substance Misuse, Mental Vulnerability and the Criminal Justice System (May 1994)
  • Children, Family Courts and the Probation Service (July 1994)
  • Housing Benefits and Prisoners (April 1995)
  • Black People and Street Crime (July 1995)
  • Women, Sentencing and Custody (July 1995)
  • Race Discrimination and the Criminal Justice System (March 1996)
  • Fine Default (May 1996)
  • Inconsistency in Sentencing (August 1996)
  • Foreign Nationals in British Jails (December 1997)
  • Crown Courts and Sentencing (August 1998)
  • Foreign Nationals in British Jails (November 1999)
  • Probation, Modernisation and Resources (March 2000)
  • Making Punishment Work (September 2001)
  • Contact, Separation and the Work of the Family Courts (April 2003)
  • Mentally Disordered Offenders (October 2003)
  • Probation Service Reward Structure, Salaries, Staffing Levels and Workloads (October 2004)
  • Probation Under Threat (April 2005)
  • ASBOs – An Analysis of the First 6 Years of the ASBO (April 2005)
  • Electronically Monitored Curfew Orders (April 2005)
  • Towards Effective Supervision Of Offenders - Local Co-Operation And Partnership (May 2005)
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders (November 2005)
  • Supervision in the Community – An Alternative Approach (April 2006)
  • Reducing the Prison Population (August 2006)
  • Open Jails – A Looming Crisis (January 2007)
  • End of Custody Licence (July 2007)
  • Recalls to Custody Out of Control (December 2007)
  • Restrictions on Sentencing (March 2008)
  • Justice Under Stress – a joint briefing by Napo, POA, PCS and the Police Federation (May 2008)
  • A Progressive Community Sentence (May 2008)
  • The Proliferation of Drugs in Prisons in England and Wales (June 2008)
  • End of Custody Licence and Domestic Violence – Continuing Concerns (June 2008)
  • Duty to Protect the Public and Prevent Gun, Knife and Gang Related Crime (June 2009)
  • Probation in Context - The murders of Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo by Daniel Sonnex (April 2009)
  • Probation Under Stress (June 2009)
  • The Shape of Community Penalties (July 2009)
  • End of Custody Licence and Domestic Violence (August 2010)
  • Armed Forces Personnel and the Criminal Justice System (September 2009)
  • Literacy, Language and Speech Problems among Individuals on Probation or Parole (October 2009)
  • Short-term Jail Sentences – an Effective Alternative (2010)
  • Cafcass in Meltdown (March 2010)
  • Prostitution – The Need for a Review (September 2010)
  • The Working of the Family Courts (response to the Justice Select Committee Enquiry) (September 2010)
  • Privatisation and the Probation Service (January 2011)
  • Use of Resources by Cafcass (January 2011)
  • Sentencing Framework and Purposes – a briefing for Ed Miliband (January 2011)
  • Probation Hostels and High Risk Offenders (February 2011)
  • Former Ex-Service Personnel in the Criminal Justice System – Best Practice (March 2011)
  • Breaking the Cycle – Response to the Government Green Paper on Sentencing (March 2011)
  • Probation the Economic Case for Funding (March 2011)
  • Stalking and Harassment – a Statistical Briefing (April 2011)
  • Supervision of Offenders on Unpaid Work (May 2011)
  • Prison Sentences the Need for the Introduction of Discretion (May 2011)
  • Family Justice Review Proposals (May 2011)
  • Cuts to Legal Aid (May 2011)
  • Probation Programmes – Building on Success (June 2011)
  • Huge Rise in Recalls of Dangerous Offenders (June 2011)
  • Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (September 2011)
  • Stalking and Harassment – A Study of Perpetrators (December 2011)
  • Abuse of Process – Stalking in the Family and Civil Courts (December 2011)
  • Parole Decision Delays (December 2011)