Memorandum submitted by the Crown Prosecution
1.1 This memorandum addresses the Justice
Committee's Terms of Reference set out in its Press Notice of
3 April 2008 and is structured as follows:
the role of the Crown Prosecution Service
(CPS), its organisation, its vision and priority programmes and
the Code for Crown Prosecutors;
bringing offences to justice, including
casework in the magistrates' courts, diversion from prosecution,
prosecuting rape and domestic violence, and its role in Anti-Social
working in partnership, including the
National and Local Criminal Justice Boards, charging, sentencing
and the courts, major terrorism cases, and with other prosecuting
victim and witness issues;
working with communities; and
how the CPS is transforming itself.
1.2 The CPS will provide supplementary submissions
as the Committee wishes.
2. THE ROLE
2.1 The CPS was established in 1986 as an
independent authority to prosecute criminal cases investigated
by the police in England and Wales. In undertaking this role,
advises the police (including, in appropriate
cases, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency) during the early
stages of investigations;
determines the appropriate charges in
all but the most minor cases;
keeps all cases under continuous review;
prepares cases for prosecution in court
and prosecutes the cases with in-house advocates or instructs
agents and counsel to present cases; and
provides information and assistance to
victims and prosecution witnesses.
2.2 The CPS is headed by the Director of
Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keir Starmer QC. Peter Lewis, Chief
Executive, is responsible for day-to-day running of the business,
and for human resources, finance, business information systems,
and business development, allowing the DPP to concentrate on prosecution,
legal issues and criminal justice policy.
2.3 The DPP is superintended by the Attorney
General who is accountable to Parliament for the Service. The
CPS has worked closely with the Attorney General in developing
the proposals for reforming her role, in so far as they impact
upon the CPS, and is committed to the way forward identified in
the Governance of Britain White Paper and the draft Constitutional
Renewal Bill. The DPP will remain accountable for all casework
decisions taken by the CPS.
Code for Crown Prosecutors
2.4 Crown Prosecutors review each case in
accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors (Annex 1) (not
printed). They decide:
whether there is enough evidence to provide
a realistic prospect of conviction against each defendant on each
charge; and, if so,
whether a prosecution is needed in the
2.5 The CPS is divided into 42 Areas across
England and Wales, brigaded into 15 Groups. Each CPS Area corresponds
to a police force; CPS London deals with the Metropolitan and
City of London police services. Every CPS Area is headed by a
Chief Crown Prosecutor [CCP], responsible for the delivery of
a high quality prosecution service in their local community. A
"virtual" 43rd Area, CPS Direct, is also headed by a
CCP and provides out-of-hours charging advice to the police. Three
HQ-based casework divisions deal with the prosecution of organised
crime, terrorism and other specialised prosecution cases.
2.6 CPS key statistics are at Annex 2.
The CPS Vision, priority programmes and business
2.7 The CPS Vision Statement for 2008-11
The CPS is a prosecution service that is confident
and independent, efficient and effectivebecoming truly
world class. Everything that we do aims to deliver justice for
all and to make our communities safer.
2.8 The CPS has identified six priority
programmes to deliver this vision:
achieving the agreed CJS PSA targets
improving performance in the magistrates'
completing and embedding our Advocacy
focusing our support to victims and witnesses;
restructuring our delivery model to improve
performance, particularly on serious cases, and improving value
ensuring that we lead and manage well
to get the best from all CPS people, and that we engage with them,
partners and communities to improve our service.
2.9 The CPS Strategy and Business Plan for
2008-11 is at Annex 3 (not printed). The CPS budget in
2007-08 was £639.5 million. Following the 2007 spending review,
the budget will reduce in real terms over the next three years
by 3.5% per annum.
3. BRINGING OFFENCES
3.1 Annex 2 shows the success that the CPS
has had in contributing to the achievement of the Government's
PSA target to bring more offences to justice and the CPS has introduced
business systems and policies to underpin that success.
Optimum Business Model
3.2 The CPS' Optimum Business Model (OBM)
improves the handling of magistrates' courts' work. It ensures
that consistent casework systems and processes are in place so
that the CPS maximises effective progress in every case at every
stage in and out of court.
3.3 Legal and administrative staff working
closely together ensures that tasks are completed by the right
person at the earliest opportunity. The Case Progression Manager,
dedicated to managing trial cases proactively, is essential to
improving performance and ensuring the CPS is trial ready two
weeks before the trial date. The OBM was introduced in September
2007 and was implemented in all 42 Areas by September 2008.
3.4 Service performance is reviewed quarterly
through the Area Performance Review (APR) process. The DPP, Chief
Executive and Chief Operating Officer hold CCPs to account for
service delivery against 15 Key Performance Indicators. The most
recent assessments are at Annex 4 (not printed).
3.5 The Committee sought information about
prosecuting rape and domestic violence. Both are addressed in
the new Violence Against Women (VAW) Strategy and Action Plans
with targets for reducing unsuccessful outcomes (Annex 5) (not
Prosecuting rape cases
3.6 The CPS Policy for Prosecuting Cases
of Rape recognises rape as one of the most serious offences and
aims to prosecute each case effectively. The policy statement
(Annex 6) (not printed) covers the handling of all rape
cases against male and female victims of all ages, and is currently
3.7 Every CPS Area allocates rape cases
to specialist prosecutors. Rape specialists work closely with
the police to ensure all possible avenues of evidence are explored
and the correct charge identified. They take responsibility for
the case from the pre-charge stage to its conclusion.
3.8 The CPS is also:
issuing a new Rape Manual for prosecutors
providing guidance on dealing with medical, scientific and forensic
preparing a joint manual with the National
Police Improvement Agency setting out best practice for both investigators
rolling out a new training course for
all rape specialists, with external speakers on rape trauma syndrome
and the role of the forensic physician;
providing additional training for in-house
rape specialist High Court Advocates, similar to that provided
by the Bar;
working with ACPO and the medical profession
to devise a protocol regarding the handling of sensitive images
in rape and other cases.
3.9 The CPS instructs advocates who possess
the necessary expertise and knowledge for rape prosecutions; who
understand the impact that a serious sexual offence can have on
a victim; and who deal with witnesses in a sensitive and dignified
manner. Advocates must have attended a CPS-accredited training
course that includes the substantive law, the experience of victims
and CPS policy. All advocates are monitored to ensure they reach
the required standard.
3.10 The CPS monitors all rape files for
compliance with CPS policies and good practice. In addition, a
sample of files is monitored for the quality of decision-making
by each Area's rape coordinator who provides a quarterly report
detailing local performance. This work is overseen nationally
by the Rape Prosecutions Delivery Unit that provides advice and
support on all aspects of rape prosecutions. This recently included
a model Protocol between the police and CPS in the Investigation
and Prosecution of Rape Allegations (Annex 7) (not printed)
for CPS Areas and their respective police forces to adapt and
Prosecuting Domestic Violence
3.11 The CPS is committed to raising the
awareness and effective prosecution of domestic violence. Comprehensive
policy and guidance (Annex 8) (not printed) on domestic
violence were first developed in 2001. A Domestic Violence Coordinator
(DVC) was appointed in every CPS Area to oversee the policy's
implementation. These documents were revised in 2005, and are
being revised again this year. A Domestic Violence Training Manual
was developed jointly with the National Policing Improvement Agency.
Good Practice Guidance was also issued to CPS Areas in 2005 (Annex
9) (not printed).
3.12 The CPS has built capability in its
staff through training for all prosecutors and caseworkers and
for prosecutors working in specialist domestic violence courts.
The CPS has been a driving force in the developments of these
3.13 Unsuccessful outcomes in domestic violence
cases have fallen significantly since 2004-05, alongside a reduction
in cases that have been discontinued and those which resulted
in a bind-over against a background of increasing volumes.
||% successful||% unsuccessful
3.14 There is a target to reduce unsuccessful domestic
violence prosecutions to 28% for 2008-09 and the figures for the
first two quarters of 2008-09 show that target has already been
CPS involvement in diversion from prosecution
3.15 Since 2003, the CPS has been able to recommend that
a suspect is conditionally cautioned in appropriate circumstances,
rather than charged. A conditional caution suspends prosecution
pending the successful completion of the conditions within a specified
3.16 Full implementation in all CPS Areas was achieved
in April 2008. Up to September 2008, 11,004 conditional cautions
have been issued.
The CPS and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
3.17 The CPS has two roles in respect of ASBOs:
applying for orders following convictions; and
prosecution breaches of ASBOs.
3.18 The CPS has a network of specialist ASB prosecutors.
Their main duties are to:
provide expert assistance to CPS prosecutors on ASB
prosecute sensitive or high-profile ASB cases;
identify and deliver ASB training needs; and
work with partner agencies to identify and respond
to local communities' concerns about ASB issues.
3.19 Guidance was issued to prosecutors (latest edition
issued in May 2008see Annex 10) (not printed) on
applying for ASBOs in criminal cases and prosecution of breaches.
3.20 The CPS ASB Delivery Unit trains prosecutors and
works closely with the Home Office and HM Courts Service. During
2007-08, the CPS jointly ran workshops for ASB practitioners looking
at the effective use of the tools and powers available to address
4. CPS WORKING IN
National and Local Criminal Justice Boards
4.1 The CPS is an integral part of the criminal justice
system (CJS) and works jointly with its CJS partners through the
National Criminal Justice Board and 42 Local Criminal Justice
Boards. These Boards agree and implement joint actions to address
key criminal justice issues, such as public confidence and victim
and witness care.
4.2 The CPS is at the centre of the criminal justice
process, routinely providing face-to-face charging service to
43 police forces, and other forces such as British Transport Police.
4.3 The CPS is responsible for authorising the charge
in all but the most minor cases. CPS advice at the early investigative
stages enables cases to be strengthened and prevents weak cases
proceeding to court and being subsequently discontinued.
4.4 Before the introduction of statutory charging, 36%
of cases heard in the magistrates' courts were discontinued. At
March 2008, that figure had dropped to 13.2%.
4.5 CPS Direct was introduced to support this significant
change in responsibilities. This telephone-based service enables
the CPS to provide charging advice to the police 365 days a year,
24 hours per day. During 2007-08, CPS Direct provided 135,813
charging advices. The service is highly responsive and on average
a police officer is able to speak to a Duty Prosecutor within
15 seconds of the call being presented.
Prosecutors and sentencing in the courts
4.6 Prosecution advocates have a role in assisting the
court to reach appropriate sentencing decisions although it is
not the prosecutor's role to recommend any particular sentence:
see the Code for Crown Prosecutors (Annex 1) (not printed)
and the Attorney General's Guidelines on the Acceptance of Pleas
and the Prosecutor's Role in the Sentencing Exercise (2005) and
its Addendum (2007) (Annex 11) (not printed).
4.7 CPS advocates prepare a Plea and Sentence Document
in Crown Court cases and appropriate cases in the magistrates'
courts. This document identifies aggravating and mitigating factors
in the case as well as relevant statutory provisions and case
Electronic information sharing
4.8 The CPS Case Management System (CMS) and Management
Information System were major projects that were delivered on
time and within budget. They support the CPS and police by enabling
electronic information sharing through:
providing prosecutors working in over 300 Charging
centres with access to CMS, email and electronic legal reference
introducing technology to 140 home-based prosecutors
who deliver CPS Direct; and
developing an interface that enables police IT systems
(NSPIS, NICHE and Consortium) to send information to CMS.
4.9 The interface will be live in 39 Areas by the end
of 2008; the major constraint on information sharing is that the
interface does not currently support the return of information
from the CPS to the police.
4.10 Keeping victims and witness informed about their
cases is being enabled through the Witness Management System (WMS)
in use in 165 Witness Care Units (WCUs) staffed by Police (70%+)
and the CPS.
4.11 All counter terrorism cases in England and Wales
are prosecuted by CPS Counter Terrorism Division in headquarters.
Prosecutors work very closely with Counter Terrorism Command,
the Counter Terrorism Units and the Intelligence Services at all
stages of a case, often before any arrest is made. Further, where
appropriate, prosecutors will engage foreign partners to assist
in building the strongest possible case. Twenty-four hour cover
is provided for police to seek expert advice.
4.12 The workload of the Division has grown considerably
since its inception and there have been high profile terrorism
trials running almost continuously since early 2005. Guilty verdicts
and pleas are currently being returned in approximately 90% of
Other prosecuting authorities
4.13 The CPS' relationship with 16 UK-based prosecutors
is covered by the Prosecutors' Convention (Annex 12) (not
printed). The Convention addresses the situation when two
or more prosecuting authorities wish to proceed against a suspect.
It recognises the need for effective and early lines of communication,
lists the issues to be covered in preliminary inter-agency discussions
and requires each authority to identify a liaison officer to be
responsible for effective communication and for monitoring compliance.
SFO and RCPO
4.14 The CPS works closely with the Revenue and Customs
Prosecution Office (RCPO) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on
a range of issues common to prosecutors:
CPS, RCPO and SFO are currently working together on
defining security requirements and the approach to security of
case information when dealing with external partners, such as
CPS and RCPO are members of a CJS inter-agency contingency
planning forum to ensure the continuation of criminal justice
services through periods of possible disruption; and
CPS, RCPO and SFO are working on a procurement exercise
seeking external suppliers to provide scanning and electronic
presentation of evidence services for major prosecutions.
4.15 The CPS Fraud Prosecution Service prosecutes serious
fraud cases and works closely with other prosecuting agencies,
the City of London Police Economic Crime Unit, and with the Metropolitan
Police who provide 75% of its cases. A joint vetting committee
decides the allocation of cases between the CPS, SFO and other
prosecuting authorities and considers issues of common interest.
Serious Organised Crime Agency
4.16 Cases investigated by the Serious Organised Crime
Agency (SOCA) are prosecuted, either by the Organised Crime Division
in CPS headquarters or RCPO, depending on the nature of the offences
(Annex 13) (not printed). The need to decide on case allocation
arises when expertise is shared between prosecutors; this typically
relates to drug and gun trafficking and money laundering. Other
cases are allocated to the prosecuting agency which has the expertise
in those matters; for example, the CPS deals with human trafficking,
immigration, hi-tech crime, non-fiscal fraud and work from the
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
5. VICTIM AND
5.1 The CPS is committed to improving the level of service
to victims of crime and launched a new Victim and Witness Strategy
in June 2008. This will provide a framework to support delivery
of existing commitments and identify a clear direction for future
policy development to improve the service provided yet further.
5.2 The CPS does not act for victims or their families
as solicitors do for their clients (see paragraph 5.12 of the
Code), but when considering whether it is in the public interest
to proceed with a prosecution, Crown Prosecutors always take into
account the consequences for the victim of whether to prosecute
and any views expressed by the victim or victim's family.
The Prosecutors' Pledge
5.3 The 2005 Prosecutors' Pledge (Annex 14) (not
printed) sets out the support that victims can expect from
the CPS. This includes: taking into account the impact on the
victim or their family when making a charging decision; informing
the victim where the charge is withdrawn, discontinued or substantially
altered; where practicable, seeking the victim's view when considering
the acceptability of a plea; introducing him/herself to the victim
at court; answering any questions the victim has about court procedure;
challenging derogatory mitigation; explaining any judgement; and
advising the victim about the appeal process.
Direct Communication with Victims
5.4 Direct Communication with Victims (DCV) was introduced
in September 2002. It allows the CPS to communicate directly with
victims of crime rather than via the police. The CPS' DCV commitments
are contained in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Annex
15) (not printed). The CPS must:
communicate any decision to drop or substantially
alter the charge direct to the victim rather than via the police;
give an explanation of the decision with as much detail
as possible of the reasons for the decision, bearing in mind the
sensitive and important issues which may restrict the amount of
information that can be given;
if a further explanation is required, offer a meeting
in cases in certain serious categories of cases. The relevant
offences are set out in the Code. Further, the reviewing lawyer
has discretion to offer a meeting if it is considered appropriate
in the circumstances of the case; and
notify the victim of a decision where a Crown Prosecutor
takes the decision that no criminal proceedings should be brought
following receipt of a full evidential report, and other than
in discussion with the Investigating Officer. In other situations,
before charge, it is the responsibility of the police to inform
the victim of the decision.
No Witness, No Justice Witness care programme
5.5 The "No Witness, No Justice" (NWNJ) victim
and witness care programme is a CPS and Police initiative. Following
a successful pilot study, 165 Witness Care Units were established
across England and Wales by the end of 2005.
5.6 The Units, staffed by trained specialists, provide
a single point of contact for victims and witnesses from the point
of charge until the conclusion of the case. Dedicated Witness
Care Officers ensure the individual needs of victims and witnesses
are identified and met so that they have all the support and information
they need to enable them to attend court and give their best evidence.
They provide a tailored service, for example, making practical
arrangements such as pre-trial familiarisation visits to the court,
childcare, transport etc. Witness Care Officers keep victims and
witnesses informed of case progress including the outcome and
thank them for giving evidence.
5.7 This initiative has led to an increase in witness
attendance from 77% to 85% (national average).
5.8 In October 2007, the CPS introduced a new enhanced
service to bereaved relatives in which, in certain cases, the
reviewing lawyer offers to meet bereaved relatives to explain
the charging decision, the court process and to highlight the
opportunity to make a victim personal statement (Annex 16) (not
5.9 Eligible cases are: murder; manslaughter; corporate
manslaughter; familial homicide; causing death by dangerous driving;
causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink or
drugs; and aggravated vehicle taking where death is caused and
the case is heard in the Crown Court.
5.10 By making a victim personal statement, the bereaved
family can say how the crime has affected them. Following conviction,
and before sentence, the prosecutor willwith the court's
approvaleither read the statement to the court or invite
the judge to read the statement in private.
5.11 Post-acquittal meetings are an extension of the
service to bereaved relatives introduced under Victim Focus. A
meeting is offered post-acquittal to answer any questions the
family may have about the trial (Annex 17) (not printed).
Arrangements are being piloted in CPS Merseyside, Northumbria
and South Wales. Eligible offences are those under the Victim
Pre-Trial Witness Interviews
5.12 National implementation of the pre-trial witness
interview initiative (PTWI) was completed in April 2008.
5.13 The external evaluation of the pilot schemes confirmed
that: "PTWI improves the quality of prosecutorial decision-making
both by strengthening cases that proceed to trial and by timely
rejection of evidentially weak cases."
5.14 The purpose of the interview is three-fold:
to assess the reliability of the witness's evidence;
to assist the prosecutor in understanding complex
to explain court process and procedures to the witness.
5.15 A witness cannot be compelled to attend an interview
and they are held at the prosecutor's discretion. Interviews are
recorded and the tape is disclosed to the defence.
5.16 Special measures were introduced in 1999. They assist
vulnerable and intimidated witnesses to give their best evidence
in criminal proceedings. The current internal CPS guidance (which
supplements inter-agency guidance contained in Achieving Best
Evidence) is at Annex 15 (not printed). Prosecutors
work with the police at an early stage to identify whether a witness
may be eligible for special measures and, if so, which measures
are the most suitable.
5.17 The witness may ask to meet the CPS prosecutor to
discuss the decisions made concerning special measures either
before or after the prosecutor applies to the court for the special
measures direction. The evidence in the case should not be discussed.
5.18 Information concerning these meetings is included
in: "Early Special Measures Meetings between the Police
and the Crown Prosecution Service and Meetings between the Crown
Prosecution Service and Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses:
Practice Guidance" (Annex 18) (not printed). A
revised version is being published in early 2009.
Child victims and witnesses
5.19 The CPS has issued a number of polices which set
out how it prosecutes cases involving children and young people
as victims and witnesses: Children and Young People (Annex
19) (not printed); Jeromea Witness in Court
aimed at 10-14 year olds; and Millie the Witness aimed
at 5-9 year olds (Annexes 20-21) (not printed).
5.20 Guidance to prosecutors: Safeguarding ChildrenGuidance
on Children as Victims and Witnesses (Annex 22) (not printed)
was issued in 2008. It provides detailed guidance on the role
of prosecutors in safeguarding children.
Victims of hate crimes
5.21 Under the Single Equality Scheme 2006-10, the CPS
has published policies aimed at specific groups of victims or
victims of a particular type of crime: race and religious hate
crime; homophobic and transphobic hate crime; disability hate
crime and crimes against older people (Annexes 23-25) (not
6. HOW THE
CPS RELATES TO
6.1 The CPS has a Community Engagement Strategy which
sets the high level framework for CPS engagement at national,
Group and Area level (Annex 26) (not printed). The Strategy
seeks to embed a multi-strand approach to community engagement,
including: the provision of information as appropriate; community
consultation on key policies and practices; and community participation
through Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels at Area Level, Community Involvement
Panels at Group Level and a Community Accountability Forum nationally.
6.2 The CPS emphasises engagement with groups with historically
low levels of confidence in the CJS or who have historically been
excluded or under-represented, including BME, faith, LGBT communities,
disabled groups, women's groups and more recently older people's
6.3 The CPS has made significant progress in recent years
in involving community stakeholders in informing key CPS public
policies. This approach often involves:
establishing project groups involving CPS staff and
community stakeholders in considering policy proposals together
from the outset;
consulting on draft policies with a wider range of
stakeholders, through public consultation; and
complementing the public consultation with more qualitative
and innovative consultation methods including interactive workshops
with consultees; focus groups to probe more qualitative concerns;
and wider project reference/advisory groups bringing in a broad
range of consultees.
6.4 Elements of this approach have been applied in developing
CPS Domestic Violence Policy; all CPS Hate Crimes Policies; and
work on the VAW Strategy. This approach will be applied to the
revised CPS Rape Policy and the Domestic Violence Policy, and
was singled out for particular commendation in the Capability
Review (June 2007). Further, the Commission for Racial Equality
has recognised that the CPS is "at the forefront of good
practice in the field of equalities in employment".
CPS Single Equality Scheme and the linked Community Accountability
6.5 The CPS adopted a Single Equality Scheme (SES) in
December 2006 addressing our commitments to equality in respect
of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religious or belief and
sexuality (Annex 27) (not printed).
6.6 The SES was positively received by community stakeholders
across the equality strands. It was cited in the Government's
Green Paper on a Single Equality Act as a case study of a SES
in advance of the legal requirement to produce such schemes.
6.7 Following the launch of the SES, the CPS established
a national Community Accountability Forum, comprising 15 community
stakeholders across the six equality strands together with senior
CPS representatives and CPS equality Staff Networks.
CPS Area and Group focused activities
6.8 Between 2005 and 2007, the CPS ran a number of community
engagement pilots to inform future practice at Area level. Following
independent evaluation, the CPS agreed to roll out:
Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels at the 42 Area level; and
Community Involvement Panels at the 15 CPS Group level.
6.9 Simultaneously, the CPS issued:
Community Engagement Handbook (Annex 28) (not
Community Engagement Good Practice Guidance
(Annex 29) (not printed).
Annual community engagement at Area level
6.10 Since 2005, each CPS Area must undertake community
engagement with a diverse range of local communities on an annual
basis; to evaluate this engagement; and to use the results of
this engagement to inform service improvements. This has led to
a step change in performance on community engagement across CPS
7. HOW THE
CPS IS TRANSFORMING
7.1 The CPS is committed to developing its staff and
the Service to fulfil its vision of becoming a world class prosecution
service. It is transforming itself through a number of important
7.2 The CPS is deploying an increasing number of Higher
Court Advocates (HCAs) to handle a growing volume of Crown Court
cases previously handled almost exclusively by the self-employed
7.3 The CPS currently has 977.6 Higher Court Advocates
(FTE as of 30 September 2008). In Q1 and Q2 of 2008-09 they presented
79,947 hearings in the Crown Court compared to 131,463 hearings
in 2007-08 and 21,111 Crown Court hearings in 2004-05. These include
4,373 Crown Court trial hearings in Q1 and Q2 as compared to 6,083
hearings in 2007-08 and 276 Crown Court trial hearings in 2004-05.
7.4 This development enables the CPS to operate continuous
case ownership of more serious casework which strengthens consistency
7.5 The CPS is committed to developing the full potential
of its advocates and has a comprehensive training and development
plan for this.
Associate Prosecutors (Designated Caseworkers)
7.6 As of 30 September 2008, the CPS has appointed 423.4
(FTE) Associate Prosecutors (formerly known as Designated Caseworkers)
who are trained members of staff and able to appear in the magistrates'
courts to prosecute a defined range of non-contested proceedings.
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 extends their powers
to allow them, in due course, to conduct trials of summary non-imprisonable
offences and introduces a regulatory regime.
7.7 The CPS has trained all Associate Prosecutors (APs)
in the new non-contested powers and has developed a training programme
for APs who now undertake contested prosecutions.
Proactive Prosecutor Programme
7.8 To ensure consistent and high quality decision-making
across the Service, the CPS introduced the Proactive Prosecutor
Programme (PPP) in 2005, a tailored training and development programme
for all prosecutors. We have built on this programme by embedding
the PPP method in our training courses and introducing new case
studies to update and reflect current priorities.
7.9 The CPS People Strategy sets out the vision for how
we want to lead, manage and engage staff to build capability to
deliver the CPS business strategy 2008-11. Since May 2008, there
have been a number of significant developments, including a new
leadership model designed, agreed and introduced throughout its
Human Resources and Development Processes and bespoke leadership
development has been introduced for all senior grades and for
7.10 Significant progress has also been made in the Workforce
Planning Project and Hermes (the new HR IT system). Both of these
projects are important in improving the CPS' ability to have the
right people with the right skills, in the right place at the
right time to deliver the service required.
Staff Survey 2008
7.11 Following publication of the results of the latest
Staff Survey in August 2008, workshops have taken place around
the country and actions arising have been included in Area and
Headquarter planning processes. Challenging targets for improvement
have been agreed by the Board, with the intent that that CPS results
will be in the top quartile of the Civil Service by 2012.
8.1 Last year's Capability Review described the CPS as:
"a well led organisation with many strengths, which has enabled
it to transform its role, performance and reputation over recent
years". Building on that endorsement, the CPS continually
considers ways to improve its delivery further in order to deliver
its vision of becoming truly world class and to ensure that it
is a prosecution service of the highest possible quality, serving
all members of the community.
|The Code for Crown Prosecutors|
CPS KEY FACTS
At the end of March 2008, the CPS employed a total of 8,351 people,
54 fewer than at the same time the previous year. This includes
2,913 prosecutors and 4,946 caseworkers and administrators.
Over 91% of all staff are engaged in, or support, frontline prosecutions.
The CPS had 945 prosecutors able to advocate in the Crown
Court and on cases in the Higher Courts and 419 DCWs able
to present cases in magistrates' courts.
In the year to March 2008 (2007-08), the CPS provided
547,649 pre-charge decisions, and completed 966,626 cases
in magistrates' courts and a further 96,992 in the Crown
Court. This compared with a 2006-07 workload of 584,216 pre-charge
decisions, 987,981 cases in magistrates' courts, and 89,408 cases
in the Crown Court.
There were continued improvements in reducing unsuccessful
outcomes in CPS cases**. Magistrates' courts unsuccessful outcomes
represented 14.3% of the total compared with 15.8% in the preceding
year and 23.6% in 2001-02, meeting an annual target of 15%.
Crown Court unsuccessful outcomes represented 20.7% of the
total compared with 22.7% in 2006-07 and 26.8% in 2001-02.
Annual performance in the Crown Court fell just outside the target
of 20%: however, performance for the quarter January-March 2008 improved
to 19.7%, falling just within target.
Total unsuccessful outcomes in magistrates' courts and in
the Crown Court represented 14.9% of the total compared with 16.4%
Guilty pleas and contests
During 2007-08, 641,541 defendants pleaded guilty to
all charges in magistrates' courts, representing 66.4% of all
completed cases, and a further 10,477 (1.1%) entered guilty
pleas to some charges while others proceeded to a contested hearing.
139,618 cases (mostly minor motoring matters) were proved
in the absence of the defendant, representing 14.4% of the total.
57,557 cases proceeded to a contested hearing with no guilty
pleas being entered, representing 6% of the total.
In the same period, 66,700 defendants pleaded guilty
to all charges in the Crown Court, representing 68.8% of completed
cases, and a further 2,542 (2.6%) pleaded guilty to some
charges while others proceeded to a contested hearing. 14,164 cases
proceeded to a contested hearing with no guilty pleas being entered,
representing 14.6% of the total.
The CPS budget for 2005-06 to 2007-08 was set in
SR 2004 and the budget for 2008-09 to 2010-11 was
set in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) 2007:
Over the three years up to 2007-08, the SR 2004 settlement
represented an average increase in real terms of 3% a year.
**Unsuccessful outcomes represent all prosecution outcomes
other than a conviction (including discontinuances and acquittals
after trial). These are expressed as a proportion of all defendant
cases completed during the period.
|The CPS Strategy and Business Plan 2008-11|
|4 & 4a||Area Performance Assessments and Performance Dashboard|
|5||Violence Against Women Action Plan|
|6||CPS Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Rape|
|7||CPS/Police Protocol in the Investigation and Prosecution of Rape Allegations|
|8 & 8a||Policy and Guidance for Prosecuting Cases of Domestic Violence|
|9||Domestic Violence Good Practice Guidance|
|10||Anti-Social Behaviour Guidance|
|11 & 11a||Attorney General's Guidelines on the Acceptance of Pleas and the Prosecutor's Role in the Sentencing Exercise (2005) and its Addendum (2007)|
|13||Director's Guidance to SOCA as to the appropriate prosecutor (not printed)
|14||The Prosecutors' Pledge|
|15||Code of Practice for Victims of Crime|
|16||Victim Focusvictim personal statement|
|17 & 17a||Post-acquittal meetings and Pilot Guidance (not printed)
|18||Practice Guidance on Early Special Measures Meetings (not printed)
|19||CPS Policy on Children and Young People|
|20||Jeromea Witness in Court|
|21||Millie the Witness|
|22||Safeguarding ChildrenGuidance on Children as Victims and Witnesses|
|23||CPS Policy on Race and Religious Hate Crime|
|24||CPS Policy on Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime|
|25||CPS Policy on Disability Hate Crime|
|25a||CPS Crimes against older people policy|
|26||Community Engagement Strategy (not printed and not available on internet)
|27||Single Equality Scheme|
|28||Community Engagement Handbook (not printed and not available on internet)
|29||Community Engagement Good Practice (not printed and not available on internet)