The Crown Prosecution Service: Gatekeeper of the Criminal Justice System - Justice Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by Help the Aged

  1.  Help the Aged is pleased to provide this short memorandum on the work of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in response to the Justice Committee's call for evidence.

  2.  Help the Aged has been hugely impressed by the work that the Crown Prosecution Service has done in the recent years to introduce and then implement a Single Equality Scheme across all six equality "strands". In particular we have welcomed the work that has been done to understand and act upon age equality issues.

  3.  All too often the lack of a formal legal framework for age equality means that even those authorities who do attempt to introduce equality schemes across all strands neglect key issues relating to age.

  4.  To this end we have particularly welcomed the work which came out of the Single Equality Scheme to develop a new Public Policy Statement "Prosecuting Crimes against Older People" and new guidance on prosecuting crimes against older people. We are pleased that this policy sets out how the CPS will deal with crimes against older people and how older people who are victims of or witnesses to crime will be supported. It is extremely positive that the CPS is committed to taking age equality issues into account in all of their prosecution policies.

  5.  We are also pleased that the CPS will be monitoring cases involving crimes against older people to assess the impact of the public policy statement. We look forward to seeing the results of this monitoring activity.

  6.  We note from the Annual Report on the Single Equality Scheme published in June 2008 that a review of retirement is due to be completed in October 2008. Help the Aged hopes that the CPS will soon end the ageist practice of forcing staff to leave work on the basis of their age alone.

  7.  We believe the strong commitment to equality amongst senior leaders in the CPS has been a key factor in ensuring the success of the organisation's equality scheme.

  8.  Whilst, of course, there are areas of the CPS scheme which could be improved—for example more could be done to tackle the problems of multiple discrimination—we believe the CPS should be commended for its positive approach to equality issues.

October 2008

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