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Conviction rate increases


"Whatever the crime the decision to charge a suspect is important to the alleged offender, the victim(s), any witnesses and the community. The best model is one where volume crime is dealt with speedily and efficiently. A telephone approach is good for that and allows us to deploy resources for face-to-face consultations with the police in complex and contested cases where it really is necessary. The most important thing is that the right person is charged with the right offence at the right time." – Keir Starmer, DPP

Message from Keir Starmer QC, DPP: At their 2009 Annual Conference the Association of Chief Police Officers will hear how the relationship between the CPS and Police is vital in ensuring that when a crime is committed the right person is charged with the right offence at the right time.

This process continues to evolve but so far the results speak for themselves. In 2006/07 - the first full operating year for statutory Charging arrangements across England and Wales - 348,700 cases were charged and of these 269,800 (77.4%) resulted in a conviction.

By 2008/09, this number had increased to 357,800 cases and 289,000 (80.7%) resulted in a conviction.

Currently the Modernising Charging Programme is ensuring that a smarter, more focussed service overall delivers the capacity, when needed, to devote more CPS resources to servicing complex and contested cases.

Charging advice on these types of cases - for example a death or fraud - is given by our prosecutors to police officers in Charging Centres in local police stations.

Outside of this, equipped with telephone headsets and computers, our lawyers in special CPS Charging Units listen to police officers' accounts over the phone after the arrest of a suspect(s). They then decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge a person and what charge should be levelled against the suspect.

Where necessary they recommend that police gather further evidence to support the charge or strengthen the case to secure a successful outcome.

Read more about charging on the CPS website