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DPP publishes final standards for all prosecutors

01/10/2014

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has today published the final version of new standards for all CPS prosecutors. This follows a consultation with the public, which demonstrated that draft interim standards published in April 2014 were largely in the right place.

Casework Quality Standards apply to all cases prosecuted by the CPS and set out the benchmarks of quality expected by the DPP in every major aspect of CPS work. The four standards also place greater emphasis on the quality of casework and replace the previous 12 Core Quality Standards. The Casework Quality Standards are:

  • Victims, witnesses and communities;
  • Legal decision-making;
  • Casework preparation; and
  • Presentation in court.

Alison Saunders said: "I am grateful to those organisations and individuals who have taken the time to respond to our public consultation - with their help I am confident that we now have a clear set of standards against which both we and the public can measure our performance.

"In particular, these standards are a very clear commitment to victims and witnesses. Our success in prosecuting criminals relies on the willingness of victims and witnesses to engage and give evidence, so it's right that they should know what to expect from us and be able to hold us to account when necessary. That's why, following consultation with the public, our standards now promise to protect the interests of victims in the court process, which we know can be a difficult experience.

"These are the standards for a modern and forward-looking CPS, with a focus on victims and casework quality. I'm particularly pleased that the public consultation welcomed, for example, our emphasis on identifying the proceeds of crime and ensuring that criminals do not retain any financial advantage. Such work embodies what we now expect of our public prosecutors; effective, thorough and doing all they can to serve victims and the wider public."

ENDS

Background:

The final Casework Quality Standards are available on the CPS website, along with a summary of responses from the public consultation. The initial review considered the original Core Quality Standards 1 to 10, relating to the key aspects of casework from advice to presentation. In their place, there are now four new standards.

A separate consultation in respect of the Complaints Handling and Community Engagement Quality Standards is currently ongoing and is due to conclude on Friday, 10 October 2014.

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.