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DPP puts victims at the heart of new standards for all prosecutors

07/04/2014

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, has today set new standards for the work of prosecutors, publishing what she expects of those prosecuting crime for the CPS. The new Casework Quality Standards apply to all cases prosecuted by the CPS and specifically address what victims can expect from those who prosecute on their behalf.

The CPS prosecutes over 800,000 criminal cases a year and the Casework Quality Standards set out the benchmarks of quality expected by the DPP in every major aspect of CPS work.

The four new standards also place greater emphasis on the quality of casework bringing them up-to-date for the CPS in 2014 and replacing the previous 12 Core Quality Standards. The new standards are:

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

The standards take effect from today, 7 April 2014, and the public has been urged to have their say during the public consultation period which runs for the next three months. In addition to this, separate quality standards in respect of Complaints Handling and Community Engagement will be published soon.

Announcing the new standards today, DPP Alison Saunders, said: "The work we do, delivering justice for the public we serve, is a vital part of a functioning democracy and the public should know what to expect from us, particularly when it comes to the quality of our casework and our work with victims.

"The best service we can give victims is to prosecute their cases professionally while keeping them informed and supporting them through the sometimes difficult process of a trial. That is why, alongside decision making, case preparation and presentation in court, I have identified victims, witnesses and communities as one of the four focus areas. 

"The public depends on us to make the right decisions when we prosecute and I urge them to respond to this consultation because these are measures against which they can hold us to account."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The new casework standards have been published on the CPS website.
  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct 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.
  4. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  5. 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.