Core Quality Standards to become focus for the CPS

25/03/2010

The Crown Prosecution Service has today launched a set of 12 Core Quality Standards which set out to the public the level of service they can expect from us in our work.

Whether you are a victim or witness to a crime or just an interested taxpayer this is the benchmark on which we can be judged for the quality of the service we provide in our handling of cases in the courts in the South West.

The standards were finalised following widespread partner and public consultation:

Standard 1: We will provide the police and other investigators with advice to assist in tackling crime effectively and bringing offenders to justice.

Standard 2: We will make timely, effective and fair charging decisions in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Standard 3: We will use out-of-court disposals as alternatives to prosecution, where appropriate, to gain speedy reparation for victims and to rehabilitate or punish offenders.

Standard 4: We will oppose bail for defendants where appropriate, taking particular account of the risk posed to victims and the public.

Standard 5: We will prepare all our cases promptly and in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Rules so that guilty pleas can be entered at the earliest opportunity, and fair trials can take place on the appointed dates.

Standard 6: We will present our cases fairly and firmly.

Standard 7: We will assess the needs of victims and witnesses, keep them informed about the progress of their case and seek appropriate support to help them to give their best evidence.

Standard 8: We will explain our decisions to victims when we stop cases or substantially alter the charge.

Standard 9: We will assist the court in the sentencing process and seek to confiscate the proceeds of crime.

Standard 10: We will consider whether to exercise our rights of appeal when we believe the court has made the wrong legal decision.

Standard 11: We will deal promptly and openly with complaints about our decisions and the service we provide.

Standard 12: We will engage with communities so that we are aware of their concerns when we make decisions.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Gloucestershire said: "For me Standard 12 is all encompassing in so far as our casework is concerned, as each of our cases must pass the public interest test as well as the realistic prospect of conviction test from our Code for Crown Prosecutors.

"I am hoping you can make us aware of your concerns so our lawyers can consider them when making decisions.

"I will also make sure we continue to provide to you with a clear view on how we are performing as a public prosecution service and as part of the wider criminal justice system."