CPS South West response to HMCPSI report

30/06/2016

Important steps to improve the service to victims and witnesses by CPS South West are having a positive impact, following the implementation of an action plan to address the recommendations of Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI).

HMCPSI's Area Assurance Inspection, published today, highlights CPS South West's strong governance, budget management and value for money. It also recognises that the Area performs well against the national average for casework outcomes. However, it identifies areas for improvement, including communication with victims and witnesses.

Barry Hughes, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South West said: "I welcome the Inspectorate's report, and its finding that CPS South West delivers value for money and has good governance. Our conviction rates are recognised as good, and work has already begun to implement all the recommendations made to further improve our performance.

"Providing an excellent service to victims is a CPS priority, and we have put in place an action plan to drive up the quality of our communication with victims and witnesses. This includes new arrangements for speaking with witnesses at court, on-going training for prosecutors and gathering feedback from victims."

The Inspectorate made thirteen specific recommendations in their report. CPS South West has accepted all the recommendations, and has begun to implement an action plan to address the issues raised. Key measures include:

staff training on communication with victims: this has taken place and has already led to a significant increase in direct correspondence and will be closely monitored

a new Area Community Engagement Plan to enhance engagement with local people and stakeholders

targeted training to address specific areas identified by HMCPSI, including maintaining accurate time records and familiarisation with the Case Management System.

Ends