CPS Bedfordshire has improved say inspectors

13/12/2011

Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inpectorate (HMCPSI) has today, Tuesday 13 December 2011 published its report on the routine follow-up inspection of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Bedfordshire (now part of Thames and Chiltern CPS).

HMCPSI undetook an in-depth inspection of CPS Bedfordshire, and the report was published in October 2010.  The report rated CPS Bedfordshire as Good.  The inspectorate makes assessments of peformance using a model, which produces an overall assessment of Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor.

Summary of the main follow-up findings:

  •  The Area has achieved two of the four priority recommendations.  It has reviewed staff resources available to provide charging decisions to the police, and increased the use of in-house prosecutors for certain types of trial work.  The remaining two priority recommendations are no longer applicable due to the Area restructure. 
  • The Area has achieved or made substantial progress in meeting six of the nine secondary recommendations, in particular improving aspects of pre-charge decision making, the quality of indictments and aspects of the service to victims and witnesses.  Two of the secondary recommendations have had limited progress and one has not yet been progressed.
  • The Area has also taken action to address aspects of performance where improvement was required, which was detailed in the text of the inspection report; this shows an impressive commitment to address weaknesses and drive improvement.

Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern CPS said: "I am extremely pleased with this follow-up report, which recognises the hard work that has gone on since the initial inspection last year to make sure that the recommendations have been taken forward.

"It has been a very busy year for CPS Bedfordshire.  In April 2011, as part of a national reorganisation of the CPS, it was subsumed within the new Thames and Chiltern CPS Area, and the Criminal Justice Unit relocated from Bedford to Luton in October 2011.

"Todays follow-up report is testimony to the dedication of the CPS management and staff within Bedfordshire, and highlights the commitment of Thames and Chiltern CPS to improving area performance, service delivery and outcomes."