New CPS Chief for Hertfordshire

01/07/2009

David Robinson has been appointed as the new Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for Hertfordshire Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following the retirement of Charles Ingham.

Mr Robinson, who joined Hertfordshire CPS from Warwickshire CPS where he was acting CCP, said:

"This is an exciting time to head up the CPS in Hertfordshire. The role of a CPS prosecutor has changed significantly over recent years. Prosecutors have become involved far earlier in the prosecution process, advising the Police on gathering evidence, restraining criminal assets and charging suspects. And we now conduct the advocacy in most of our Crown Court cases. This is helping transform the organisation.

"But these changes bring a need for us to be more visible and accountable to the public, who want their concerns reflected in how we prosecute and who need to be confident in the criminal justice system.
 
"I am committed to getting to know local communities to understand, and respond to, their concerns so that CPS Hertfordshire can deliver an effective prosecution service to them. Our specific priorities include:

Setting up a Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel which will enable community representatives to scrutinise our handling of race, disability and homophobic crimes to help us improve our handling of these sensitive cases;

Developing existing work to get our prosecutors out into the community. This work includes delivering presentations and staging mock trials to local school children and youth groups on the impact of knife crime;

Building on the excellent work of the Specialist Domestic Violence Courts in Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Hertford to further improve standards in service to victims of domestic violence; and

Working closely with the police and other partners to improve the way we handle rape cases and recover proceeds of crime from criminals.

"I am lucky to have inherited a talented and motivated workforce to help me address local priorities. I look forward to working with them, and our criminal justice partners, in delivering an effective prosecution service to the people of Hertfordshire."

Ends

Notes to Editors

1. Members of the media are invited to a media morning at Hertfordshire, Queens House, 58 Victoria Street, St Albans Herts AL1 3HZ between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Friday 10 July. David Robinson will be available for interview, together with other CPS prosecutors who can cover the specific areas of work referred to herein.
 
Please contact Lucy Chapman, CPS Thames and Chiltern Communications Manager on 01189 516340 or 07764 212062 to make arrangements.

2. David joined Hertfordshire Constabulary in 1989 as a police constable under the graduate entry scheme. He left two years later to train as a barrister at the Inns of Court School of Law in London. He joined the CPS in 1994 as a pupil barrister subsequently becoming a Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS Oxford prosecuting cases in both the magistrates and Crown Courts. In 2001 he became the Head of Crown Court casework at the CPS Berkshire office and regularly appeared as an advocate in the Crown Court. He was promoted to Head of Performance for CPS Thames Valley in 2005. In October 2008 David was appointed as interim Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Warwickshire.

3. CPS prosecutors have worked in partnership with the police, local authority and Crimestoppers to deliver sessions on anti social behaviour to students at the Priory School, Hitchin and Fearnhill School, Letchworth with a view to decreasing anti social behaviour in the area. In 2009 to date, Crown Advocate Peter Shaw has talked to 400 local school children (Onslow School, Hatfield and Cavendish School, Hemel Hempstead) on the effects of knife crime drawing on his prosecution experience. On 28 May 2009, CPS staff took part in a mock Crown Court knife crime trial with Base Youth Project Team, who acted as members of the jury, to demonstrate the impact of involvement in knife crime.

4. Hertfordshire has three Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC). The first was set up in Hemel Hempstead in June 2008. All DV cases at Hemel Hempstead magistrates court are dealt with by specially trained prosecutors and magistrates with specialised witness care to support victims. Since the introduction of the SDVC, the conviction rate has risen from 61.9% (Nov 07-June 08) to 72.6% (July 08-Feb 09) and the guilty plea rate has increased from 52.2% to 61.1% for the same periods. In February and May this year, SDVCs were set up in St Albans and Hertford respectively.

5. The recent cases prosecuted under the Proceeds of Crime Act as part of Operation Movement resulted in the confiscation of £900,000 of criminal assets from a gang of 12 offenders convicted in 2007 of theft and export offences. This was the result of joint working between CPS Hertfordshire prosecutors and Hertfordshire Constabulary.

6. The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution;
  • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute;
  • Preparing cases for court;
  • Presentation of cases at court;

7. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.

8. 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. The Protocol is published on our website at: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/agencies/mediaprotocol.html