Solicitor General visits the Crown Prosecution Service in Reading


The newly-appointed Solicitor General, Edward Garnier QC MP, visited staff from Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at the Reading office in the Oxford Road, on Tuesday, 20 July, as part of a fact-finding tour around CPS offices in England and Wales.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames Valley, Baljit Ubhey OBE and the Solicitor General, Edward Garnier QC MP.The Solicitor General was accompanied by Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames Valley, Baljit Ubhey OBE. At the start of the morning visit, the Solicitor General met senior managers, where he was able to ask them questions around their specialised area of work.

Topics covered included Advocacy, Hate Crime, Domestic Violence, Victims and Witnesses, Budget and Resources, Paralegalisation, Victims and Witnesses and Staff Engagement.

During the visit, the Solicitor General saw how the CPS prepares for both Crown Court and magistrates' court work, seeing the units in action working on real cases, dealing with 'todays work today'. He watched both legal and admin staff working alongside each other, to ensure cases are progressed efficiently and effectively.

He also met Crown Advocates who work across the Thames and Chiltern group and heard about the area and group operational strategies, as well as updates on the financial savings made by the CPS by doing much of the advocacy work in-house and how the work is allocated.

Together with the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP, the Solicitor General is the Government Minister who superintends the CPS, along with other prosecuting bodies. They are principally chief legal advisors to the Government.

The Solicitor General, Edward Garnier QC MP said: 'This is one of the early visits in my programme to see the work of the CPS on the ground so I can build up a fuller picture.  I was delighted to meet some dedicated and hard-working staff, both lawyers and administrators, who are doing their best in difficult economic circumstances to ensure that the CJS works effectively.

'This means a huge variety of work and puts a good many pressures on the CPS, but morale appeared to be good and the service correspondingly so.'

Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames Valley, Baljit Ubhey OBE said: 'I am delighted that the Solicitor General has visited CPS Thames Valley to get a better understanding of how the criminal justice system, and the prosecution process in particular, work. I hope he found the visit informative.'