14/09

DPP's plan for a fair, fearless and effective public prosecution service

30/11/2009

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, QC, has today published his plan for taking forward the public prosecution service, at the heart of the criminal justice service.

Mr Starmer said:

"Times have changed since the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was set up in 1986. Crime has changed; the approach to combating criminal behaviour has changed; and societys expectations of its prosecution service have changed. We are in a good place, but I believe it is time to move on and I want to encourage debate about the way forward to achieve a better service for the public.

"With the merger of the CPS and the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, a new public prosecution service is emerging which, like any progressive organisation, must always be looking to improve. I believe it must be focused on protecting the public, delivering justice and supporting victims and witnesses.

"The way forward is set out in a document called: 'The Public Prosecution Service: setting the standard.' In it, the DPP says that to take the prosecution service to a new level of effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency, publicly facing core quality standards will be introduced.

Neil Franklin, Chief Crown Prosecutor and Group Chair for CPS North and West Yorkshire said:

"These standards will define a new relationship between the the prosecution service and the public. They will lay down the miminum in terms of quality and delivery that the public is entitled to expect from those who prosecute on its behalf. They will make us truly accountable to the communities we serve.

"They will cover every major aspect of our work: from protecting the public to advising the investigator, through to defining the standards of service in respect of every aspect of the prosecutors role in court; and from supporting victims and witnesses to dealing with complaints.

"Our community prosecutor project which is being piloted in Wakefield, is an excellent example of this new apporach. It  puts local communities at the heart of our work so that they know the types of crime that cause most local concern and are able to take the publics views into account in their decisions and in the information they place before the courts."

Mr Starmer added:

"We will become a service judged by its results with a commitment to excellence at its core, and the public will be able to assess our success.

"Fair, fearless and effective; open, honest and transparant, protective, supportive and independent; these are the qualities that the public has a right to expect of its public prosecution service; we are determined to meet those expectations.

"At the same time, the whole criminal justice service needs to move forward together. The prosecution service cannot work on this alone. The document, 'The Public Prosecution Service: setting the standard', is to spark a wider debate. I encourage everyone to take part."