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DPP announces details of independent inquiry into Ratcliffe-on-Soar cases

13/07/2011

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has asked retired High Court judge Sir Christopher Rose to conduct the independent inquiry into issues arising out of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station protest cases.

Mr Starmer said: "In light of growing concerns about the non-disclosure of material relating to the activities of an undercover police officer in these cases, I said last month that I would set up an independent inquiry conducted by a senior legal figure.

"Sir Christopher Rose has accepted my invitation to conduct this inquiry. The Terms of Reference have been agreed with him and the Independent Police Complaints Commission."

Under the Terms of Reference, the independent inquiry will examine and make findings in respect of the following matters:

  • Whether the CPS approach to charging in this case was right, bearing in mind the known existence of an undercover police officer in the operation.
  • Whether the CPS and prosecution counsel complied with their disclosure duties properly in relation to the known existence of an undercover police officer in this case.
  • Whether the CPS arrangements in place for handling the known existence of an undercover police officer, including arrangements between the police and the CPS, the CPS and counsel and the local prosecuting team and the national co-ordinator, were adequate and properly followed in this case.
  • Whether the CPS followed all relevant guidance and policy in relation to the known existence of an undercover police officer in this case.

Sir Christopher Rose will also make such recommendations as he considers appropriate in light of the examination and its findings, including, if appropriate, recommendations about CPS policy and/or guidance and CPS arrangements for handling cases involving undercover police officers.

Mr Starmer said: "Sir Christopher will have full access to all the available evidence and will examine the issues with the utmost thoroughness. Inevitably this will take time but will be completed as soon as is practicable.

"This independent inquiry will work in tandem with the IPCC inquiry into this matter. Both organisations are committed to sharing all relevant information and arrangements are being made to ensure there is meaningful liaison between the two inquiries.

"Sir Christopher will report his findings and recommendations to me. I intend to make public his findings and recommendations."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. Sir Christopher Rose sat as Lord Justice Rose in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and was a member of the Privy Council. He was Vice-President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal and retired in April 2006.
  3. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  4. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism, and Organised Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  5. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  6. 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. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.