CPS North-East response to HMCPSI Inspection Report

15/08/2017

CPS North-East has effective relations with Criminal Justice stakeholders and partners, manages victim liaison well and engages positively with community groups, according to the report from Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecutions Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI).

The Area's finances have also been well managed and resources deployed effectively.

Although the Area has demonstrated a high level of commitment from staff, which has resulted in some improvements in performance outcomes, there is much work to do to improve casework quality. After some change in the senior management team, there is also a need for a period of stability in which visible leadership can be provided to the CPS North-East staff.

The new CPS North-East senior management team acknowledge the issues that have been raised in the HMCPSI's Area Assurance Programme report and have developed a detailed action plan to ensure that changes are implemented. Some of the Inspectorate findings were issues the management team had already identified and started to address.

Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North-East said:

“As a new management team, we particularly welcome the independent Inspectorate report, which has assisted us enormously to identify areas of strength and those where improvements need to be made. The report makes positive findings relating to our relationships with stakeholders, communications with victims and engagement with communities. These will provide us with the essential foundations on which we can build an improved service in the future. The report also highlights the need for us to improve the quality of our casework decision-making and the handling of case progression. These will provide a particular focus for our planned improvements.”