CPS Response to the HMICFRS/HMCPSI joint thematic inspection report in relation to Pre-charge Bail and Released under Investigation
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) have today (8 December 2020) published a report on Pre-charge Bail and Release under Investigation. The report’s recommendations relate mainly to the police but there are also issues here for the CPS. Decisions as to bail are always for the police to make, but one third of the cases coming before the criminal courts involve a CPS charging decision and those cases are an opportunity for the CPS to provide advice and assistance as to bail pre-charge.
We accept the recommendations that involve the CPS and will use these to shape our improvement activities.
The Home Office should work with the NPCC, the CPS and the College of Policing to make sure that any changes to the legislation secure improvements for victims of crime.
The CPS is committed to working with the Home Office, the NPCC and the College of Policing through the Pre-charge Bail Working Group to ensure that changes to the legislation as to pre-charge bail secure improvements for victims of crime.
Forces should record whether a suspect is on bail or RUI on the MG3 form when it is submitted to the CPS. This should be regularly checked and any changes in bail or RUI provided to the CPS. The CPS should work with the police to ensure this information is provided.
The CPS will work with the police (through the Charging Board) to ensure this information is provided on MG3s.
The CPS and NPCC should work together to review their service level agreements and make sure that cases can be charged at the earliest opportunity.
The CPS and the NPCC are working together through the Charging Board to consider this issue in the light of the charging pilot, the Covid charging protocol and performance information collected by the CPS and the police. These considerations will include identifying cases that should be prioritised for an immediate charging decision and working to ensure that police file submissions are of the appropriate quality to enable charging decisions to be made.