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National Disclosure Improvement Plan (NDIP) Report on Phase Two - March 2021

|Publication

Introduction

National Disclosure Improvement Plan (NDIP) Phase Two - Embedding Culture Change and Continuous Improvement

NDIP Phase Two was launched in November 2018. Its focus was to replicate the commitment, governance and drive we saw nationally though the NDIP Board, at a local level; to ‘make the national local’. In January 2020 we published an update of our progress. Now, just over one year on, we can report the conclusion of this phase of activity.

In an extraordinary year we have nonetheless seen extensive activity in the disclosure arena; the publication of the Information Commissioner's Office’s (ICO) report on mobile phone data extraction, the revision of the Digital Processing Notices, the introduction of the Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure 2020 and the revised Criminal Procedure Investigations Act (CPIA) Code of Practice 2020, all of which have introduced national changes. The establishment of local disclosure forums in all CPS Areas and the embedding of disclosure champions in all forces and CPS Areas to provide support and guidance on disclosure has assisted in landing these changes locally. These changes each contribute to furthering our shared commitment to creating a culture shift in the way that disclosure is handled by our agencies.

In a year where the role of technology has dominated, we have also seen technological changes to improve the handling of disclosure. The need to redact sensitive personal information from material can be time consuming and impact upon the timeliness of the provision of disclosable material. It was recognised that this would become acute with the introduction of the rebuttable presumptions. Police ICT has now rolled out redaction software using the Adobe Acrobat tools and provided training in all 43 force areas. The Crown Court Digital Case System (CCDCS) has recently been updated to allow for disclosure schedules and material to be shared between prosecutor and defence, on a platform to which the judiciary now have access - we anticipate that this will further reinforce the ability to provide crucial, robust case management and oversight of disclosure practices.

In January 2020 Her Majesty's CPS Inspectorate (HMCPSI) published a report following an inspection into the handling of the disclosure of unused material in Crown Court cases. A follow-up report was published in December 2020. The reports recognise the focus and direction that NDIP has brought to disclosure and identified clear improvement in the way that disclosure is handled by both the Police and CPS. It reported improvement in the provision of advice to the police on reasonable lines of enquiry and improvements in the way that ongoing disclosure is dealt with. The January 2020 report described the overall direction of travel as positive but also made recommendations to address issues where progress has stalled. The follow-up report highlighted the importance of ensuring that the progress made to date is translated into sustained operational improvements in the handling of disclosure. A further joint Inspection is planned for 2021/22 to further assess and report on the progress that has been made.

In the last 12 months we have seen a continued reduction in cases which are failing for disclosure reasons and we anticipate further reductions as the changes brought in by the AG’s Guidelines take effect.

However, we are not complacent and although this phase of our activity has now concluded, with progress against all actions largely complete, we are committed to continuing to improve how we handle disclosure and we will shortly announce our plans to focus upon compliance with these new regimes as we move into phase Three.

Key activity

A full list of all of the actions under the NDIP Phase Two are set out below but progress against key measures and initiatives are as follows:

Action: Developing processes to ensure that when the investigator seeks a charging decision, whether from a supervising officer or from a prosecutor, information on the lines of inquiry that have been pursued will be supplied as part of the pre-charge file.

Ensuring that investigators document what has been considered a reasonable line of inquiry in the circumstances of the case in all requests to prosecutors for charging decisions.

On-going

The Investigation Management Document (IMD) was introduced on 31st December 2020. Central to the National Disclosure Improvement Plan has always been the need to encourage a “thinking” approach to disclosure. This means that CPIA considerations must be integral to investigators’ identification and execution of reasonable lines of enquiry (RLE) and demonstrably uppermost in their minds - from report to court. This is the purpose of the IMD. The IMD will see that reasonable lines of enquiry are documented and explained by investigators at the outset of the investigation. The CPS will use the IMD to inform the Disclosure Management Document (DMD). Properly completed, the IMD will enhance judicial, CPS, defence and public confidence in police investigations if investigators are able routinely to explain, with reference to all matters in issue, what they did and why, and what they did not do and why not.

The Attorney General’s Guidelines, supported by the Director's Guidance on Charging (6th Edition), includes a requirement for information about reasonable lines of enquiry to be provided at the pre-charge stage in order to better inform decision making rom the outset.

Action: Bringing compliance with disclosure obligations forward, for example in the provision of schedules at the pre-charge stage, has brought significant benefits in some case types. Senior police leaders and prosecutors will work together to identify where this could be achieved in each force.Complete

On 31 December 2020 the Attorney General published updated Guidelines on Disclosure and the CPIA Codes of Practice were brought into force. These brought about a number of important changes to the disclosure regime; for the first time it introduced the concept of a ‘rebuttable presumption’ in favour of disclosing certain categories of material. This concept acknowledged that there are certain materials generated during the course of an investigation which are almost always likely to contain relevant material (and therefore should be scheduled) and which will often contain information which may undermine the prosecution case or assist the defence case (and so will often by disclosable). Prosecutors and investigators are required to start on the basis that these items will be disclosable, a presumption which can be rebutted with a considered application of the disclosure test. This shift in emphasis will aid the culture change we want to see in the handling of disclosure. These materials, if they exist, will always be scheduled and may often be disclosed at an early stage in proceedings.

The Guidelines and Code of Practice also brought forward the disclosure timetable and process. Where the police seek a charging decision under the Full Code Test, and it is anticipated that the defendant will plead not guilty, the unused material schedules are now provided to the prosecutor at the point of charge. This front loading of disclosure allows the prosecutor to consider the impact of unused material on the prospects of conviction in a case at the point of charge. It will also mean that often the prosecutor is able to disclose material which satisfies the test in advance of the first hearing in order that meaningful progress can be made.

To give effect to these changes, the CPS also published the Directors Guidance on Charging (6th Edition) making clear the material which is required to be provided when seeking a charging decision.

Overseen by the NDIP Board, the CPS, NPCC and College of Policing have worked closely to ensure that training and guidance was devised for police and prosecutors on these key changes. The Disclosure champions network, which now exists within CPS Areas and Police forces, played a pivotal role in ensuring this guidance and training was cascaded to and understood by frontline staff.

Action: Rolling out the use of Disclosure Management Documents (DMDs) across Crown Court cases and in magistrates’ and Youth court cases in which there are significant volumes of digital material, communications evidence or third-party material.Complete 

Another key change introduced through the Guidelines was the expansion of the use of Disclosure Management Documents (DMDs) to all Crown Court cases and appropriate Magistrates' Court and Youth Court cases. DMDs are a core part of the way disclosure is handled in Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) and Complex Casework Unit (CCU) cases. Using information provided by the Police in the IMD, prosecutors are able to provide the defence and the Court with clarity on the approach which has been taken to disclosure in their case at the PTPH so that judicial scrutiny can be brought to bear and a timetable set for managing disclosure at an early stage in the case.

Voluntary pre-charge defence engagement has also been introduced under the Guidelines and we are exploring the possibility of bringing a formalised structure to pre-charge engagement between investigators, prosecutors and those representing the suspect in suitable cases. The potential to formalise this process is being considered with input from defence stakeholder groups.

These changes mark a shift in practice for both CPS and police, and we expect that the move towards the provision of schedules in pre-charge cases, and of material presumed to be disclosable will lead to a meaningful shift in culture. During the next phase of NDIP we will carefully monitor the impact of these changes.

Action: Updating and nationalising police guidelines on data protection and the legal basis for data extraction from digital devices.  We will work with victims' groups and relevant Commissioners, including the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, on informing complainants and witnesses about how their information will be accessed and processed.Complete

In order to bring consistency to the way in which digital material belonging to victims and witnesses was reviewed, the NPCC issued Digital Processing Notices to all forces to ensure victims and witnesses understood how, and to what extent, their devices would be examined and how the data would be used and shared.  This exposed the need for more clarity about the interplay between reasonable lines of enquiry and the rights to privacy. As such, the Information Commissioner launched an inquiry into mobile phone extraction and compliance with Data Protection legislation.

In June 2020 guidance was provided by the Court of Appeal and the ICO on this subject. The Court of Appeal issued a guideline judgment [in R v Bater-James and Mohammed] on the principles which should be applied to the pursuit of reasonable lines of enquiry in the context of mobile phone examination. It identified four key principles:

  • Principle One: Digital material should only be reviewed in pursuit of a reasonable line of enquiry and material should only be disclosed if it meets the disclosure test
  • Principle Two: A review should be proportionate and should not involve a review of wholly irrelevant material 
  • Principle Three: The witness/complainant should be kept informed
  • Principle Four: The prosecutor and investigator should consider the consequences of refusal

The Court endorsed CPS Guidance on reasonable lines of enquiry (‘Guidelines on Communication Evidence’ and ‘A Guide to “reasonable lines of enquiry” and Communications Evidence’).

The ICO report was also published and made a number of recommendations to improve compliance with data protection law.

In September 2020 the NPCC introduced new interim digital processing notices addressing and implementing the four key principles provided by the Court of Appeal. The NPCC is continuing work on permanent replacement notices, the publication of which will coincide with the College of Policing’s Authorised Professional Practice (APP) on mobile phone extraction. The permanent notices will incorporate a number of the recommendations made within the ICO report. These recommendations, however, go beyond the digital processing notices.

A multi-agency steering group, jointly chaired by the Home Office and NPCC, has been established to oversee delivery of the actions which address each of the thirteen recommendations within the report.

Measuring progress on delivery

It is an important part of the duty of the prosecutor to keep every case under continuous review and to bring cases to an end if the Code test is no longer met. On each occasion this occurs, the prosecutor is required to record the reason the case was stopped.

Action: Improving the granularity of data captured in cases which did not result in a conviction but where disclosure was the primary or contributory reason for the decision to stop the case.Complete

In November 2018 the CPS introduced five new codes for prosecutors to use at the conclusion of every case in which the outcome was not a conviction. In addition, for every case which does not result in conviction, irrespective of the primary reason, the lawyer must record whether issues with disclosure were a contributory factor in the outcome of the case.

As can be seen from the table below, since these new measures were introduced, there has been a steady, overall fall in the proportion of cases stopped due to issues with disclosure. The proportion where disclosure was a feature has almost halved which would indicate that quality and/or timeliness of disclosure handling is improving.

When interpreting the data, it should be noted that the volumes and percentages have been impacted due to court closures and recovery during Covid-19 from Mid-March to the end of June 2020 (20/21-Q1).

Please note the CPS Caveats relating to the data: full details can be found in Annex B of this document.

QuarterTotal Non-ConvictionNon-Conviction (primary) reason is disclosure% of Non-Conviction reasons with a disclosure primary reasonNon-Conviction disclosure focus (secondary) reason is disclosure% of Non-Conviction Reasons with a disclosure focus reason
19/20-Q114,0445924.2%6154.4%
19/20-Q215,4925453.5%5713.7%
19/20-Q313,7644153.0%5063.7%
19/20-Q413,5144373.2%4553.4%
20/21-Q1*8,8661361.5%2012.3%
20/21-Q211,0392672.4%2542.3%

The data is broken down by the reason for the disclosure issue, which allows for a close and transparent examination of performance. The tables below illustrate that, apart from public interest immunity, all reasons have improved since the last publication.

Primary Reasons

QuarterTotal Non-Conviction

D77 Police/Investigator cause, including the timeliness and quality of disclosure

Volume/%

D78 CPS cause, including timeliness and quality of disclosure

Volume/%

D79 Other party cause, including timeliness and quality of disclosure

Volume/%

D80 No fault: Timeliness and quality acceptable but disclosure was a factor

Volume/
%

D81 No fault: Public interest immunity issues

Volume/
%

*19/20-Q114,0443762.7%980.7%170.1%810.6%200.1%
19/20-Q215,4924192.7%780.5%150.1%180.1%150.1%
19/20-Q313,7643112.3%620.5%30.0%170.1%220.2%
19/20-Q413,5143092.3%620.5%70.1%270.2%320.2%
20/21-Q1*8,866941.1%50.1%40.0%130.1%200.2%
20/21-Q211,0391641.5%300.3%50.0%250.2%430.4%

Secondary Reasons

QuarterTotal Non-Conviction

D77 Police/Investigator cause, including the timeliness and quality of disclosure

Volume/%

D78 CPS cause, including timeliness and quality of disclosure

Volume/%

D79 Other party cause, including timeliness and quality of disclosure

Volume/%

D80 No fault: Timeliness and quality acceptable but disclosure was a factor

Volume/
%

D81 No fault: Public interest immunity issues

Volume/
%

19/20-Q114,0443162.3%470.4%630.4%1771.3%120.1%
19/20-Q215,4923622.3%830.3%420.3%810.5%30.0%
19/20-Q313,7643112.3%520.3%430.3%940.7%60.0%
19/20-Q413,5142852.1%320.3%410.3%800.6%170.1%
20/21-Q1*8,8661081.2%30.1%90.1%750.8%60.1%
20/21-Q211,0391401.3%160.2%200.2%730.7%50.0%

*20/21 Q1 data - it will be noted that the volume of finalised cases reduced significantly in quarter 1. This coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak and the initial court closures. 

*19/20 Q1 and Q2 data has previously been published in the January 2020 update.

Annex A: Progress against the actions

ItemNDIP actionsProgress
CAPACITY
1Learning from the on-going pilots led by our cross-agency technology working group will be coupled with evidence from a more detailed wider landscape review undertaken by the NPCC Digital Policing Portfolio. As per the Justice Select Committee recommendation, this work will inform the Home Office, in consultation with the CPS, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing, in their production of a comprehensive strategy to ensure that all 43 police forces are equipped to handle the increasing volume and complexity of digital evidence.In the last two years training has been successfully rolled out to all 43 forces in the use of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for the redaction of documents. This on average saves investigators 95 minutes per case file. Numerous proof of concept initiatives have taken place with Access Data, Opentext, Nuix and Magnet. These have all proved to be successful improving efficiency and enhancing evidence in cases. These trials informed the next stage of the project to test these products on volume crime investigations. This will take place in the year 21/22. Work continues to develop Digital Evidence Transfer systems within forces to speed up the sharing of digital material with CPS as well as progressing the Digital Case File programme.
2

Developing processes to ensure that when the investigator seeks a charging decision, whether from a supervising officer or from a prosecutor, information on the lines of inquiry that have been pursued will be supplied as part of the pre-charge file.

Ensuring that investigators document what has been considered a reasonable line of inquiry in the circumstances of the case in all requests to prosecutors for charging decisions.

The development of the Investigation Management Document (IMD) has ensured that the information and digital strategy of a case is competently supplied to the CPS, outlining lines of enquiry that have been followed and those that have not.

This information is essential for the DMD to be properly completed by the CPS and for the benefits of the DMD to be realised.

3Continue working with HMCTS on developing a section in the Crown Court Digital Case System accommodating the transfer of unused material and a record of disclosure decisionsThe transferring of unused material and records of disclosure decisions to the Crown Court Digital Case System will take place from February 2021 onwards.
4Evaluating the third-party material protocol in 12 months’ time and assess whether it is improving the quality of third party disclosure handling.Complete. It will be reviewed again in 2021 as part of a continual review of our disclosure products.
5Rolling out the use of DMDs across Crown Court cases and in magistrates’ and Youth court cases in which there are significant volumes of digital material, communications evidence or third-party material.In accordance with the revised Attorney General’s Disclosure Guidelines, the use of DMDs has been expanded to all Crown Court cases and appropriate Magistrates Court and Youth Court cases.
6Exploring standardisation of terminology in the preparation of disclosure schedules and exploring the recommendation of the Attorney General’s Review that a standard system be developed to provide more information about the nature of material and its potential relevance to the case.The estimated launch of the Digital Case File in 2022 will encompass the requirements of this action.
CAPABILITY
7

Assessing the training needs of prosecutors – ensuring new starters have the opportunity to undertake disclosure training as part of their induction and that recruits receive training appropriate to their level of experience.

Evaluate the training provided to prosecutors and plan accordingly for future training based on organisational assessment of user needs.

There is a dedicated portfolio of prosecutor training where disclosure is the cornerstone of each programme.
Training on the Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure was rolled out in December 2020.
8

Continuing the development of the champions’ network across policing and CPS, making sure that there is sufficient capacity and capability to drive change.

Bringing together police and prosecutor champions with both local events and national conferences to further embed the force champions network and link that into the CPS champions.

Networks of CPS and police Disclosure Champions are fully established, competently supporting the delivery of high-quality casework by embedding disclosure as a core skill.

Disclosure forums and events, both at national and local level, continue to engage in disclosure improvement initiatives that impact on the Criminal Justice System.

9Updating and nationalising police guidelines on data protection and the legal basis for data extraction from digital devices. We will work with victims groups and relevant Commissioners, including the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, on informing complainants and witnesses about how their information will be accessed and processed.

The Digital Processing Notice and Witness information sheet was updated in July 2020 as an interim response to the Court of Appeal judgment in Bater-James, an updated version taking into account recommendations by the ICO is due to be consulted upon later this year.

The ICO recommendations have been accepted and a Home Office-led Steering Group will monitor the ICO recommendations.

10Refreshing the Disclosure Manual to reflect new guidance and process under the NDIP.Completed. Refreshed disclosure manual was published in December 2018. It will be reviewed again in 2021 as part of a continual review of our disclosure products.
11Developing training and toolkits on digital extraction and tools for analysis for investigators and prosecutors and raising awareness of developments with stakeholders across the criminal justice system.“Think Digital” toolkits were launched for CPS and NPCC practitioners in May 2019.
12Reviewing processes for handling sensitive disclosure outside specialist police units and the CPS central casework divisions. This will involve ensuring investigators and prosecutors have the knowledge and skills to deal with cases involving sensitive lines of inquiry and sensitive unused material.A new Service Level Agreement for handling sensitive disclosure was created and new casework products were developed to assist with audit trails and guidance materials.
13Evaluating the impact of the National Disclosure Standards in the next 12 months to assess whether they have achieved improvements in the service of properly completed and endorsed disclosure schedules.Complete. It will be reviewed again in 2021 as part of a continual review of our disclosure products.
14Considering, in accordance with the timescales contained in NDIP1, whether a licence to practise could assist to drive up police standards in disclosure practice.This was reviewed by the College of Policing, at present there is no mechanism to implement a licence to practice.
LEADERSHIP
15Utilising the CPS Disclosure Champions to perform a key role in compliance and assurance at a local level by undertaking local observation to assess change.Local Disclosure Compliance Monitoring Groups have developed frameworks and models that analyse samples of cases on a monthly basis, identifying areas for improvement and providing direct feedback to practitioners.
16Encouraging the inclusion of disclosure as part of Continuing Professional Development for police practitioners and driving learning through all levels within forces.The College disclosure product allows forces to adopt classroom based or individual training, supporting initial learning and CPD.
17Raising awareness of disclosure improvement initiatives such as the Disclosure Management Document throughout the criminal justice system.Disclosure Forums, both at a national and local level, continue to engage in disclosure improvement initiatives that impact on the Criminal Justice System.
18Maintaining the leadership momentum in the CPS by repeating the Disclosure Seminar, chaired by the Director of Public Prosecutions on a bi-annual basis.This took place in 2019. The next Seminar is due to be held this year (2021).
19Focusing on disclosure in the magistrates’ and youth courts.A key issue with disclosure in the Magistrates' Courts was the lack of relevant material appearing on the SDC and being disclosed at an early stage in proceedings. The introduction of rebuttable presumptions will ensure that SDCs contain entries relating to the categories of material which are presumed to be disclosable and will ensure that material is disclosed at the first hearing.
20Making disclosure improvement in the Area a specific objective for Chief Crown Prosecutors against which their performance will be measured.Complete. This is now a specific performance objective for the most senior leaders in the CPS.
PARTNERSHIP
21

Bringing compliance with disclosure obligations forward, for example in the provision of schedules at the pre-charge stage, has brought significant benefits in some case types.

Senior police leaders and prosecutors will work together to identify where this could be achieved in each force.

The revised Attorney General’s Disclosure Guidelines indicate that where a charging decision is sought on the full code test and a not guilty plea is anticipated, then the unused schedules and material required should be provided at the pre-charge stage.
22Exploring the possibility of bringing a formalised structure to pre-charge engagement between investigators and prosecutors and those representing the suspect, particularly in cases where there is a large volume of digital material that is potentially relevant. The potential to formalise this process is being considered with input from defence stakeholder groups.Multi-stakeholder consultation meetings were held for pre-charge engagement, paving the way for pre-charge engagement to be annexed to the revised Attorney General’s Guidelines.
23Replicating the National Disclosure Forum at a local level to facilitate discussions between stakeholders on issues that arise locally.Forums have taken place across the country at a local level where senior representatives of police, CPS, judiciary, defence and HMCTS work together to identify, understand and address issues in disclosure practice.  National learning is applied locally and local learning is shared nationally.
24Working with the judiciary to embed the use of the Disclosure Management Document into the Better Case Management processes, including a section on the Plea and Trial Preparation Form.The amended PTPH form was rolled out in July 2019.
25Building on the experiences of what works well in our most complex casework, a streamlined version of the Early Case Planning Conference will be adopted in all Threshold Test charged cases to facilitate communication between the investigative team and the prosecutor.A pilot is currently occurring to determine the benefits of holding Early Case Planning Conferences on all Threshold Test charged cases.
GOVERNANCE
26Delivery against the commitments in this plan will continue to be overseen by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the College of Policing. An update on progress will be published quarterly.The Joint Operational Improvement Board meets monthly.
27Improving the granularity of data captured in cases which did not result in a conviction but where disclosure was the primary or contributory reason for the decision to stop the case.New finalisation metrics have been designed to capture data which reflects the extent to which disclosure impacts on performance.  There is now improved granularity of data captured in cases which did not result in a conviction but where disclosure was the primary or contributory reason for the decision to stop the case.
28Developing automated data collection in relation to key stages of the disclosure process which will show levels of compliance by both police and CPS such as the identification of reasonable lines of inquiry (pre-charge), creation/management of the Disclosure Management Document/Disclosure Record Sheet and completion of schedules.The CPS Case Management System has continued to undergo significant upgrades and enhancements in order to develop automated data collection in relation to key stages of the disclosure process, illustrating levels of compliance by both police and CPS.

Annex B: CPS Data Caveats

The disclosure dashboard is for internal management purposes only. It, nor any part of it, should not be published without direct permissions from the CPS.

Any publication would breach the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice (for the release of statistics).

1. CPS data are available through its Case Management System (CMS) and associated Management Information System (MIS). The CPS collects data to assist in the effective management of its prosecution functions. The CPS does not collect data that constitutes official statistics as defined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

2. These data have been drawn from the CPS’s administrative IT system, which (as with any large scale recording system) is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures are provisional and subject to change as more information is recorded by the CPS. We are committed to improving the quality of our data and from mid-June 2015 introduced a new data assurance regime which may explain some unexpected variance in some future data sets.

 

3. The official statistics relating to crime and policing are maintained by the Home Office (HO) and the official statistics relating to sentencing, criminal court proceedings, offenders brought to justice, the courts and the judiciary are maintained by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

Defendant 'outcomes' are counted by the CPS at finalisation.

All cases resulting in an outcome other than a conviction are allocated a reason why the case failed. If more than one reason applies the principle reason is chosen.

In pre-charge decision cases all cases resulting in a decision to take no further action for either evidential or public interest reasons are allocated a reason for that decision If more than one reason applies the principle reason in chosen.

Quarter 1 data

Q1 20/21 saw a 60% drop in completed prosecutions due to lockdown and Court Closures. 

The COVID-19 outbreak presents an unprecedented challenge for the criminal justice system (CJS) in England and Wales. The scale and seriousness of the situation has created significant difficulties for the criminal justice process. For context, ‘lockdown’ measures were announced in the Prime Minister’s 23 March statement on COVID-19, priority courts were put in place from 30 March, and the CPS issued its Interim Charging Protocol on 1 April. Guidance for prosecutors on the application of the Public Interest test was issued on 14 April to manage demand on the CJS, requiring prosecutors to consider the impact of the pandemic when deciding whether charges are in the public interest.

The HMCTS recovery overview sets out in detail the challenges faced by the CJS in Q1 of 20/21. To summarise, the CJS continued to operate throughout Q1, but at a significantly reduced scale. In Q1, the number of half day sessions conducted by the CPS was 31,394. This contrasts with Q4, where the number of half day sessions conducted was 77,855, a drop of 60%. In the first two months of the quarter the number of half day sessions dropped by 75% in the magistrates’ court and by 65% in the Crown Court. While the CPS was able to finalise a significant number of cases in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court, there was a dramatic fall in court capacity.

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