Definitions and Acronyms• Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)• Success• Models▫ Justice▫ Punishment▫ Management of crime and criminals (Packer; 1968, King; 1981:13 in Davies, Croall and Tyler; 2005:26)• Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)• Her Majesty‟s Crown Prosecution ServiceInspectorate (HMCPSI)• Royal Commission of Criminal Procedure (RCCP)
Context• Thatcherite thinking• Pre-1985• 1980s – the turning point (CPS: 2012)• Glidewell Report 1998 (Adams: 1998)• Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Act2000 (HMCPSI: 2012)
Facts and Figures• Annual expenditure £568 million• Employs 7,800+• Prosecuted 1.25 million for criminal offences(2004-05)▫ 92% Magistrates‟ Court (National Audit Office; 2006)0102030405060708090100Convictions Unsuccessful ProsecutionsPercentage(%)Comparison of Convictions and UnsuccessfulProsecutions for a Number of OffencesHomicideOffences Against thePersonsPublic OrderSexual OffencesDrug OffencesMotoring(Data.gov.uk; 2012)62%16%7%4%2%3%2% 2% 2%Criminal Justice System expenditure 1999/2000PolicePrision ServiceCriminal Legal AidProbation ServiceCrown Prosecution Service and Serious FraudOfficeMagistrates CourtsOtherCriminal Injuries Compensation and VictimSupportCrown Court(Home Office; 1999:70)
Has the CPS maintained its independence from the police?
Job Well Done?• Sufficient evidence• Public interest• Can they succeed at these independent of thepolice?
CPS as a bridge• „...bridge between police investigation andcriminal courts...‟ (McConville & Wilson; 2002:9)• Dropped 10-20% cases presented by police▫ 39% due to lack of sufficient evidence▫ 35% witness unreliability (Home Office: 1994)• Does that mean it is successful in fulfilling itspurpose?
Powerful and uninfluenced?• Bias in the CJS is „imported through police“clues”‟ (Duff; 1997:37)• Independence as sovereign „dependent on policeraw material... the more refined, greater policeinfluence‟ (Mansfield; 1987 in Saunders; 1988:520)• Has the bridge been tampered with?
Inspecting the inspectors• HMCPSI „more proactive in seeking informationand trying to build a case‟ (Brown et al; 2007:356)• Inspectorate found discontinuance because:▫ 24% on public interest grounds▫ 25% of cases had delays in decision overdiscontinuance (Ashworth and Redmayne, 2010: 213)
Neo-liberal Agendas• Anglo-Capitalism and free markets• Home Office bureaucratic priorities▫ CPS no exception• No longer about initial goals but... £££▫ Its all about the money, money, money...• „Efficiency, minimal expense...‟ (Croall et al; 2005:12)
Co-operation with other agencies without losing independence?
PoliceOffice of the Prosecutor Generalof the Russian FederationAssociation ofChief PoliceOfficersMediaCounterTerrorismUnit Crimes AgainstHumanity UnitInstitute of LegalExecutivesMetPoliceForensic ScienceServiceNon-GovernmentalOrganisationsIndependentPolice ComplaintsCommission VictimsLocalGovernmentBarNHSOffice of RailRegulationInterpretersLocalGovernmentAssociationFire andRescueServicesWelsh LocalGovernmentAssociationMaritime and Coastguard AgencyChildProtectionServicesHealth and Safety ExecutiveBritishTransportPoliceSeriousandOrganisedCrimeAgencyImmigrationServices
CPS as Judge and Jury• Code for Crown Prosecutors▫ „realistic prospect of conviction‟ which should bean „objective test‟▫ 5 editions from start• Approaches of the CPS▫ Predictive▫ Intrinsic merits• 1986 and 1992 – favour of diversion fromprosecution• 1994 and 2000 – reversal
CPS Currently and its future• John Report 2003• Determine all but minor routine offences▫ Police regaining powers – independent?• Future to create a super prosecuting service▫ Serious Organised Crime Agency▫ Revenue and Customs▫ UK Border Agency
Convictions and the CPS• Police organisation of prosecutors before CPS▫ Police reluctant to change this• Disjunctions between Policy and what actuallyhappens▫ ECHR- “equality of arms”• Evidence and its impact on cases• Prosecution of Offenders Act, 1985, Section 23▫ Police control evidence▫ Construction by Police, selective, Policesummaries and their eradication
Convictions and the CPS• Prosecution of cases as crime control strategy▫ “Confait Affair”• Convictions▫ Discontinuation of weakcases, Government, statistics▫ Doesn‟t it show CPS does what it was set up to do?Figures suggest it.• Stephen Lawrence case (Macpherson of Cluny, Sir W., 1999)
Convictions and the CPS• CPS rarely drops evidentially weakcases, research confirms weak cases continue tobe prosecuted, public interest cases• Violations of due process, Police cautioning• CPS as decision reverser, not a decisionmaker, “Prosecution momentum”
Convictions and the CPS• Prosecution of weak cases▫ Commitment to help the “vulnerable” victim(Sanders et al. in Home Office, no. 44; 1997)• Little difference in Police and CPS outlook andevaluations of cases, CPS mindset asPROSECUTION not CRIMINAL JUSTICEagency (McVonville et al.;1991)• Unlike Holland (Brants and Filed; 1995).
Convictions and the CPS• Ethnic minority defendants▫ More likely to have cases BOTH discontinued andadmitted to court, racism elements of Police(Mhlanga, 1999)
Convictions and the CPS• Adaptation and progression▫ Schemes like PICA (Public Interest CaseAssessment)▫ RCCP recommendation that PICA “should beexpanded across country” (RCCP Report, 1993)▫ “Prosecutors have no way of knowing...” so Codeof Crown Prosecutors can not be applied correctly
Convictions and the CPS• Adaptation and progression cont.▫ Auld Report 2001▫ Statutory Charging Scheme▫ Senior Prosecutor in the past warned CPS needs acultural change (Brownlee, 2001), structural and roleconflicts• CPS Annual Report 2004-05 proclaimed this asprogressed.
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