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PCC says quality case files for court is a priority

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Bristol Court

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens says that improving prosecution case files and getting it right first time is a priority in Avon and Somerset.

A review of 180 case files taken from six police forces in England and Wales announced that repeated efforts to improve the quality of prosecution case files have had limited success.

A joint review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, (HMCPSI) said ‘case files must be completed to a high standard; but too often the completion of them is treated as a tickbox exercise, and files include irrelevant or incomplete information.’

Sue Mountstevens said: “The review highlighted something that has been widely acknowledged for some time. There are many issues in the system currently and there is significant work underway to address this – by going digital, by getting a better grip on management information, through training and crucially with more robust oversight.

“In Avon and Somerset the Local Criminal Justice Board, made up all the core criminal justice agencies including the Crown Prosecution Service, Probation, police and the courts identified this as an area of improvement and made it a priority for 2013-14.

“Strong case files are the critical building block for getting a victims case to court. It is important for the police to get it right first time with quality information which can obtain successful convictions and speedy justice outcomes for all involved.

“Victims of crime have told me about their frustration in the time it takes for their case to be resolved and worse still where their case falls apart. 

“I am here to listen to victims and to work with our criminal justice partners, and challenge them when necessary to improve their experience of the criminal justice system.”

As Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is responsible for ensuring an efficient and effective criminal justice service.

Ms Moutstevens has also made ‘putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system’ a priority in her Police and Crime Plan which sets out the objectives for Avon and Somerset Constabulary over the next four-years.

Read the report.

Please note - The review was carried out in April 2013 included the following police forces:

  1. Metropolitan Police
  2. Greater Manchester Police
  3. North Wales Police
  4. Sussex Police
  5. Leicestershire Police
  6. Wiltshire Police
Posted on Tuesday 16th July 2013
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