Crown Prosecution Service fails on paper
News 29 11 2009 : Judges throw out cases because of delays in Crown Prosecution Service paperwork. According to Freedom of Information Act figures some 4,000 suspects failed to appear before magistrates because the CPS did not get their files ready in time. To calls for repeated adjournments by the CPS Magistrates had no option but to reject them. The information reveals that over the past year in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />London alone 61 violent attacks, 7 sex offences, 25 drug offences and 18 burglaries went free without their case being heard. From 2006 to 2009 across England and Wales there were some 13,000 cases in which witnesses did not attend court and the police failed to get paperwork to the CPS in time. In response the CPS stated that the figure only represented a fifth of a percent over the past 3 years however, given that % it's a fraction of 2,000,000 cases brought. Shadow attorney general Edward Garnier said the figures were 'shocking'.
Systems lacking standards reflect on others dependant upon them thus making “them appear to be incompetent’ as to the WHOLE but where does that leave a Nation and especially one in which Policing be target driven by a Gov yielding statistical outcomes in specific areas while neglecting others?. Obviously the gear train in Labours Gearbox can have “extra teeth added to cogs” while not recognizing that those cogs mesh with others.
20 05 1998 Mills failed to shake up CPS. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) since its inception in 1986 been viewed as overly bureaucratic and incompetent and it was up to Dame Barbara Mills to knock it into shape. Unfortunately, six years later, the criticisms of the service - branded the Criminal Protection Society by senior police officers - has mounted. Ministers were deeply embarrassed at the CPS's failure to launch prosecutions over deaths in police custody and MPs delivered a number of reports slamming the service's operation and bureaucracy. It was regularly claimed that solicitors spent so much time on paper work they could not properly concentrate on their jobs. And the police complained that suspects they were confident they could have prosecuted successfully under the old system were too often not even being brought to court. Now a report from Sir Ian Glidewell, a former Lord Justice of Appeal, has hammered the final nail into Dame Barbara's coffin. Despite claims her decision is not related to the report, or that she was leant on by ministers, it is clear she had to go. The report, which comes after months of investigation, is already on the Attorney General Sir John Morris' desk and is said to be dynamite. It lambasts the operation of the CPS and demands root and branch reforms. The implication is that Dame Barbara is not the person to carry those out.
23 03 2000 CPS - systemic failure. The family of a man who was crushed to death at work will make legal history today when it takes the Crown Prosecution Service to court claiming it failed to act. Simon Jones, 24, a Sussex University student, had been working in the hold of a ship at Shoreham Docks on 24 April 1998 when a crane grab closed around his neck crushing him to death. Two days before he died he had been working as a refuse collector for the local council under contract to a local employment agency. He was claiming the jobseekers' allowance and the Employment Service insisted that he take any work offered to him. Having taken a day off sick the agency asked him to start a new job at the docks to which he was given no training by the agency or the company and within two hours he was dead. The crane manufacturers safety instruction is that nobody be within the work area of the grab yet hooks had been welded to the inside of the grab such that bags be lifted out of a ships hold. Immediately after the accident the crane driver and Euromin's general manager, James Martell, were arrested, and then released without charge. Friends and relatives of hundreds of other employees who have died or been seriously injured at work joined last night in silent candle-lit vigils across the country to protest at the authorities' reluctance to prosecute those responsible. If the family wins the judicial review, the Centre for Corporate Accountability, a campaign organisation, will call for an inquiry into CPS decision-making in relation to workplace deaths, along the lines of the Butler Inquiry into the CPS and deaths in police custody. David Bergman, the centre's director, said: "We are concerned that the decision by the CPS in this case indicates a systemic failure within the CPS to give proper consideration to prosecuting companies and company directors for the manslaughter of workers."
19 05 2004 CPS failure - Racists escape. In the report from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Inspectorate, they found one fifth of race charges were wrongly reduced so they did not properly reflect the racist element of the crime. They also identified an inconsistency among CPS lawyers, with some more willing to pursue racial crime than others. They concluded: "Concerns remain about the quality of the CPS decisions to reduce charges arising from racist incidents. The report also noted that the CPS was using many solicitor or barrister "agents" to prosecute cases in the magistrates court rather than their own employed lawyers. They warned: "Those agents have not received the benefits of the CPS national training and their understanding of the awareness of the issues covered in this report is variable.". Last month, figures by the CPS showed that race-hate crime in England and Wales had reached record levels, with 2,000 more cases being prosecuted than 1999.
14 02 2008 Crown Prosecution Service representing the US. Lotfi Raissi, the Algerian wrongly accused of training pilots involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, should be allowed to claim compensation, the Court of Appeal ruled. Mr Raissi, a pilot, was arrested at his home under the Terrorism Act in September 2001, 10 days after the World Trade Centre atrocity. He was released after seven days but re-arrested under an extradition warrant issued at the request of the United States government. He remained in jail for four-and-a-half months, when he was granted bail despite objections from the Crown Prosecution Service which was representing the US. Raissi, 33, was finally released after no evidence was put before a court to support the terrorism allegations. Lord Justice Hooper, giving the judgment of the Court of Appeal, said: "The public labelling of the appellant as a terrorist by the authorities in this country, and particularly by the CPS, over a period of many months has had and continues to have, so it is said, a devastating effect on his life and on his health. He considers that, unless he receives a public acknowledgement that he is not a terrorist, he will be unable to get his life back together again." Raissi applied for compensation in March 2004 under a scheme operated by the Home Office for people who had lost their liberty because of a miscarriage of justice. His application was rejected by the Home Secretary and Raissi took his case to a judicial review at the High Court where he was unsuccessful. Lord Justice Hooper said: "We have allowed his appeal ordering that the appellant's application for compensation be referred back to the Home Secretary for reconsideration in the light of this judgment." The judge said the appeal court, which also included the Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, and Lady Justice Smith, considered that there was a "considerable body of evidence" to suggest that the police and the CPS were responsible for what the scheme describes as "serious defaults". Speaking outside court Mr Raissi said: "I wept with relief when I heard the judgment. I have always said that I believed in British justice and I finally got it today. Surely I can expect to hear from the Home Secretary with the long-awaited apology very soon." Commenting on the ruling, the Ministry of Justice said: "We are considering the implications and whether or not to appeal."
21 02 2008 Gordon Brown – inquiry into CPS blunder. Police are basically investigating themselves on how it came to pass that 17 wanted foreign criminals were left at large in Britain for up to a year because of a blunder by the CPS. Gordon Brown has announced an inquiry into why the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) failed to act after Dutch authorities sent them a disc containing DNA profiles of more than 2,000 individuals linked to serious crimes, including murderers and rapists. The crucial information arrived in London in January last year,
04 03 2008 Hundreds of serious crimes dismissed with a caution.Under the Freedom of Information Act it is revealed that CRIMINALS suspected of serious crimes including sex offences, hard drugs possession, life-threatening attacks, conspiracy to murder and kidnapping are being let off with police cautions. In Merseyside and Cheshire, 10,487 cautions were issued. Police last night said they had to follow strict rules from the Ministry of Justice over when to offer cautions – but said it had successfully persuaded ministers to rule out cautions for weapon offences. In Cheshire, 65 suspected burglars, 28 accused of cheque and credit card fraud, six involved with firearms, 12 believed to be responsible for cruelty to children and 389 people accused of harassment also took cautions. SouthportLib-Dem MP John Pugh said: “It seems remarkable that so many cautions are being issued at a time when the Govern-ment suddenly realised it had a prisons crisis. Cheshire Tory MP Stephen O’Brien said: “Many of these offences are extremely serious, and if there is enough supporting evidence should be prosecuted in the courts. “The number of cautions that have been issued over the last year for serious offences has rocketed and it is through no fault of our hardworking and professional police force. “Merseyside Police and the Crown Prosecution Service in Merseyside have recently agreed a policy whereby anyone arrested for carrying a weapon, where there is sufficient evidence, will be charged rather than cautioned. “We are now one of only two forces in the UK where a caution will not be considered in relation to this particular offence.” “Following an arrest, Mersey-side Police consults with the Crown Prosecution Service who make a decision on charging based on the availability of sufficient evidence. the police and the CPS offer a caution with conditions attached as a means of dealing with offenders in certain circumstances, as an alternative to prosecution.
05 06 2008 PM calling for fewer cautions.Gordon Brown is set to urge prosecutors to take many more 16 and 17-year-olds to court for knife crime. The Prime Minister is calling for fewer cautions to be dished out by police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
26 06 2008 CPS on STANDARDS as it receives Labour donations file. Detectives investigating a series of "disguised" donations to the Labour Party have handed over their main file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, Scotland Yard have said. Police were called in by the Electoral Commission in November to look into whether £650,000 of donations given by property developer David Abrahams through associates to get round the law requiring political donors to be declared were in breach of party finance laws. In question are breaches of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 as a result of donations made through intermediaries. The investigation, led by Met Temporary Commander Nigel Mawer, has not led to any arrests, unlike the previous "cash for honours" probe. One of those at the centre of the controversy, Peter Watt, resigned as Labour's general secretary after it emerged he knew Mr Abrahams had donated large sums of money to the party via friends and colleagues to keep his own name secret. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who called the practice "unacceptable", has instructed party staff, MPs and peers to "co-operate fully in providing relevant information". The row engulfed candidates in the party's deputy leadership contest who had benefited from cash provided by the proxies but those cases did not lead to full police probes.
07 11 2008 CPS - CHAOS. Request to CPS under Freedom of Information Act 2000 for statistics regarding the number of "fail to stop" road traffic incidents referred to the CPS for the Cheshire Constabulary region over the following periods Nov 2006 - Oct 2007 Nov; 2007 - Oct 2008. Reply 27 11 2008 – 476 and 407. However of these numbers the CPS could not readily identify convictions from non-convictions as it does not hold such information in a consolidated format. They state “To collate the information you have requested, would require a CPS Official to locate and retrieve every case file, examine each file to establish and record whether the case resulted in a conviction or not.”. This would take us over the appropriate limit of £600 as set for Central Government Department, or 3 ½ days for Officials to search, locate and retrieve the requested information, as defined at s12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act.
10 04 2009 Baby P report reveals police delays. The little boy came to the attention of the authorities in December 2006 and a file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The prosecutors requested further evidence and in March 2007 the detective in charge moved to a different part of the Metropolitan Police without formally handing the case to another officer and the investigation "drifted". Police delays meant an opportunity to charge Baby P's mother before his death was missed, a leaked report has revealed.
11 04 2009 CPS Staff receive a Bonus for going to work in the snow. Staff who struggled in to work in heavy snow have received a £250 bonus from the taxpayer-funded Crown Prosecution Service. Only 224 of 1,400 London-based workers made it in when snow hit London on February 2. A CPS spokeswoman said the bonuses, totalling £56,000, were paid from a pot of money set aside to reward staff who "go the extra mile". "CPS London decided these staff who struggled into work in extreme conditions should be rewarded for doing so." She said the funds were created in 2006 and each area was given a set sum to spend as it wished.
22 05 2009 cps – a third of files not properly maintained. CPS Report by the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) states that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not properly maintain more than a third of files in Crown Court cases. In one incident a case was abandoned despite new evidence coming to light " – it being amongst loose papers inside a file and there was no endorsement to show that it had been seen by a lawyer before a decision to drop the case was taken.". Their report identified “poor housekeeping” and protracted problems in using CCTV evidence. Courts requesting follow-up work not undertaken leading to cases adjourned at the next hearing. An HMCPSI spokesman said: "The audit's main conclusion is that the majority of CPS case files are not maintained in a satisfactory manner. "Decisions and actions taken are frequently not recorded; the lack of information and poor organisation frequently made it difficult or impossible, for staff handling a case to ascertain what had happened previously; and it could also be difficult to locate documentation when needed.". Requests for follow-up work were missed out of 35 per cent of Crown court files and 18 per cent in magistrates' court cases. But a spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service denied cases were being dropped regularly because of poor paperwork.
07 07 2009 CPS – Information sought on torture. Britain's security services are facing allegations that they attempted to pervert the course of justice by bribing a terror group member to drop his claims that they colluded in his torture. Rangzieb Ahmed, 33 claims to have been mistreated and tortured in Pakistan, where he was detained, and has accused Greater Manchester Police of colluding in this to some extent, his lawyer said. Tayab Ali, of London law firm Irvine Thanvi Natas, said: "Mr Ahmed says a police officer and a man who described himself as a security services officer came into his cell in Manchester prison and told him he could have a reduction in his sentence or a cash payment in return for dropping the torture allegations. Mr Ali said: "I've written to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) asking them to disclose the identity of the officers who visited my client so that we can establish what happened. We've also made a request for any audio recording of that conversation. If what Mr Ahmed says is true, the officers would be guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice." He said he had argued to the CPS that such actions were "grossly inappropriate". Ahmed is appealing against his conviction as well as pursuing a case against the Government for complicity in his torture, which he says involved the extraction of his fingernails. The head of the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU), based in Manchester and operated by Greater Manchester Police, refuted Ahmed's claims of improper conduct. Chief Superintendent Tony Porter said: "The North West CTU does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or inhumane or degrading treatment."
23 07 2009 Judge angered at CPS’ failure. A TOP judge has branded prosecutors ‘incompetent’ after it failed to book an interpreter for a racial assault trial. The Recorder of Chester Judge Elgan Edwards said half a day had been ‘wasted’ at Warrington Crown Court on Thursday when Lee McDonnell’s case could not be heard. Prosecutors had overlooked ordering an interpreter to help McDonnell’s Sri Lankan victim Nadarajah Niranjan, who speaks Tamil, give evidence. A furious Judge Edwards said: “It’s a scandal – an absolute scandal. It’s just sheer incompetence. Judge Edwards ordered Warrington CPS to pay half of the defence costs for the day – £75 plus VAT for the defence costs. He added: “This case was fixed for a plea and case management hearing on June 22. “It is quite inconceivable that the prosecution has not bothered to find out if an interpreter is required.
04 08 2009 CPS and killed Ian Tomlinson. Ian Tomlinson 47, a newspaper seller, died after being struck with a baton and pushed to the ground during angry clashes between G20 protesters and police. The alleged attack, which was caught on camera by a visitor to London, is at the centre of a storm of criticism about how the demonstrations were policed. Solicitors at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will now consider whether the officer, a member of the force's Territorial Support Group, should be charged with manslaughter.
08 08 2009 CPS failure against a Police Officer. FORMER police officer Kieran Jones with the Staffordshire Police force was convicted and sentenced for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old however on appeal the Judge cleared the PC after the CPS case failed given evidence from medical experts whom gave their opinion on how the boys injuries could have been sustained. The PC is now to reapply for his job back.
05 09 2009 failure of the cps - severely criticised by a Judge. Over the baby P case Judge Wide said: "The CPS performance in this case is truly lamentable and they have brought grossly ill-judged charges. I am sure of the failure of the CPS."
16 10 2009 CPS - Yvonne Fletcher death still ongoing. Yvonne Fletcher (25) was killed in 1984 at the Libyan Embassy in central London as she policed a demonstration. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) say the investigation is "still ongoing" despite a claim that there was enough evidence to charge two Libyan men in connection with the killing. Daily Telegraph - leaked document identifying the two men was ready in April 2007 weeks before a meeting between former prime minister Tony Blair and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi opened trade links between the two countries. A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "The investigation into the death of Yvonne Fletcher is ongoing and there is still evidence to be gathered.
24 11 2009 CPS receive Expenses files from the Police. The cases relate to four people, including members of the House of Lords and House of Commons, a spokesman said. The cases will now be subject to CPS consideration in deciding whether there is a realistic chance of convicting the four and what charges, if any, to bring. The politicians could face charges of fraud or false accounting, with maximum penalties of 10 or seven years. As a torrent of evidence of dubious claims flooded out of Westminster, police focused on individuals who claimed so-called "phantom mortgages". Among them is former Labour minister Elliot Morley, who claimed £16,000 interest payments on a property where the loan was already paid off. Other politicians believed to be under police investigation include Labour MPs David Chaytor and Jim Devine, peers Baroness Uddin, Lord Hanningfield and Lord Clarke of Hampstead.
(1) Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is run by a Chair, two Deputy Chairs and 11 Commissioners, each responsible for specific forces. http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/index/about_ipcc/who_runs.htm
The Chair, appointed by Her Majesty, and Commissioners appointed by the Secretary of State. http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/ipcc_standing_orders__reviewed_november_2008_.pdf
Purpose: To help those who suffer injustice because of an abuse of police powers.
(2) Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – A Government Department whom act on behalf of the Police in England and Wales in prosecuting criminal cases.