Police And CPS Working Together ‘Ineffectively’ Due To Cost-Cutting And DG6

Police forces and the CPS are working with each other ineffectively because both have suffered so much cost-cutting, South Yorkshire Police Federation has said.
The first part of the Criminal Justice Joint Inspection has just been published, which examines the effectiveness of prosecution case building by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

This has shone a spotlight on the excessive workload since DG6 came into effect in January 2021. ‘Front-loaded’ case preparation increased the volume of information available to the prosecutor from which a charging decision could be made. An unintended consequence of this has been the increase in work for the police to carry out before sending a file to the CPS.

South Yorkshire Police Federation Chair Steve Kent said that this was a big problem for detectives in his force. He said: “Because of the disclosure guidelines, our detective colleagues have to spend so much time putting files through that are not necessary.

“I think the working relationships are, in essence, hampered by the severe cost cutting and the severe restrictions on funds that affect both us and the CPS, and that leads to a massive backlog. It also leads to our officers having to almost become pseudo-legal executives in the way they’re having to write files, which they should not be doing.

“We are still dealing with the hangover from Covid, and some of the calamities related to that, but that can’t be an excuse forever. We need to see that investment going in and we also need to see a reduction in bureaucracy so our officers can do what they need to do and then really let CPS do the work when it gets to it, because that’s what they’re there for. We shouldn’t be seen as a burden for them. They are there to prosecute things that we bring in front of them, or not.”