Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) is an independent statutory body that inspects the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and other prosecuting agencies and reports to the Attorney General on the operation of these departments. In relation to the CPS, it inspects and evaluates the quality of casework decisions, casework processes and all aspects of management that support the prosecution process. It advises the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the performance of each CPS Area, Headquarters Directorates and of the CPS as a whole in relation to these issues.

Purpose

The inspectorate exists to enhance the quality of justice through independent inspection and assessment which improves the effectiveness of prosecution services, providing assurance to Ministers, Government and the public. In order to achieve this we want to be an organisation which

  • Brings about improvement through acting as a major driver for increasing performance in the prosecution authorities that we are responsible for inspecting
  • Encourages joined up working within the criminal justice system
  • Provides assurance to the Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and CPS Chief Executive as to the performance of the CPS and other prosecuting authorities
  • Contributes to greater value for money within the prosecution service and the criminal justice system as a whole; and
  • Is true to our organisational values in all that we do

We endeavour to be true to our values, as defined below, in all that we do:

  • Consistency
  • Thoroughness
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Objectivity

Taken together, these mean that we demonstrate integrity, objectivity and professionalism at all times and in all aspects of our work and that our findings are based on information that has been thoroughly researched, verified and evaluated according to consistent standards and criteria.

 The different types of inspection

We carry out several types of inspection:

  • Inspections of CPS Areas and business units – considering the quality of casework decisions and casework decision-making processes in the CPS and all aspects of management performance
  • Thematic reviews of CPS activity – taking an in-depth look at a particular issue that may be causing current national or local concern
  • Inspections of other prosecution authorities e.g. the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland (PPSNI)
  • Thematic reviews carried out jointly with other criminal justice inspectorates

Our reports are published and sent to the Attorney General, the DPP and to others interested in them, including those who have assisted in our inspection. The reports are published on our website.