Getting cases ready for court – A joint review of the quality of prosecution case files by HMIC and HMCPSI
An efficient criminal justice system is dependent upon the effective exchange of information between all the relevant agencies. Nowhere is this exchange more important than in the context of the relationship between the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) when preparing a case for court. Effective management of the process of building a prosecution case file can improve the quality of the files, and keep the inevitable paperwork associated with the passage of a case through the criminal justice system to a minimum.
In our recent report, Stop the Drift 2, we examined a sample of case files in the magistrates’ courts where the police had anticipated a guilty plea from the defendant. This found little evidence of any improvement since the NAO report was published.
This review builds on the work undertaken since 2011 by the National Audit Office, criminal justice inspectorates, and the joint CPS/Police National Prosecution Team.