Modernising Charging and CPS Direct
Working closely with police colleagues as The Prosecution Team, Statutory Charging has been operating successfully across all CPS and police Force Areas since 2006.
Operating at the very heart of the criminal justice system, CPS prosecutors are responsible for determining the charge in the more serious and complex cases; building strong cases from the start. Police officers are provided with "real time" access to CPS prosecutors for advice and charging decisions through enhanced IT and telephony; whilst retaining the option to seek face-to-face advice in those cases that warrant it.
An integral part of Statutory Charging is CPS Direct, a national out-of-hours telephone service that allows police to access Charging advice through the night and at weekends, 365 days a year. CPS Direct is, in effect, a 'virtual' 14th Area, headed by a CCP.
The Prosecution Team approach to Charging has resulted in a reduction in the rate of discontinuance and an increased number of guilty pleas, reducing the burden on the courts and, most importantly, providing a better service to the victims and witnesses involved in each case.