CPS Yorkshire and Humberside gives cause for concern says report

scales of justice
scales of justice

Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate have today published their follow-up report of CPS Yorkshire and Humberside and have found inadequate progress in areas such as casework, decision-making and case progression system.

“Significant improvements and quality need to be new watchwords”

The report also found that CPS Yorkshire and Humberside must implement significant improvements through their performance management regime and they need to focus on quality. The report also recommended CPS Yorkshire and Humberside work with the police to develop a shared and agreed joint performance management regime and framework that can be effectively held to account.

Summary of main inspection findings:

- The senior management team have embedded a more robust performance culture and quality assurance measures but they have not yet translated into improvement in the quality and standard of casework.

- The staff appraisal process has been strengthened.

- CPS Yorkshire and Humberside has made limited improvement since the last inspection on the recommendation relating to the quality and standard of casework decision-making and casework progression. Casework decision-making remains a particular cause for concern.

- CPS Yorkshire and Humberside has made significant improvements in the management and performance of the Central Casework Unit (CCU) since the last inspection.

HM Chief Inspector, Michael Fuller QPM, said:

“Overall, the CPS in Yorkshire and Humberside is moving in the right direction, although casework decision-making remains a particular cause for concern. Our inspectors found that change in management structure, together with the national re-structuring of the CPS acted as a catalyst for change. This resulted in uncertain times for staff because of the reduction in staffing levels, although the inspectors did find clear evidence that some of the new re-structuring has resulted in some progress in addressing some of the concerns we had in the 2011 report.

“The senior management team will need to address staff concerns if it is to continue to improve its performance and get the best from staff.”

Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, has responded to the report by saying: “This report does not accurately reflect the considerable progress CPS Yorkshire and Humberside has made since the original inspection in 2011.

“First, I would like to pay tribute to considerable efforts my staff are making, day in and day out, to deliver a quality prosecution service for the people of our region.

“The file sample covered in the report dates back to a sample taken in 2012 - which means that the findings are at least 18 months out of date. Since then, the Area’s performance has been one of continuous improvement; in fact, we are one of the most improved Areas in the country.

“Since 2011, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside has undergone rapid and significant change Not only have we been asked to operate within a sharply reduced budget, but also our staff numbers have also significantly decreased.

“We have implemented a series of rigorous quality checks on our casework, to identify areas of weakness, and feed these back to individuals for learning and improvement. Individual performance is monitored robustly, and the annual appraisal system is audited to ensure compliance.

“Nationally we are leading the way on digital working and structural change - both of which are critical to continuing to deliver a quality service in light of the ongoing budget restrictions we are working with.

“Finally, we have consistently delivered our service within budget, placing ourselves in the best position to continue to deliver our service to the people of Yorkshire and Humberside.”