Crown Prosecution Service and Police: Bureaucracy

Attorney General written question – answered on 24th May 2022.

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Photo of Mark Eastwood Mark Eastwood Conservative, Dewsbury

To ask the Attorney General, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of disclosure requirements on (a) police and (b) Crown Prosecution Service workloads.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk The Solicitor-General

Disclosure remains one of the most important and complex issues in the criminal justice system, and it is a priority for this Government to encourage improvements in disclosure practice in order to ensure the disclosure regime operates effectively, fairly, and justly. The first annual review of the operation of the Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure has just been completed and will be published imminently. That review involved close collaboration with policing, the CPS and others in the criminal justice system and has led to some important amendments to the guidelines which should aid front line policing, particularly in relation to the development of an annex on redaction.

The new approach of the Guidelines gives clear guidance on only providing relevant information to the CPS, for example by cutting footage from body worn video or only including relevant message chains not an entire phone image. In this way there is less to redact, thereby helping the burden felt by front line policing and the CPS.

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