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Powers for custody officers to make decisions on cases

Comment 13th July 2010

In light of the Health white paper yesterday and the move to GP consortia on the basis that know what is best for their patients and local community and rebalancing admin vs frontline costs, could this not also be true for the Police?

I volunteer as an Appropriate Adult and spend a lot of time in custody.  I have been involved with cases that quite frankly the person should never have been arrested or the officers and the solicitor involved have all agreed the next stage, but due to the rules and regulations the case has had to go to CPS for decision.  At the weekend there can be several hours for the CPS to make the same recommendation those involved with came to after the interview.

The time between referral and decision is frustrating for all those involved: the police officers, volunteers, solictors, not to mention the detained person has had to go back into their cell, who may also have a vulnerability and so the whole process is quite distressing for them. 

Why does this matter?

Quite aside from the paperwork involved in the whole process – which I hope is being looked at as well!! – this would free up the officers to concentrate on "walking the beat" rather than waiting in the station for the CPS decision, and cutting the number of CPS referalls would cut admin costs

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