As things currently stand the Crown Prosecution Service has to authorise all charges before the police are allowed to prosecute. This creates an unecesarry and duplicate layer in decision making. Police sergeants and above should be allowed to authorise all charges, (save perhaps indictiable only – ie the most serious offences). Such officers are qualified by examination and by default will have significant experience. If it was a Custody Officer decision this would also provide an independent judgement (as defined by virtue of the Police &  Criminal Evidence Act 1984).

Such a proposal would allow the removal of CPS Direct, a massive organisation, costing millions per year. It would allow the CPS to then concentrate on prosecuting and restore some faith in our police service. it would also remove the nervousness of the CPS to only prosecute offences where they are almost certain to win at court (as created by virtue of their own KPI's).

I would suggest a simple and effective suggestion which will save significant money and lead to a better society.

Why is this idea important?

The idea would reduce costs, increase efficiency and go some way to restoring the faith of the public in a system that is generally viewed as poor. In adittion it may help restore some faith internally within the police service, giving them the feeling that they are making a positive impact upon the society they serve by charging those responsible for crime.

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