Magazine article Public Finance

'Inept' CPS Wastes £24M, NAO Report Reveals

Magazine article Public Finance

'Inept' CPS Wastes £24M, NAO Report Reveals

Article excerpt

The Crown Prosecution Service needs to modernise its systems urgently, a senior MP said this week after government auditors revealed the waste of £24m through poor case management.

A National Audit Office report published on February 15 calculated that £173m was spent on trials and hearings that did not go ahead last year.

A total of 784,000, or 28%, of all pre-trial hearings in magistrates' courts are adjourned to a later date. Of these, half were the fault of defence lawyers but almost 10% (71,000) were directly attributable to the CPS.

The report cited examples of cases reaching court with incomplete evidence, lost files, delays and mistakenly dropped charges.

Public Accounts Committee chair Edward Leigh said: 'Individual prosecutors do a difficult job under serious pressure. …

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