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Is the CPS fit for purpose?

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Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Dave » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:16 pm

CPS chief apologises over disclosure failings in rape cases

Forty-seven cases dropped owing to concerns evidence was not shared.

The director of public prosecutions has apologised for failings in the criminal justice system after a review found 47 rape or sexual offence cases were halted because evidence had not been properly shared with the defence.
The prosecutors and police review followed media revelations about disclosure – the duty of the prosecution to share potential evidence with the defence, even if it undermines their case.
Alison Saunders, the outgoing head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), told the Commons justice committee that disclosure was a “longstanding systemic issue” that the CPS and police had failed to properly tackle.

Asked whether victims and people wrongly charged were owed an apology, she replied: “Absolutely. I feel every single failure. It is not something that we want. We have been very clear about where our failings are. We will apologise for those.” She said new initiatives in place “will make a difference”.
Police 'may need AI to help cope with huge volumes of evidence'
The police and CPS set up a review of every rape and serious sexual assault attack case going through the criminal justice system in January and February this year. It examined cases where someone had been charged and pleaded not guilty.
Of 3,637 cases reviewed, disclosure was of concern in 47 cases, the CPS said, and these cases were discontinued.
The findings of the review, which looked at only one type of case and over a small time period, triggered concerns that more errors may have occurred.
The miscarriage of justice watchdog warned about disclosure problems two years ago, followed last July by the official inspectorate of the CPS.
Saunders said she accepted prosecutors had in some cases been disclosing material too late, meaning some defendants could be on bail or on remand in custody for many months before information was disclosed that led to cases being dropped.
She said as part of improvements the CPS and police had agreed to bring in disclosure scrutiny earlier in the process, “because I quite appreciate the impact it has on people’s lives”. There was a sense or urgency, she said.
The disclosure process should be “almost pre-charge, rather than waiting for it to get into the system where we are up again a time clock in court,” she told MPs. All 3,000 prosecutors were receiving retraining. “This isn’t just a file of paper. This is somebody’s – a lot of people’s – lives we are making decisions on.”
One key issue facing prosecutors and police is the explosion in digital material from victims and suspects on phones and social media, which threatens to overwhelm investigators.
Social media presented huge challenges, Saunders said, and the CPS had been too slow to respond. It was a challenge dealing with pages and pages of social media downloads. She said informing the courts and defence early on about the prosecution’s “reasonable lines of inquiry” would help disclosure issues in such cases.
The attorney general is reviewing what can be done. One new measure will be defence lawyers being asked what evidence their clients want police to look at. For prosecutors, it gives them an earlier sight of what the defence case might be.
Nick Ephgrave, the chief constable of Surrey police, told the committee that disclosure failings had a “catastrophic effect” on individuals and on confidence in the criminal justice system.
As part of a national disclosure improvement plan, police forces throughout England and Wales had introduced “disclosure champions” – go-to senior officers “at the top of organisation” – to advise. Officers were being offered disclosure training and being drilled in the “four Rs” of evidence: retain, record, review and reveal.
Ephgrave disagreed that a performance-led culture judged on results encouraged disclosure failings. “Things have changed quite a lot in the way police approach performance,” he said. Getting a conviction was “not the be all and end all … I would like to think the culture is more sophisticated.”
Mike Cunningham, the chief executive of the College of Policing, said officers were being trained that disclosure was “an integral part of investigation”. The focus was to challenge and change any old attitudes that it was a “bureaucratic add-on” or a “blinking tortuous piece of work”, he said.
Urgent review of all rape cases as digital evidence is withheld
The cases included those of 14 suspects who had been held in custody on remand before the case against them was halted. The cases in all involved 48 people, one of them female, and a disproportionately high number (23) were in the Metropolitan police area, which covers most of London.
Angela Rafferty QC, the chair of the Criminal Bar Association, said of the results: “For the CPS to question the reliability of not just a few but dozens of live rape and sexual offence cases out of a limited sample size of a few thousand will inevitably cause great consternation that some innocent people are already in prisons and many guilty may be walking free.
“We await the wider parliamentary review of the whole disclosure system that is now due – dealing with all criminal cases including sexual offences.”
Stuart Prior, of the National Police Chiefs Council, which is coordinating the response of 43 forces to the crisis, said: “We have got it wrong in too many cases. We have been slow in addressing the issues. We needed to have acted quicker.”
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Liz Fraser » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:20 pm

The problem we are seeing is a legacy from back when sexual abusers could pick on vulnerable victims safe in the knowledge that they would be too intimidated to come forward.
The authorities reacted to this by insisting that any victim that came forward would be believed to encourage them to do so.
Major flaw in this plan was that they naively didn't take in to account that people would actually be sick enough to come forward and lie and they have done so in their droves.
This is to the extent that the supposed accused have now bizarrely become the victims.

So now what?
How do you weed out the fantasists from the genuine victims?
As for most things I believe that the solution lies with common sense, normally the one missing element in such emotive subjects.

I would propose that the accused must still remain respected and handled with due care but better training must go into determining whether they are being true to the facts.
One suggestion could be using body language experts who are used in situations to determine whether people are lying or not.

In some cases that isn't even necessary.
Just an objective look at straightforward evidence without prejudice could do the job.
For imstance taking into account if the accused had lied about similar things In the past or there was an independant witness contradicting their statements.
Something like that.
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Dave » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:49 pm

Many police forces and prosecutors in the UK had taken the idea to believe all alleged victims to such an extreme that a huge amount of investigstions were riddled with bias. Now they have been reminded that they have a duty to investigate first. Well no sh1t sherlock. People coming forward should be listened to and have their allegations thoroughly investigated. The evidence must lead the process not a belief.

The review has uncovered wholescale corruption. In 47 cases evidence was deliberately withheld. That is scandalous. In one case I read, text messages from the claimant contained communication to the alleged perpetrator about them having sex. That isn't proof of consent but the fact the defence deemed it not relevant is shocking.
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Rooster » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:15 pm

A lot of it has been driven by high profile cases, this Harvey Weinstein affair and the #metoo crowd have driven things to a new level, will he ever be convicted ? I personally would doubt both that he will be convicted and also doubt whether a large proportion of his accusers are doing this out of spite that he didn't pay them as much attention or give them as many jobs as they would have liked for his various bed performances
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Dave » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:57 pm

The 3,657 cases reviewed were only a sample. The former DPP on newsnight admitted their could be 1000s of wrongly convicted people. This is truly shocking. Worst of all, there are no plans to review further cases. Their could be scores of wrongly convicted people in prison.

#ibelieveher
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Dave » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:01 am

Wonder who the prosecutors were in the 47 cases?

Anyone we know?
Last edited by Dave on Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Russ » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:45 am

IF A WOMAN SAYS SHE'S BEEN RAPED THEN SHE'S BEEN RAPED
WE MUST BELIEVE HER AND NOT IN ANY WAY QUESTION WOMEN

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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Rooster » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:15 am

Russ wrote:IF A WOMAN SAYS SHE'S BEEN RAPED THEN SHE'S BEEN RAPED
WE MUST BELIEVE HER AND NOT IN ANY WAY QUESTION WOMEN

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Very dangerous route to go down, anyone you don't like just say he raped me, chuck him in jail and ruin him for ever.
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby BaggyTrousers » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:34 pm

It is horrendously difficult. I fully understand the intent behind the "report it and we will believe you" campaign. It should, of course, have been the "report it and we will investigate thoroughly even if we think you are probably a skank" campaign.

Over the years the following has been all too prevalent:

When Mrs T was in her late teens she was camping with a crowd near the Warden Beach near Port Salon. She needed to visit a loo and noticed another girl coming in not far behind her. There was suddenly a bit of a commotion and it turned out a couple of local scum had followed the other girl and attempted to rape her. Fortunately, the guards had been watching them and came in and apprehended them.

In taking a witness statement from Mrs Trousers, one gombeen guard asked her, "what did you think of what she was wearing?" It appeared she was wearing a nightshirt, "what do you mean?" asked Mrs T, "well, would you say she was asking for trouble dressed like that"?

Sweet Holy FFFS, I seriously hope that times have changed. Instead of wondering what the victim was wearing maybe they should think more of what the rapistbastard was thinking. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Shan » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:48 pm

BaggyTrousers wrote:
Sweet Holy FFFS, I seriously hope that times have changed. Instead of wondering what the victim was wearing maybe they should think more of what the rapistbastard was thinking. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Victim blaming is alive and well in the general population as I'm sure you know Baggy but within the guards it is more unlikely these days, though likely there's still a few f-ckheaded apes in attendance, most likely in the Ulster counties and deep bogland further south.

As for the CPS - Well to be honest British Justice is, and always was, flawed at best so hardly a surprise there's holes, corruption etc etc in the CPS.
It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Russ » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:53 pm

Shan wrote:
BaggyTrousers wrote:
Sweet Holy FFFS, I seriously hope that times have changed. Instead of wondering what the victim was wearing maybe they should think more of what the rapistbastard was thinking. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Victim blaming is alive and well in the general population as I'm sure you know Baggy but within the guards it is more unlikely these days, though likely there's still a few f-ckheaded apes in attendance, most likely in the Ulster counties and deep bogland further south.

As for the CPS - Well to be honest British Justice is, and always was, flawed at best so hardly a surprise there's holes, corruption etc etc in the CPS.
Define victim

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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Dave » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:12 pm

Victim blaming is words spoken by people.

This is actual lives ruined by corruption in the CPS.
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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby War of attrition » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:56 pm

In the name of fair play 2 young women in the corrupt South 1 14 the other 24 hadn't a chance to blacken good chaps names there desd

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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby War of attrition » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:57 pm

War of attrition wrote:In the name of fair play 2 young women in the corrupt South 1 14 the other 24 hadn't a chance to blacken good chaps names there desd

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Dead apology spelling error

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Re: Is the CPS fit for purpose?

Postby Dave » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:06 pm

Some grammar wouldn't go amiss.
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