HL Deb 06 December 1984 vol 457 cc1545-6WA
Baroness Macleod of Borve

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What criteria will govern the distribution of case work within the Crown prosecution service to be established by the Prosecution of Offences Bill, and when the proposed White Paper referred to on 29th November 1984 (Official Report, col. 1015) by the Minister of State for the Home Department is to be published.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Elton)

The fundamental principle underlying the management of the Crown prosecution service will be maximum delegation consistent with proper accountability. In the great majority of cases decisions on prosecutions will be taken locally. The Director of Public Prosecutions will promulgate within the service guidance on matters of policy and practice intended to produce a sensible degree of consistency rather than rigid uniformity. Crown prosecutors will have a wide measure of discretion and in reaching their decisions will take account of any relevant local circumstances as well as the general guidance given by the director.

My right honourable friend the Attorney General has today laid in another place a White Paper outlining the proposed initial distribution of functions between the headquarters and local offices of the proposed Crown prosecution service. As an interim measure pending the establishment of the new service it is also intended to revise the Prosecution of Offences Regulations 1978 so as to provide greater flexibility in the handling of cases reportable by the police to the Director.