§ 59. Mr. Whitfield
asked the Attorney-General how many representations to the Director of Public Prosecutions he has received for or on behalf of chief officers of police about the standard of service provided by the Crown Prosecution Service.
I have received no representations of the nature mentioned in the question. The Director of Public Prosecutions has established a senior liaison committee as a forum for discussion of matters of mutual interest to the Crown Prosecution Service and other agencies within the criminal justice system, including the Association of Chief Police Officers. Discussions with ACPO in that forum have been wide ranging and constructive. Press reports critical of the CPS and apparently based on comments by individual police officers do not accurately reflect the working relationship between the Crown Prosecution Service and the police service.
Recruitment in the Crown Prosecution Service has been conducted in accordance with the practice within the Civil Service. Thus, clerical and support staff, including those in the secretarial group, have been recruited locally under delegated arrangements. Recruitment in respect of all other grades has been by means of national open competition under the auspices of the Civil Service Commission. The combined figures for local and central recruitment for the period 1 April 1986 to 31 December 1986 are as follows:
Category Number recruited Clerical Support Staff (including Secretarial Group) 395 Executive Support Staff 242 Lawyers (141 Crown Prosecutors 34 Senior Crown Prosecutors) 175 812
Much of the recruitment activity has been directed towards London and the figures for London, included in those given previously, are as follows:
Number Clerical Support Staff 180 Executive Support Staff 195 Lawyers Crown Prosecutors 62 Senior Crown Prosecutors 15 77 452
These figures do not include those staff who transferred to the Crown Prosecution Service under the transfer of staff regulations.
So far as lawyer posts are concerned, arrangements have been made for the Civil Service Commission to continue to organise monthly competitions. These will be confined largely to entry at Crown prosecutor level and will chiefly be for allocation within London. Recent competitions have continued to yield approximately 100 applications per round and there is no reason to suppose that the recruitment of lawyers will fall away. The Crown Prosecution Service will therefore continue to apply rigorous standards to recruitment seeking to engage only the most suitable candidates.
Recruitment of support staff has resulted in the Crown Prosecution Service being fully up to complement with ad hoc recruitment being used solely to replace natural wastage or to meet increases in complement.