§ Mr. Tony Banks
To ask the Attorney-General what performance indicators are used by the Crown prosecution service; and if he will make a statement about the performance of the Crown prosecution service to date.
§ The Attorney-General
The 31 areas of the Crown prosecution service have compiled performance statistics on a monthly basis since October 1986. Separate records are maintained for magistrates court and Crown court cases. The records include the number of defendants in respect of whom cases have been:
- (a) received by the CPS;
- (b) finalised;
- (c) dropped or rejected;
- (d) discharged at committal or sent to Crown Court; and
- (e) dismissed or convicted.
In addition, information is produced on the number of cases in which defendants have been bound over without trial, the number of adjournments and the extent to which CPS resources have been committed.
From this information the following performance ratios, which enable CPS managers to monitor the quality of the service's performance both nationally and locally, are produced:Magistrates' Court—(a) Average processing delay—defendant cases on hand at the end of a period divided by defendant cases finalised in the period. (From this figure the time it would take to deal with the cases currently on hand can be calculated).(b) Acceptance rate—the proportion of defendant cases received from the police for prosecution that are accepted at initial review.(c) Prosecution rate—the proportion of all cases finalised that have been prosecuted in the courts.(d) Conviction rate—the proportion of all defendant cases proceeding to prosecution that result in a conviction. (A conviction is a guilty plea to one or more charges where no trial is held or a conviction after trial on one or more contested charges).(e) Dismissal rate—the proportion of all contested defendant cases that are dismissed.(f) Judgment quality—the proportion of all contested defendant cases proceeding that arc dismissed on an application that there is "no case to answer".469W(g) Adverse cost rate—the proportion of cases prosecuted where costs are awarded against the CPS.(h) Efficiency rates—
- (i) acceptance review—the number of cases reviewed per half-day lawyer session;
- (ii) court and court-related work—the number of cases accepted at initial review finalised per half-day lawyer session.(i)Unit costs—
- (i) acceptance review—resource cost (staff and other costs) per case reviewed;
- (ii) court and court-related work—resource costs (staff and other costs) per defendant case finalised after acceptance at initial review.Crown Court—
- (a) Average processing delay—defendant cases on hand at the end of a period divided by defendant cases finalised during the period.
- (b) Conviction rate—the proportion of trials resulting in a conviction. (A conviction is a guilty plea to one or more counts where no contested trial is held or conviction after trial on one or more contested counts.).
- (c) Acquittal rate—the proportion of contested trials resulting in an acquittal.
- (d) Judgment quality—the proportion of contested trials resulting in a judge directed/ordered acquittal.
- (e) Adverse cost rate—the proportion of defendant cases finalised (including cases committed by the Magistrates for sentence or appeal) that result in the award of costs against the CPS.
- (f) Efficiency—the number of cases finalised per CPS staff half-day session.
- (g) Unit costs—the resource cost (staff and other costs) per case finalised.Note: The figures produced for the ratios at (f) and (g) above make some allowance for cases transferred between Areas.
The Crown prosecution service has been a success and has demonstrated that it has been a success. The creation of the service has brought the desired degree of independence of the prosecutor from the investigator, consistency of prosecution policy and decision-making and accountability.