HL Deb 05 November 2003 vol 654 c110WA
Lord Bradshaw

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there is a shortage of Crown Prosecution Service members in any parts of the country; and what special attention is being given in those areas. [HL5084]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith)

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) areas are currently recruiting extra staff in anticipation of the enactment of the Criminal Justice Bill later this year when the CPS will assume responsibility for making charging decisions in all but the most minor or routine cases. CPS areas are now reviewing resource needs to deliver the charging initiative and a co-ordinated approach to the recruitment of additional prosecutors is currently being introduced.

The main area that has had particular difficulties with recruitment is CPS West Midlands (specifically Birmingham). A study has recently been undertaken to identify the issues involved and a report and recommendations are currently under consideration. Any areas that the CPS consider may experience difficulties in recruitment will receive additional support from the Human Resource Directorate as appropriate.

Recruitment of prosecutors in CPS London area which has previously been a problem has now seen an encouraging upturn with a rolling programme of recruitment campaigns producing a positive response with good quality applicants.