Session 2007-08, 3 December 2008

Oral Evidence

Home Affairs Committee urges action on charging

The Home Affairs Committee welcomes the publication today of the Joint Thematic Review of the new charging arrangements by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service.

Several of the report's conclusions echo the findings of the Committee's inquiry into Policing in the 21st Century, particularly that contradictory targets for the CPS and the police can lead to conflict over charging decisions and that police officers are often forced to bail offenders before charges can be brought, because of delays. The Committee also expressed concern about the capacity of police forces to monitor the growing number of offenders released on bail.

Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee said:

"We urge the Government to ensure implementation of the Joint Thematic Review's recommendations to deliver a more effective arrest to charge process. However, in doing so care must be taken not to add to the bureaucratic requirements on the police.

"We look forward to hearing the Government's response to our recommendations in the New Year."