Committee endorses appointment of new CPS Chief Inspector

01 February 2010

In a report released today, the Commons Justice Committee endorses the appointment of Michael Fuller, currently Chief Constable of Kent, for appointment as the new HM Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service

The role of HM Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service is an independent, statutory office-holder reporting to the Attorney General as the Minister responsible for superintendence of the Crown Prosecution Service. The Chief Inspector’s role includes managing some 45 permanent staff, located in London and York, and an annual budget of £3.788 million.

The Committee considered whether there is an argument in principle against appointing a senior police officer as HM Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service, but also took into account Mr Fuller’s personal qualities and the undesirability of unduly restricting the field of recruits.

The Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith, Chair of the Committee, said:

"We are pleased to endorse Mr Fuller as the new HM Inspector of the CPS. We agree with his preliminary view of the character and priorities of his role and that of the Inspectorate, and we welcome his grasp of the need for independence, specialist expertise where necessary and for an understanding of the criminal justice system as a whole.

"We expect him to call upon all his experience—as a leader, manager and innovator as well as a police officer—in pursuing his new responsibilities."

In preparation for the pre-appointment hearing with Mr Fuller on 12 January 2010, the Committee took oral evidence from the current Chief Inspector, Stephen Wooler CB, on 8 December 2009. This evidence, together with relevant memoranda, is also published today and it indicates the wide range of matters with which the Inspectorate will need to concern itself and suggested priorities in doing so.

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