Transforming justice and public safety through technology at the CPS
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) deals with over one million prosecution and pre-charge decision cases. Witnesses and victims are vital to successful prosecutions, therefore the CPS has an objective to improve services and promote confidence in the judicial system.
What the CPS needed
The relationship began in 2001 when the CPS decided to improve its handling of cases by using reliance on the physical file. Historically, everything has been largely paper-based. This meant that to conduct a successful case, not only did you need the right people in the right place at the right time, but also all the paperwork and other evidential material. Missing information or a key witness not attending court could lead to unnecessary adjournments which introduced costly delays and undermined confidence in the justice system.
As with most partners who are on a journey, the CPS landscape has changed along the way. Major legislative changes have come into force, particularly the 2004 extension of CPS responsibilities at the pre-charge phase. Then in 2008 a structural change formalised the regional Groups, allowing economies of scale to be made and more complex casework to be better resourced. The CPS has been a leading agent in the ongoing quest for joined-up justice within the wider CJS. Electronic information sharing between criminal justice agencies and with defense representatives lays the foundation for the shift away from paper and to digital prosecutions.
The way our partnership works means the CPS is supported through the changes the organisation undergoes. We work closely with the CPS to make best use of its investments and to map out how the evolving business can harness technology. We bring ideas to the table, collectively explore their potential and select the best ones to take forward based on delivery of benefits.
A success story
There are many examples of how the COMPASS CMS has helped the CPS develop better working practices and assisted in dealing with particular cases where issues arise. For instance, access to CMS using either a secure terminal or a 3G laptop has allowed prosecutors to find the most up to date information while in court that had not yet found its way into the physical file. Prosecutors have reported cases where CMS has given them information such as outstanding warrants or cases underway in other places, which has been critical when opposing bail applications. This has ensured that potentially dangerous defendants or indeed those with a track record of absconding were not released on bail.
We have a flexible, collaborative culture. Our innovative, practical solutions are tailored to client needs. We work closely with public sector agencies and are one of the leading IT and business services suppliers to the Government/public sector.