Derbyshire Police Federation

Derbyshire detectives say workload now ‘too high’ after CPS guidance changes

28 March 2022

Morale among Derbyshire’s detectives is at rock bottom according to a survey by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Detectives were surveyed about the impact to their workloads and wellbeing from the increased demands placed on them by changes to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Director’s Guidance on Charging, which came into effect in January this year.

The study on behalf of the Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum found that 94 per cent of respondents from Derbyshire Constabulary believe their workload is currently ‘too high’ or ‘much too high’ and 96 per cent indicated that their overall workload has increased due to the changes to charging guidance.

More than three quarters (77 per cent) reported a low job satisfaction and 94 per cent reported that their job satisfaction had decreased due to the recent changes.

Kirsty Bunn, secretary of Derbyshire Police Federation, said: “These survey responses are extremely worrying and should ring alarm bells with police leaders and the CPS. Four out of five of our detectives are reporting that their job is now ‘very or extremely stressful’ – and almost all of them are saying the recent changes from the CPS has increased the pressure on them.

“The survey reveals 85 per cent of detectives are warning that this requirement for extra prep work is actually reducing the number of hours they are able to spend on actively investigating live cases, and 94 per cent are warning that the efficiency of the criminal justice system is suffering because of these changes.

“These figures have to be a wake-up call to all concerned.”

She added that it was equally worrying that 65 per cent of Derbyshire Constabulary detectives who responded said the changes had increased their intention to leave their role as a detective.

Under the new guidance from CPS director Max Hill, police are responsible for:

  • Identifying cases that are appropriate for an out of court disposal as early as possible and recording rational
  • Taking “no further action” in cases that cannot meet the appropriate evidential standard, without referral to a prosecutor
  • Assessing whether cases meet the relevant criteria for referral to the CPS for a charging decision
  • Completing and submitting pre-charge reports and prosecution case information
  • Taking account of other policies and guidance including obligations imposed by the Data Protection Act
  • Providing unused material schedules to the prosecutor at the point of the referral for a charging decision
  • Ensuring that all lines of inquiry which have been pursued are communicated to the prosecutor at the time of the referral of the case for early advice or a charging decision
  • Ensuring that outstanding lines of inquiry, including those which may undermine the prosecution case, or are capable of assisting the defence, are revealed to the prosecutor at the time of the referral of the case
  • Considering asset recovery in every case in which a suspect has benefitted from criminal conduct, and
  • Complying with action plans and providing any further evidence, material, or other information within agreed time periods.

In total 6,298 responses to the survey were received from the 43 forces of England and Wales and analysis was conducted on the sample of 53 responses from Derbyshire Constabulary.

Read the full report from Derbyshire’s survey results.

 

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