Skip to main content

Director Of Public Prosecutions

Volume 927: debated on Monday 7 March 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Attorney-General when he next expects to meet the Director of Public Prosecutions.


asked the Attorney-General when he last met the Director of Public Prosecutions.


asked the Attorney-General when he last met the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I meet the Director as often as the need arises. I last met him on 25th February.

When my right hon. and learned Friend met the Director of Public Prosecutions, did he discuss with him the problems caused by lack of control by the public over the rights of private citizens to institute prosecutions, as opposed to civil proceedings? Does he agree that this trend is being exacerbated by an attempt to erode the discretion vested in the Attorney-General in a recent case?

That was not one of the subjects on the agenda at that particular meeting. Certainly I agree that there is a very distinct danger in what my hon. and learned Friend has said. I accept the need for private prosecutions to continue, but what I do not like—and, I imagine, other hon. Members do not like—is organisations making use of the private prosecution system or the analogous civil system in relation to one particular class of offence rather than across the board on all offences committed.

Can the Attorney-General confirm that next week he will make a statement on the report of the Director of Public Prosecutions about allegations of corruption in Birmingham?

I have answered a number of questions about that par. ticular matter. It has been a difficult matter to resolve, and I hope that a definite decision will be taken shortly.

Has the Attorney-General discussed with the Director of Public Prosecutions the possibility of a prosecution of Mr. Tikkoo, the owner of the "Globtik Venus", who raised a mercenary gang of armed people to attack a British ship and her crew? It would appear that Mr. Tikkoo in public statements seems to have committed an act of conspiracy, presumably supported by Opposition Members who are his parliamentary advisers, and the directors of his board.

My only information on this matter comes from the newspapers and the other media. I have asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider the matter and advise me whether offences have been committed.

What progress has been made on proposals to reform the prosecution system, and in particular on the proposal to open regional offices of the DPP?

The question of reform of the prosecution system is for the Home Secretary, and questions about this should be directed to him. Needless to say, he seeks my views and those of the DPP when considering the matter.


asked the Attorney General what is the establishment of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The present complement of the Director of Public Prosecutions is one Director, one deputy director, two assistant directors, eight assistant solicitors, 52 senior legal assistants and legal assistants, and 140 administrative and secretarial staff, making a total of 204.

Is the Attorney-General sure that the complement of the DPP's office is enough, bearing in mind the heavy load placed on that office as a result of company frauds? These amount to at least 28 current cases in which companies are being investigated by the DPP. It takes an inordinate length of time to get these cases to the courts—up to six years, as in the case of the Pergamon outfit.

The needs of the DPP's office depend in part on the matters with which it is concerned, subject to the regulations affecting it. They depend also, in part, on the number of cases which local police superintendents send to the DPP for advice. I am not in a position to reply directly to the question because, as I have said, the whole matter of the prosecution process is one for the Home Secretary, even though I am closely concerned with it.

Can the Attorney-General confirm that there is a serious problem in staffing the DPP's office, in view of the vast amount of work which that office must undertake? Would he agree that it is difficult to attract sufficiently competent people into that office with the salaries that are offered at the present time?

I have said many times that careers in the Government legal service generally are very rewarding, particularly in relation to the type of work carried out. I would hope that more practising members of the Bar would, after a period of time in practice, think it right to apply for positions in the office of the DPP.