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Police: Powers

Volume 493: debated on Thursday 4 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what timetable she has set for returning to custody sergeants the power to charge individuals in respect of all offences triable in magistrates' courts; and by what date this change will have been implemented nationally. (272984)

We have no plans at this stage to reverse the policy of statutory charging.

A recent joint HMIC/HMCPSI inspection reported that statutory charging has delivered good quality final charging decisions by prosecutors, and had caused weak cases to be discontinued earlier, thereby saving time and cost for the police service, CPS and the courts.

We are working with Jan Berry, the independent Reducing Bureaucracy Advocate, and criminal justice partners to improve the custody and charging processes so that they deliver the best possible service to the police, prosecutors and the public.