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CPS in Mid-Wales

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 7 July 2022

2. What recent assessment she has made of the performance of the Crown Prosecution Service in Mid Wales. (900961)

I visited the CPS in Wales in February and was pleased to be able to speak to the hard-working and dedicated prosecutors about their work, which has also been praised in a recent report from the CPS inspectorate. I know that the hon. Member had a productive meeting with the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales recently, and I hope he will join me in commending the area for its strong performance in recovering from the backlog.

I thank the Attorney General for her answer, and it is good to see her in her place. I also pay tribute to Jenny Hopkins, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales. As the Attorney General said, I met her recently, and she and her team are doing a terrific job. However, the court backlog in Mid Wales—rural Wales—is still quite spectacular. What is the Attorney General doing to deal with the problem?

The data, to which we now have unprecedented access, shows that when it comes to recovery from covid and court backlogs, the CPS in Wales and the local criminal justice board have performed exceptionally well. Huge resources have been put into court recovery, which is why the magistrates court backlog in the CPS Wales area was the first to recover from the impact of covid, with live caseload numbers falling to below pre-covid levels in December 2021.

I successfully personally presented a case at the Court of Appeal, sitting at Cardiff Crown court, which resulted in an increase from 13 years to 20 years and seven months, with an extended licence period of five years,. in the prison sentence given to Stephen Gibbs for an attempted murder. I was delighted and honoured to be in court in Wales.