4.1.1 As soon as an officer has taken a statement from a witness the officer should:
(i) accurately record the non-availability of the witness to attend court by completing the sections on the
rear of the first page of the MG11;
(ii) hand to the witness (their parent or guardian if witness under 17) any witness information in
accordance with locally agreed arrangements.
4.1.2 Witnesses who are not police officers but who are employed by the police, or are professional witnesses
employed/instructed by the police, should have their non-availability recorded on the statement in the
same way as members of the public.
4.1.3 Police officers should indicate all dates upon which they will not be available to attend court by entering
the relevant codes on the MG10
4.1.4 A composite list of all the non-availability dates for all the witnesses is to be recorded on the MG10
which will be included in the full file submitted to the CPS. Where such information is readily available it
may also be included on remand files. Completion of the form as instructed will result in available dates
appearing as blank spaces.
4.1.5 In full file cases it is essential that the prosecutor at court has the most accurate, full and up-to-date
witness availability information. Incomplete or inaccurate information can cause unnecessary
adjournments. Following file submission, any changes in the witnessesí availability should be notified to the
CPS by the police as quickly as possible and in any event within 4 working days.
4.1.6 To enable the date for trial to be fixed at the pre-trial review in a magistratesí court or the plea and
directions hearing in the Crown Court, the police will establish current witness availability in accordance
with locally agreed arrangements.
(a) the evidence justifies the prosecution and the evidential content of the file is sufficient to support the
5.1.1 The file, once prepared, should be checked by a police supervisor. Certain forms require endorsement by
that supervisor, these are as follows:
(i) File Front Sheet (MG1)This requires that the supervisor authorising submission of the file to the CPS be identified. The
identification of a named person responsible for the file will help to provide efficient and effective
lines of communication. Before the file is submitted, the supervisor is responsible for ensuring that:
(b) it is necessary in the public interest for the defendant to be prosecuted; and
(c) the file is correctly assembled with all the appropriate forms placed in numerical order.
Any comment on the above aspects of the file should be noted on the MG6.
Entering the name of the supervisor identifies the person who, in the absence of any comment
elsewhere in the file, has agreed with the recommendation as to the type of remand sought and the
grounds on which it is based.
(iii) Remand Update (MG21)Entering the name of the supervisor identifies the person who has checked that the
information contained is clearly legible, contains sufficient information to be forwarded to the
CPS and that the supervisor agrees with the content. Any comments the supervising officer
may wish to make should be included on the form (if there is sufficient space) or on MG(c)
(iv) Further Evidence/Information Report (MG20)Entering the name of the supervisor identifies the person who has checked that the document(s)
referred to on the form is/are attached, clearly legible and complete and should be sent to CPS.
5.1.2 The supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that as far as possible file submission complies with the
5.1.3 Police actions in response to CPS requests should be carried out as soon as possible. Where action
cannot be carried out by the specified return date the police should indicate the reason and give an
estimate for its completion.
Service - File Actions
6.1.1 This manual sets out the procedures for police officers when submitting case files to the CPS. This is to
allow the CPS:
6.1.2 The time/date on which the file is transferred from the police to the CPS should be noted on the file.
6.1.3 CPS review of a file commences
upon its receipt from the police. This is a statutory procedure which must
be carried out in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
6.1.4 The CPS duty to review a file continues during
the life of the case. Where a file is reviewed for an early
hearing, the reviewing lawyer should note on the file upon what evidence the review is based.
6.2.2 In custody cases, where the file was not available
at a CJU or other agreed location, the police are required to
make the file available to a CPS lawyer at the court building or other locally agreed reception point at least one
hour before the court commences. The CPS lawyer should therefore be at the court building or other reception
point at least one hour (or such other time as is agreed locally) before the court commences in order to carry
out the initial review.
6.2.3 See the guidance on the MG7 in section 7 in
the event of a remand in custody pending further enquiries.
6.3.2 Where the breach is
dealt with by the same court which imposed the conditions, the file relating
to the breach
should immediately be attached to the original file. This will also be the case where a different court deals with
the breach but both courts are served by the same CPS Office.
6.3.3 In all cases including those where the defendant
is placed before a court other than the one originally imposing
the conditions, and the latter court is served by a different CPS Office or Area, the lawyer who conducted the
breach hearing should, where practicable, immediately fax a copy of the MG8 to the relevant CPS Office. The
lawyer should ensure that a full copy of the breach of bail conditions file is posted to that office on the same day
whenever possible. The CPS Office must immediately notify the relevant police station of the result of the hearing.
6.4.2 An early initial review, which is distinct from
preparation for court presentation, is necessary if there is to be the
time available to consult with the police in circumstances where it is proposed to obtain additional information
before the defendantís first appearance at court, or to discontinue proceedings.
6.4.3 A proactive review at this stage, if time permits,
will increase the number of cases that may be disposed of at
the first hearing and will help to avoid unnecessary adjournments.
6.6.2 The CPS lawyer or designated caseworker will
ensure that the contents of the file are suitable for service as
advance information, that there is no sensitive information on the file and that the addresses of witnesses are
6.6.3 Local arrangements should be made for the efficient service of the advance information to the defence.
6.6.4 The CPS should note on the prosecution file what documents were contained in the advance information bundle.
6.6.5 In cases where advance information includes
providing the defence with a copy of compensation form(s), only
pages 2 and 3 of the form should be copied. Page 4 contains confidential information that must not be
6.6.6 If at any stage in the proceedings, the prosecution
send to the defence copies of any bills, invoices or estimates
relating to a claim for compensation, these should be checked beforehand to ensure they have been edited to
avoid disclosing the addresses of any witnesses.
6.6.7 If advance information documents were for any
reason not handed to the defence or a defendant at an early
hearing, arrangements should be made for the early delivery to the defence of the necessary documents if:
6.7.2 Under section 22(3) of the Prosecution of Offences
Act 1985, the prosecution must at all times act with all
due diligence and expedition. Timely preparation and dated file endorsements of the actions undertaken will
provide an audit trail for proof that the prosecution has complied with the requirements of the section. Any
reason for a delay in the submission of a file to the CPS must be supported by an explanation (eg if a delay has
been caused because of problems in finding witnesses, there should be an account of why there were difficulties
in locating the witnesses).
6.7.3 In cases adjourned to a pre-trial review or
to a trial date to be fixed, the prosecution file should normally be
transferred to the CPS at least one week before the adjourned hearing. In that week, the file should be further
reviewed to ensure that at pre-trial review the court can be informed whether the case is proceeding and, if so,
whether there are any amendments to the charges. A summary of legal argument should be prepared if the
issues are complex. The court will enquire whether evidence can be agreed (and served under section 9
Criminal Justice Act 1967 as amended) and issues identified before the advocates are asked to supply details
of the number of witnesses to be called and the best estimate of the length of time for the trial.
In cases where the defendant is in custody the time guideline between the defendent's first appearance and committal/transfer for trial is 6 weeks. Within 6 that weeks period the police will provide a full file to the CPS within 21 days. The CPS should prepare the committal/transfer for trial papers and draft indictment and serve these upon the defence within 10 DAYS OF RECEIPT. This should leave the defence with a minimum of 11 days to consider the papers.
The time guideline between the defendent's first appearance on an indictable charge or mode of trial and committal/transfer for trial should be 8 weeks. Within that 8 week period the police should provide a full file for committal/transfer for trial papers and draft indictment and serve these upon the defence within 14 DAYS OF RECEIPT. This should leave the defence with a minimum of 14 days to consider the papers.
In all cases where youth offenders are to be committed for trial the periods are the same as those for custody cases above.
6.9.1 Where the file is submitted in sufficient time, the reviewing CPS lawyer should consult with the police
before any decision is made to terminate a case or substantially alter the charge.
6.9.2 Whenever a decision is made to discontinue a case or substantially alter a charge, the CPS will notify the
police of the reasons for the decision.
6.9.3 If termination of the case is considered by the CPS and the police do not wish to be consulted, there is
no requirement for prior consultation. There is a tick box on MG1 for the police to complete if consultation
is not required.
6.9.4 Local arrangements may be made between the police and CPS agreeing certain types of case in respect
of which consultation is not required.
6.10.1 The period between receipt of the file from the police and a response whether by way of a request for
further information or the final advice should be no longer than 2 WEEKS.
Justice and Victim's Unit
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