Police failing to disclose in more than four out of 10 cases, says watchdog

Liam Allan. Pic: Anders Palm Olesen

The police failed to comply with its disclosure obligations in more than four out of 10 cases. According to a new report by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate which looked at 1,290 files, the police ‘fully complied’ with their obligations in only 57% of cases and there was ‘partial compliance’ in a further 37%.

According to the watchdog, prosecutors’ compliance on initial disclosure was ‘not much better than the police’ with only 58% fully meeting requirements. ’We saw limited evidence of prosecutors identifying police lack of compliance in reviews or other notes on files, or of them feeding that back to the police,’ the inspectorate noted.

Earlier this year CPS commissioned its own review of disclosure following concerns over the Liam Allan case and other collapsed rape trials. That review revealed that issues with disclosure had been identified in 47 of 3,637 cases from a six week period reviewed; but only five had been identified as such through the CPS’s own  case management system.

Author: Jon Robins

Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award

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