Prosecution Service Makes 'Progress'

Significant achievements have been made by the Public Prosecution Service towards its goal of recognition as a 'first-class prosecution service'.

Sir Alasdair Fraser, Director of Public Prosecutions insisted today that the findings of the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJINI) confirms good news to date.

He was commenting following the publication of CJINI's report of its follow-up inspection of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

"I welcome the findings of the report and in particular the recognition that much good work has been done and importantly that the quality of our core prosecutorial decision making remains sound.

"It found that progress had been achieved against all of the 17 recommendations made in its 2007 baseline report of the PPS," he said, noting that he was encouraged that CJINI confirmed that the organisation is "moving forward" and has recognised that as a young organisation still in transition "we are moving rapidly towards maturity".

"We must continue to build on these achievements and ensure that significant further progress continues to be realised," he continued.
News Image
"The PPS is fully committed to enhancing its service to victims and witnesses and the current year will see additional progress across a range of areas including the publication of a number of new policy initiatives on hate crime, sexual offences and serious road traffic offences."

However, the director was disappointed with the finding in the report that there was resistance by prosecutors to providing more detailed reasons for decisions not to prosecute.

Explaining the service's policy on giving reasons, he said: "The giving of reasons for not prosecuting is a complex issue.

"A balance needs to be struck between the proper interests of victims and witnesses and other concerns including damage to the reputation or other injustice to an individual, the danger of infringing upon the presumption of innocence and the risk of jeopardising the safety of others.

"Our policy is to give reasons for decisions not to prosecute in all cases in general terms.

"This policy is examined and reviewed in every case where a request for the provision of detailed reasons is made.

"Normally detailed reasons would be provided," he explained.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 December 2019
NI Nurses Begin Industrial Action
Nurses across Northern Ireland have commenced 24 hours of industrial action. In response to unsafe staffing levels and the pay crisis, members of the Royal College of Nursing will refuse to do any task that isn't directly related to patient care.
05 December 2019
Man Dies In Co Armagh Fire
A man has died in a house fire in Co Armagh, it has emerged. Fire crews responded to reports of a blaze at a property in Derrynoose shortly after 11am on Wednesday 04 December. The 34 year-old was confirmed dead at the scene. A fire in a downstairs bedroom in the two storey house had burnt itself out. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
06 December 2019
Civil Service Boss Set To Retire
The head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service has announced that he plans to retire next year. After what he said has been a "difficult and challenging" three years for the NICS, David Sterling informed colleagues of his intentions on Friday morning. He will retire at the end of August 2020.
02 January 2013
Tail Docking Ban Comes Into Effect
The New Year has seen the introduction of a law banning the cosmetic docking of dogs’ tails in Northern Ireland. Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill announced last year that the legislation would come into effect on 1 January 2013. She described docking as a "hideous practice".
03 December 2019
Car Trader Fined For Selling Clocked Car
A Belfast car dealer now faces a fine of £2,000 after selling a clocked car with almost double the mileage than advertised while claiming to be a private seller.