“The legitimacy of our criminal justice system relies on the process being fair and even-handed. The public rightly expects to see the guilty convicted, but it is equally important to avoid the wrongful conviction of the innocent.” Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, CEO, College of Policing
Getting disclosure right is a fundamental part of a fair criminal justice system. In every case, any material that undermines the case for the prosecution or assists the case for the accused must be shared with the defence. Disclosure needs to be an integral part of the investigative mindset from the start. Since summer 2017, we have been working to address the criticisms identified in the joint Inspectorate report into disclosure.
In January 2018 those at the highest levels of the College of Policing, National Police Chiefs' Council and the Crown Prosecution Service published a joint action plan, called the National Disclosure Improvement Plan, and we are moving at a considerable pace to introduce the necessary changes.
The plan includes measures to:
Since the launch of the plan, we have:
Similarly, the Crown Prosecution Service has established Disclosure Champions in all Crown Court and Magistrates' Court teams. The Disclosure Manual for all Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors has been refreshed and training material reviewed to ensure that it is accurate and elements which were outdated have been removed. The Crown Prosecution Service is developing new mandatory training for all prosecutors on disclosure, which will be delivered by September 2018.