From the Courts
December 28, 2012
Before prosecution initiated, Director of Public Prosecution’s office to decide if to lay charges

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is moving towards a new stage that would see prosecutors giving a decision of whether a charge can proceed, depending on the amount of evidence.{{more}}

DPP Colin Williams, on December 19 at the High Court, said the existing system allows police officers to investigate and arrest.

“In serving notice of intent, with the increase in number of professional staff at the office of the DPP, we are speedily approaching the stage where, before a person is charged with a criminal offence and prosecution initiated, that an officer from the office of the DPP will first have to sanction that there is sufficient evidence to proceed to that stage,” the DPP said.

Williams said the move has already been communicated to his staff and they are “speedily” moving in that new direction.

“Prosecution is for prosecutors. Police do investigate, they do arrest, the system allows them to do that at the moment…

“… we have moved to the stage where before a charge can be laid, a prosecutor signs off and says yes, there is sufficient evidence to lay a charge,” the DPP further said. (KW)