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MA response to the HM CPS Inspectorate inspection on agents in the magistrates’ court


12 March 2020
MA response to the HM CPS Inspectorate inspection on agents in the magistrates’ court

Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate  has published the report of its inspection on the effective use of agents in magistrates’ courts. The report found that the CPS deploys agents effectively, but needs to provide them with better support.

Commenting on the report, John Bache JP, National Chair of the Magistrates Association, said:

'Given that agents now cover more than a quarter of all sessions in magistrates’ courts on behalf of the CPS, it is essential that they consistently provide a high-quality service. It is therefore concerning that most agents do not access CPS training and that most areas do not regularly assess agents for quality. The CPS should implement the recommendations of this report to ensure that the agents working on their behalf are consistently of the expected high standard.

'To prevent unnecessary delay, the CPS must also make sure that agents are able to contact CPS staff for immediate support if there are decisions that they are not authorised to make, particularly ahead of the morning court session.'

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