CPS issues guidance

DECISIONS on charges for driving offences should be easier after guidance issued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The new guidance, called a charging standard, will help police and prosecutors make the right choice on multi-charge driving offences.

Before a case can proceed, the guidance requires a prosecutor to be satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a conviction against each defendant on each charge and, if there is sufficient evidence, that public interest requires a prosecution.

The charging standard also says the decision must be taken only on the available evidence. Most cases involving serious accidents will include reports from specially trained and highly experienced police accident investigation officers.

Barbara Mills QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said: “The guidelines should produce more consistent decisions which can be more readily understood by members of the public who are not lawyers, but who need to understand the law as it affects them.”