New DPP vows to fight low morale

David Calvert-Smith QC, the new Director of Public Prosecutions, admitted the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is “underfunded” and pledged to reverse the “morale problem” among its staff after his appointment last week.

Calvert-Smith, a former First Senior Treasury Counsel resident at Queen Elizabeth Buildings, and chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, takes over from Dame Barbara Mills QC on 1 November.

Mills agreed to step down early in June on the eve of the publication of Sir Iain Glidewell's devastating report on the CPS.

Calvert-Smith said one of his tasks would be addressing the “imbalance” by which defence counsel command substantially higher fees than the prosecution. He also admitted to being “instinctively” against widening rights of audience.

Calvert-Smith, who was formally appointed last week, said he still had to “sort out the boundaries” of his role and that of the newly appointed CPS chief executive Mark Addison. He added that he would concentrate on casework decisions and appointing 42 Chief Crown Prosecutors.

Steve Dent, the Association of First Division Civil Servants' national officer, said the appointment was “in tune with the Glidewell report”.