Slap in the face for demoralised CPS staff

Director of Public Prosecutions David Calvert-Smith gave a damning indictment against certain members of his staff last week, threatening to kick out those who are "beyond redemption", a number which is "certainly in tens".

While he is being refreshingly honest, the CPS is still lurching from ditch to gutter. Calvert-Smith's credentials as a criminal lawyer may be impeccable, but he needs the skills of a surgeon to rescue this organisation.

This forewarning of a cull among the ranks will send shivers throughout an organisation already in pain. While Calvert-Smith intends to restore faith in the quality of the service, this latest public announcement smacks of desperation.

High-flyer Calvert-Smith denied he had accepted a "poisoned chalice" on his appointment as DPP, although he acknowledged there was low staff morale. But is attacking existing staff the best way to raise spirits?

As of this week the CPS enters a new streamlined era, restructured into 45 administrative areas along police force boundaries. Can Calvert-Smith change anything?

According to a source among the First Division Association, Calvert-Smith has privately reassured members there will be "no witch hunt". However this latest CPS exploit is bound to have raised even more hackles on an animal already howling on its chain.