CPS to lose 60 staff as budget cuts bite deep

SIXTY prosecutors are to be axed from the Crown Prosecution Service as it grapples with an £8 million cut in its annual budget.

But the lawyers will all be leaving the service voluntarily and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barbara Mills, said there were no plans for compulsory redundancies.

Speaking at the launch of the service's 10th annual report, Mills said she was confident it could survive a tough public spending round by making efficiency savings rather than forced job cuts.

And she gave an upbeat assessment of the future of the CPS, claiming all its performance indicators were “moving in the right direction”.

Mills also played down the extent of the disquiet among the organisation's lawyers which surfaced earlier this year when the CPS section of the Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA) passed a resolution which expressed its “loss of confidence” in the management.

She said she was unsurprised some lawyers felt a “little disturbed” given the the service's smaller budget and the structural changes it had undergone recently.

But she added: “If you go out and talk to the people in the local offices you will find a very different response.”

The CPS chose the publication of the annual report to unveil a new inspectorate which aims to test the quality of decision making.

The inspectorate has been supported “in principle” by the FDA, although the association is concerned at its estimated cost of between £1.5 and £2 million.