Chief Inspector’s report supports FDA concerns over COPFS staffing levels

17 August 2012
(For immediate release)

Commenting on yesterday's report by HM Chief Inspector of Prosecution in Scotland, which stated that prosecutors are not preparing thoroughly for summary cases, FDA Scottish Secretary Jim Caldwell said:

"This report clearly exposes the concerns over staffing levels that the FDA has been highlighting for the last two years, to Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) management and in our October 2011 evidence to the Scottish Government's Justice Committee.

"Ministers cannot continue to expect staff to shore up their failure to retain adequate staffing levels in the Service. The Scottish Government made it a priority to protect the current number of police officers, while the number of prosecutors has reduced. Without enough prosecutors and support staff the legal system will not operate effectively. Our Justice Committee evidence of October 2011 stated that the backlog of cases to be assessed by prosecutors was rising, and to date it continues to grow.

"We know that COPFS management have introduced new technology and restructured the Service in an effort to cope with reducing staff numbers, but at a time when we are being asked to do more and more, it is about time that Ministers listened to frontline staff and properly committed to ensuring the resilience of Scotland's prosecution service."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil

and public servants. Our members include crown prosecutors, policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

  • Kay Hender, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747.