The FDA today urged that any debate over a change of name of the Crown Prosecution Service should not detract from the more pressing need to provide the CPS with the resources it needs to deliver its newly-expanded role, and a first class service to the public.
Kris Venkatasami, FDA Convenor for the CPS, said: "The CPS was created in 1986 and there has been no confusion on the part of our members, who are professional prosecutors, that they prosecute on behalf of the public. The CPS is an independent and neutral body, and the post of Crown Prosecutor is a statutory post - it is important that we are very clear, in advance, why any changes are being made.
"The FDA welcomes the fact that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald QC, is planning to consult staff on the proposed name changes. FDA representatives will be meeting on 16-17 March with the DPP and the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC to discuss this fundamental change and to commence a debate on the role of the CPS."
John Merson, FDA national officer for the CPS, said: "The question we need to ask is, who does the CPS prosecute on behalf of? This is a time of fundamental change in working practices, such as the charging initiative (where prosecutors advise the police in police stations) and CPS Direct. So, for the majority of our members, the securing of additional resources to allow prosecutors to discharge their professional responsibilities is more important than name changes."
Notes for Editors 1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing the UK's 11,000 senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.
2. For further information contact: Kris Venkatasami (CPS Section Convenor on 07968 328040 (mobile). John Merson (CPS National officer) on 020 7343 1111. Simon Moore (chief press officer) on 020 7343 1111 or 07967 484441 (mobile).