The police will now be enabled with more powers, as they will be entitled to prosecute people on an extended list of offences without being necessary a state lawyer to be involved, said the Home Secretary Theresa May.
It has been announced that a greater number of offences will be taken to court by the police, without involving the Crown Prosecution Service, as this is considered to ” help the focus on fighting crime”
Currently, the police might take only minor cases to court. This involve traffic offences, such as speeding, driving without insurance or failing to provide a valid driving license. According to the new plans, they will be able to deal with those accused of driving without due care and attention, a variety of alcohol-related and public order crimes, and cases involving criminal damage with a value of less than £5,000.
All the cases, handled by the police, will go ahead only if the defendant has announced their intention to plead guilty. It has been estimated that this way, more than 90 000 offences could be prosecuted by the police alone annually. These measures are taken in order to increase the efficiency of their work.
This would mean that more than 50% of cases dealt with in Magistrates’ Courts would be handled by the police. Nine police forces are to run an initial test of the new powers, which will be rolled out if they are viewed as a success.
“Giving police more powers to prosecute offenders will slash unnecessary bureaucracy and deliver swifter justice for victims,” said May on the changes. “I want us to be bold and imaginative about transforming policing and the wider criminal justice system to save time and money and deliver a better service for the public.
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