In the Media

CPS Direct Lawyers kept busy on Christmas Day

PUBLISHED December 26, 2011

CPS Direct lawyers dealt with 136 calls on Christmas Day morning. One such call for on duty CPS Direct prosecutor Bryan Drew, working from home in Devon, came from West Midlands police who arrested a suspect following a car chase. In interview the suspect maintained he had only been the passenger in the vehicle, despite the fact that two police officers say they clearly saw him driving. He was unable to offer an explanation as to why the car key swere hidden in his underpants. Bryan Drew authorised charges for dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance. Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Peter Swain spent Christmas Morning assisting the lawyers of CPS Direct in giving charging advice to police forces across England and Wales. He said: ?Between 9am and 2pm on Christmas Day this year CPS Direct had 41 lawyers on call. They were working from home in shifts, from Truro to Carlisle, and dealt with 136 calls from police relating to 111 suspects. ?CPS lawyers are also available in the evenings and throughout the holiday period to ensure prompt guidance is provided to the police. ?Typically for this time of year, drink clearly played a part in much of the offending ? including two suspects, one in Durham and one in Sandwell, who were arrested following incidents in hospitals whilst staff tried to treat them following the consumption of excess alcohol. One suspect was charged with racially aggravated disorderly behaviour and one with racially aggravated assault. ?Sadly, as with previous years, many of the cases that we handled were instances of domestic violence. Indeed, 79 of the cases referred to our lawyers by the policeon Christmas Day morning were classed as ones of domestic violence. CPS prosecutors work with police officers to try to ensure the safety of victims who will be particularly vulnerable at this time of year.? CPS Direct provides out of hours charging advice to all police forces across England and Wales, currently operating 5pm to 9am, Monday to Friday and 24 hours a day at weekends and Public Holidays. Our prosecutors are based throughout England and Wales, and work in shifts from their own homes. CPS Direct has 110 Duty Prosecutors. In the year 2010 - 2011 CPS Direct received 191,392 telephone calls from the police and provided 155,647 charging advices.