In the Media

Legal code to consider community

PUBLISHED November 17, 2004

Criminal prosecutors have been told for the first time to assess community confidence in the justice system when deciding whether to bring charges in cases of low-level anti-social behaviour.

A new version of the Code for Crown Prosecutors, published yesterday, added a "public interest factor", which asks whether bringing charges "would have a significant positive impact on maintaining community confidence".
The new code also means that prosecutors have a clearer duty to ensure they take into account the views of crime victims when accepting guilty pleas and do not give the impression that they are accepting lesser convictions for reasons of "convenience".