Supplementary memorandum from the Crown
Prosecution Service (DCB 29)
As at 23 May 2003 the Visa Team was dealing
or had dealt with:
1. A total of 191 cases involving 440 defendants
of whom 23 were people who had been the subject of more than one
police operation, had been tried on more than one matter or are
facing more than one trial.
2. A total of 238 defendants were police
officers of whom 18 had been the subject of more than one police
operation, had been tried on more than one matter or are facing
more than one trial.
3. Nine people in the Criminal Justice System
(other than police officers) have been prosecuted or investigated
including other Public Officers such as Customs and Excise officials,
Treasury Solicitors, Magistrates and Prison Officers.
4. A total of 145 civilians of whom 5 have
been the subject of more than one police operation, have been
tried on more than one matter or are facing more than one trial.
5. The figure of 440 defendants is an absolute
minimum. Several operations are continuing, which may result in
three to five prosecutions each with multiple defendants.
6. At least 26 cases involving corruption
have been either by police officers or by those who would seek
to corrupt them. There have probably been other cases involving
corruption but it is difficult to collate the figures precisely
at this time.
7. Forty two cases have involved offences
akin to corruption (eg misconduct in a public office, perjury,
misfeasance and perverting the course of justice). There have
probably been other cases involving corruption but it is difficult
to collate the figures precisely at this time.
8. One hundred and seven cases have involved
non-corruption offences. These range from possession and supply
of drugs (Class A & B), theft, burglary, data protection offences,
serious assaults, rape, indecent assaults and money laundering.
There have probably been other cases involving corruption but
it is difficult to collate the figures precisely at this time.
9. Sixty four cases did not proceed beyond
the advice stage because the evidence was not sufficiently strong
to satisfy the test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
10. At least seven of the civilian defendants
in Visa cases have been ex-police officers.
11. It is not possible at this time to give
figures, but the majority of the cases Visa deals with arise from
investigations by the Anti-Corruption Group in the Metropolitan
Police Service. However, Visa has dealt with cases from other
police authorities, such as, Avon & Somerset, West Mercia,
Hertfordshire, West Midlands, Nottinghamshire and the National
Cases in the Court Process
There are 16 cases in the court process at the
moment (ie they have had their first appearance at a Magistrates
Court). Of these seven either contain corruption offences or offences
akin to corruption (eg perverting the course of justice). The
other nine contain offences ranging from indecent assault, money
laundering and drugs offences.
There are 24 cases registered which may or may
not become full prosecutions. Some of these operations (as mentioned
under point 5) may result in between three and five prosecutions
each with multiple defendants.
Pleas before Jury Trial
There have been 17 cases where defendants have
pleaded guilty before the jury has been empanelled.
Contested before Jury
There have been 19 cases before a jury. In these
cases there have been convictions on some or all charges in 10
and acquittals in nine.
This type of case is hard to bring home. On
the one hand it may well be that juries find it difficult to believe
police officers can be corrupt and on the other the calibre of
some of the complainants does not strengthen the prosecution's
hand (eg drug dealers/other criminals who have been given Resident
Informant/Protected Witness status).
The spreadsheet shows that there are 59 cases where Visa
has decided to prosecute. 52 cases have been conducted on the
Visa Team, seven have been or are being dealt with by other branches
of Casework Directorate: York: Birmingham; and London. Two cases
have been prosecuted by CPS London.