Joint Committee on The Draft Corruption Bill Written Evidence


APPENDIX 18

Supplementary memorandum from the Crown Prosecution Service (DCB 29)

VISA CASEWORK ANALYSIS—MAY 2003

  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 Crime Squad.

CURRENT CASELOAD

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.

Current Investigations

  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.

HISTORIC CASES

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).


Current Cases
16
Finalised (Plea)17
Finalised (Fight)19
Others7


  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.

Visa Team

May 2003





 
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