Minister checks out Hampshire’s CPS plans to go digital

VISIT MP Nick Herbert
VISIT MP Nick Herbert

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THE government’s police and justice minister Nick Herbert visited the Crown Prosecution Service to see the progress made so far on going digital.

Wessex CPS, which covers Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, is set to become paperless by April.

That means prosecutors in our courts will be using iPad-style devices while case files will be emailed to the police, court and defence counsel, rather than printed.

Nationwide, the CPS says that it will save £50m by 2014/15 by replacing all paper documents with electronic communications.

Mr Herbert said: ‘Using digital technology such as PC tablet devices in prosecutions helps ensure speedy and effective justice.

‘Wessex is an excellent example of our wider ambition to streamline the criminal justice system and make it more efficient.

‘We are working closely with agencies across the country to digitise the entire criminal justice system.’

Mr Herbert met representatives from Wessex CPS, the courts and the police at the CPS offices in Eastleigh.

They discussed how prosecutors are going to use tablet devices to present their cases and operating in a paperless office.

Nick Hawkins, chief prosecutor for CPS Wessex, said: ‘We are working hard with our partners: the police, the courts, the judiciary, magistrates, barristers and our defence solicitors to improve the experience of those who are going through the criminal justice system and to make that system more efficient.

‘From April we will have ditched paper files and we will be working digitally with our local criminal justice partners.

‘It will speed up substantially the process for victims.’