Speaking to our UK Editor, Lucy Manning, the Justice Minister Damian Green said one of his priorities was to tackle the huge amount of time taken up in court by traffic offences. Mr Green said the current system meant cases took too long to process.
A new body is being set up to create a faster, more efficient criminal justice system which takes advantage of new technology, and brings an end to the "blame culture" between the courts, the police and the CPS.
- Criminal Justice Minister, Damian Green says a new board will be made up of the judiciary, the police and prosecutors who will get together to take responsibility
- Damian Green wants to speed things up, make the criminal justice system more efficient and free up police time using new technology
- Traffic offences make up a large percentage of court hearings and trials are already underway which see individual courts dealing with only traffic offences on one particular day, and process them much faster
West Midlands Police are being investigated after an officer put a photo on social media of a witness statement issued in the character of a police dog.
The statement read: 'I chase him, I bite him, Bad man, He tasty, Good boy, Good boy Peach.'
The CPS had asked for a witness statement from "PC Peach", without realising it was the name of a police dog.
PC Mark Tissington put the photo on social media before it was later deleted.
– DCI Julian Harper, West Midlands Police
The Professional Standards Department are looking into this, early enquiries suggest it is a light-hearted exchange as a result of a misunderstanding around a police dog and a police officer. The matter will be investigated.
The Crown Prosecution Service has denied reports alleging that it has not been prosecuting hunting offences, insisting that it does so when it is in the public interest:
– CPS statement
There have been a number of recent reports inferring that the CPS is reluctant to, and does not, prosecute hunting offences. This is wrong.
Where there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, and it is in the public interest, the CPS does prosecute such cases.
Indeed, since the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2005, 371 offences have been charged and brought to magistrates’ courts.
A woman raped by former Welsh international footballer Ched Evans was forced to adopt a new identity after she was named thousands of times on Twitter.
Evans, who played for Sheffield United at the time of his conviction, was jailed for five years in April after being found guilty of raping the 19-year-old in a hotel room.
Nine people later admitted in court to naming the victim after the case on Twitter and Facebook and were ordered to each pay her £624.
They pleaded guilty, claiming they were unaware they had committed a criminal offence by naming her. A tenth person denied the charge and was bailed until January 21.
Singer Adele's joy at the arrival of her first child in October was soured by Twitter trolls within hours of reports emerging that she had given birth to a son.
The 24-year-old was targeted by abusive messages, including one urging her to "just murder it already". The offending account was later deleted. No action was taken.
Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has told Daybreak that the abusive Twitter message about Olympic diving star Tom Daley was not a criminal offence, despite it being offensive.
"The message was meant for a limited audience, it was removed swiftly, other action was taken and we consulted with Tom Daley," he added.
The new Twitter guidelines, published today by the Crown Prosecution Service, come in the wake of a series of high-profile social media abuse cases during 2012.
Footballer Daniel Thomas, who plays for Port Talbot Town FC, was suspended for a game and fined £500 after posting an abusive Twitter message about Olympic diving star Tom Daley.
Mr Thomas, who later apologised, was at one point arrested over the homophobic message.
The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, though, said the tweet was not a criminal offence, despite being offensive, and was not intended to be read by Daley.
Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has told Daybreak that "a balance must be struck between the rights of the individual not to be threatened and harassed [online] and the freedom of speech for everyone else."