Criminal court tech reforms 'a disaster'
Reforms to move paper-based criminal courts into the digital age have been beset by failings with lost computer discs, systems that "do not talk to each other" and "numerous mistakes", inspectors have found.Their damning report finds that despite the multimillion-pound programme to modernise the courts, many still heavily rely on paper and manual processes such as scanning documents and producing hard copy of digital images.This is to compensate for the "lack of a wholly intuitive digital capability", the inspectors say, a situation that causes wasted costs, increased risk of error and undermines the benefits that could come from full digital working.More than 90 per cent of criminal cases are sent to the Crown Prosecution Service from the police electronically but there is a "high level of user input and processes to make paper documents electronic", the report finds. "This is not wholly digital working or an efficient process for transferring case information from the police to the courts."Despite previous recommendations by inspectors that a reliable data-sharing solution is needed for CCTV, 999 records and interviews of suspects and others, it is a "disappointment", inspectors say, "to find this has yet to be established".As a result, computer discs containing evidence still have to be physically sent to the CPS and many are lost, they say. "It was of concern to learn that a widespread issue existed, concerning the misplacing of discs by the CPS."Other problems include a limit on the size of data that can be transferred across the system, "having a negative impact on the transfer of police data to the CPS".There is difficulty in sending papers digitally to defence representatives. "Commonly the CPS prints off a paper copy for the defence representatives and sends this via courier to the court." The transfer of case evidence between police and the CPS "still suffers from numerous clerical mistakes".
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
No, I'm Not Surprised Either
Thanks to The Times for this (don't worry Rupert, I pay a full sub)