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Tories call for cops to handle court cases

PUBLISHED: 15:38 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 17:13 25 August 2010

THE Shadow Home Secretary called for police to take over magistrate s court cases, despite claiming they have too much paper work. Chris Grayling MP was invited to speak to Conservative Party members in Eltham on Monday by Tory parliamentary candidate,

THE Shadow Home Secretary called for police to take over magistrate's court cases, despite claiming they have too much paper work.

Chris Grayling MP was invited to speak to Conservative Party members in Eltham on Monday by Tory parliamentary candidate, David Gold.

Arriving 20 minutes late, he told a 30-strong audience in St Mary's Community Centre that officers should take over the role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for magistrate court cases.

However, Epsom and Ewell MP maintained that officers were forced to do too much paperwork whilst fear of crime was justified, despite statistics showing a decline in crime.

When asked by the Times if giving police the CPS work would not further increase their work, he said much of it was duplicated by the CPS and claimed the changes would produce better charges.

He added: "If something goes to magistrates it would be dealt with by police which gives the CPS more time to deal with serious cases.

"What tends to happen in these instances is incredibly bureaucratic. The police produce a file from their files. The CPS have to duplicate it.

"About 20 years ago the police always did the prosecution.

"The CPS incentive is to maximise the conviction rate so some serious charges are dropped.

"This change would produce a better charge."

MP for Eltham Clive Efford said: "I have no idea what they are talking about and I am not going to comment on every utterance that comes out of what the Tories get up to in Eltham."

A spokesperson for the CPS said it would be too difficult to comment without seeing detailed proposals.

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