Of course, like any government department right now, we are already pretty tightly stretched. Over-spends abound. And yet further savings are demanded. The inconvenient truth is that prosecuting crime needs lawyers to make decisions. Lawyers are relatively highly trained, and need appropriate salaries. CPS salary bands are roughly as follows:
- Legal trainee (pupil barrister or trainee solicitor) -- £20k
- Crown Prosecutor -- £29k
- Senior Crown Prosecutor -- £36k
- Crown Advocate -- £50k-£70k
These figures are approximate, of course. Not too shabby, is it? There's a bit extra for being in London, although "London weighting" extends as far south as the London Borough of the Isle of Wight [sic]. There's a bit extra extra for being in Inner London, i.e. London as most people think of it.
And of course, we get gold-plated final salary pensions, flexi-time, generous annual leave, sick pay, holiday pay, child care vouchers, etc., etc., etc., all of which cost money. Lots of money. Especially the pensions.
But it's all O.K., and we're going to make the savings, because we've had an idea -- we're just going to get rid of the lawyers. Yes, it's the great DCW debate! Let's get designated caseworkers in, make them do the lawyers' jobs, but pay them less! Brilliant.
And while we're at it, we'd better not use the independent Bar, because they cost us money, too. The cheek of it! Let's just employ some barristers, and we can save all those nasty fees.
Actually, this links pretty nicely to the next thing I wanted to talk about -- the CPS advocacy strategy, the employed Bar, and designated caseworkers.