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Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is the first UK police force to successfully implement a Two Way Interface (TWIF) with the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) case management system, supporting the delivery of electronic case files. The use by GMP and CPS of electronic case files, and the two-way exchange of information presents a major opportunity to save money, improve efficiency, speed up case progression and deliver an improved service to victims and witnesses of crime.

Criminal Justice is moving from paper-based processes to a fully digital way of working. Led by the CPS the project encourages co-operative information sharing between Police, CPS, the Courts and defence lawyers.

The two-way interface between the GMP and CPS case management systems went live in November 2011, five months ahead of the CPS’ interim target of April 2012 and exchanged over 30,000 messages in the first week. All CPS case file memos, action plans and charging decisions are returned directly to ICIS, GMP’s case file management system. This allows officers and prosecutors to exchange information more quickly and more effectively about defendants, witnesses and victims. The CPS can also send case status updates to the Police reducing the amount of unnecessary file work in the event of an unexpected guilty plea.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor from the North West Area said: “The two-way digital link between the CPS and police case management systems helps cut down on duplication and improves the speed and accuracy with which we can exchange information about criminal cases. It will enable the CPS and Greater Manchester Police to work together more efficiently and it is a vital step in creating a fully digital Criminal Justice System. The fact that we have achieved this milestone first in Greater Manchester is a testament to the collaboration and close working that exists between the CPS, GMP and the courts in our collective drive for criminal justice efficiency.”

ACC Dawn Copley, Greater Manchester Police adds: “With interfaces to all key criminal justice partners GMP’s case management system is the first to achieve this milestone, demonstrating its viability and value. The NPIA has identified GMP as an exemplar force in respect of our readiness to move to fully digital criminal justice working by April 2012. The ultimate aim of all our work to develop digital solutions is to play our part in streamlining and speeding up the justice system for the benefit of victims and witnesses. We look forward to working with our partners on further initiatives that will enable processes to be streamlined further, reduce bureaucracy and overall make the system faster and more efficient for all concerned.”

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