30 July 1997

The DPP has admitted that her decisions in these cases are fundamentally flawed. INQUEST considers this to be a shocking indictment of the way the Crown Prosecution Service handles cases involving allegations of police violence. These proceedings have revealed a shambolic decision making process for which the DPP is ultimately responsible.In those circumstances, we consider her position to be untenable.

The inquiry into the CPS’s consideration of the Lapite and O’Brien cases and whether changes are needed in the approach to deaths in custody fails to address our fundamental concern that the whole police complaints system needs investigation, not just the CPS which is the culmination of the process. More importantly the Home Secretary should initiate, as a matter of urgency, an inquiry into the way in which deaths in custody are treated at every stage of the criminal justice system. Without this public confidence in the police cannot be restored.