Customs prosecutors short-staffed and ill-equipped

Lawyers dealing with Customs & Excise prosecutions are not able to do their jobs properly because they are so short-staffed, according to a new report.

A review of the Customs & Excise Prosecution Office (CEPO) by the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate also found that the lawyers had poor equipment and accommodation.

Pressure permeates the teams of lawyers and levels of supervision of cases “appears to be limited”, the report found.

The CEPO was introduced in December 2003 and is directly accountable to the Attorney General.

It was created to fight organised crime and to be a “strong, fair, accountable and effective prosecuting authority”.

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