Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA)

Disclosure and the investigation.

One of the most common reasons for a criminal case to be lost is a failure of the process relating disclosure of unused material. If this happens the guilty go free and there can often be considerable reputational damage to the organisation who brought the prosecution.

The prosecution team’s duties under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA) 1996 are not simply about compiling schedules of unused material as part of preparation for court. At the heart of every investigation is the obligation, in the CPIA 1996 and Code of Practice, to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry whether these point towards or away from the suspect.

In the early stages of the investigation it may not be clear whether an offence has been committed, whether a prosecution is likely to follow and whether material obtained may be used in evidence or will be unused. Following reasonable lines of enquiry and recording and retaining relevant material involves the exercise of considerable professional expertise.

The CPIA 1996 and Code of Practice determine the extent of the enquiries that should be made. The distinction between evidential and unused material often only becomes apparent as the investigation progresses. The prosecution team should take the opportunity to confirm or rebut potential and proffered defences, and should be aware of the extent to which any disclosable material might weaken the case. A safe and successful prosecution requires a dedicated and professional approach.

Application of the CPIA 1996 and Code of Practice to Non-Police Investigators

Any person other than a police officer who is charged with the duty of conducting a criminal investigation as defined in the CPIA 1996 shall have regard to the relevant provisions of the Code of Practice and should take these into account in applying their own operating procedures.

Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA) Training

Sancus offer two courses; “CPIA” and “Advanced CPIA” Training.

CPIA Training

Sancus CPIA training will provide students with the knowledge required to fulfil specific duties according to the Codes of Practice under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA) 1996 and associated guidelines, common law and the Disclosure Manual..

The students will be able to:

  • State what constitutes a criminal investigation
  • Explain how to conduct reasonable lines of enquiry
  • State and perform the duties imposed upon them by the CPIA, Common Law and the Disclosure Manual
  • Demonstrate application of the test for making disclosure under the CPIA or Common Law
  • Recognise the obligations on the defence to provide a defence statement
  • Discriminate between materials that constitute evidence, sensitive or non-sensitive information
  • Describe the responsibilities of the police and prosecutors in relation to PII and court procedures
  • Identify Third Party material and their duties in relation to it

Advanced CPIA Training

To develop the existing skills and knowledge of officers in order to manage advanced disclosure issues and duties according to the Codes of Practice under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA) 1996 and associated guidelines, common law and the Disclosure Manual.

Course objectives – Candidates will be able to:

  • Identify when an investigation in an intelligence led operation began
  • Identify relevant material likely to be generated in serious and major investigations
  • Explain how intelligence material generated prior to commencement of an investigation may be ‘relevant material’ as defined by CPIA
  • Identify when multiple disclosure officers are required in investigations.
  • List the key issues to consider when liaising with other police force/agencies in connected investigations
  • Explain when it is necessary to use a disclosure agreement
  • Explain how to discharge disclosure obligations to other agencies during investigations
  • Explain when it is necessary to implement an Operational Memorandum of Understanding (OMOU) and why such a memorandum is needed
  • Distinguish between sensitive, highly sensitive and CHIS material, with particular reference to the handling of CHIS
  • Apply the seven-stage test (R v H and C (2004) UKHL3)
  • Explain the principles to be taken into account when choosing whether to proceed with a Type 1, Type 2 or Type 3 PII application, including level of authorisation and record keeping

Sancus Criminal Procedures and Investigation Act (CPIA) training can be delivered for your organisation, at a venue of your choice and for up to 12 delegates.

Because of the specialist nature of this training it is beneficial for us to discuss your exact needs and requirements.

Please contact us and our senior course trainer will be pleased to arrange a consultation.

Criminal Procedures and Investigations Act (CPIA) – Contact Sancus