Crime news: Crown Court Digital Case System claims work boost

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Providers are set to benefit from a new approach to Crown Court assessments with our caseworkers being given ‘read-only’ access to digital case files.

Our need to have this access to help perform statutory duties has been recognised by HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Similar access arrangements are being made for both the Attorney General’s Office and the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

What are the benefits?

Earlier access to online case material held in the Crown Court Digital Case System should improve the accuracy of decisions made by our caseworkers.

It should also reduce billing disputes and the amount of supporting information we ask providers to submit via the Galaxkey file exchange.

When would caseworkers ask for access?

Access may be needed to validate the count of pages of prosecution evidence (PPE). This takes place mostly at the redetermination stage. However, this could be at the point of initial assessment for some claims, e.g. special preparation.

How can practitioners help?

Upon request, providers will be able to use the ‘People’ function in the DCS to locate a caseworker’s e-mail address and authorise access. All caseworkers will have a single ‘read-only’ role listed.

This approach mirrors the invitations-based mechanism already widely used in the DCS to manage access. Further guidance and resources on asking for and granting access can be found on GOV.UK where you can find training resources.

Is this secure?

Yes, the role accorded to LAA caseworkers confers no editing rights and restricts what is visible to the user. None of the private sections in DCS can be seen, and only “widely shared” comments are viewable.

Further information

CrimeSupport@Justice.gov.uk – to find out more about the changes

Crown Court Digital Case System guidance – information and support materials about DCS

Crown Court Digital Case System training guides and videos – see ‘Give or ask for access to a case’

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