Royal Mail Investigators operating to a high standard’ says Inspectorate

An inspection report published today (23 July) on the investigative function of the Royal Mail Group which investigates crime against its four business units has found the Northern Ireland-based investigations team to be an effective and efficient small unit.

The inspection, which was carried out by Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI), examined the policies and processes in place and the standard of case files being compiled by Royal Mail Group (RMG) investigators.
“We found the case files were of good quality, that investigations were being carried out to a professional standard by skilled investigators and robust, extensive quality assurance systems were in place,” said Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.
Inspectors found that case files prepared by investigators in Northern Ireland compared favourably with files from other areas the United Kingdom served by Royal Mail Group.
“While these files were of a high quality we found anomalies in cases outcomes existed between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK. There were fewer custodial outcomes in Northern Ireland cases and whilst direct comparison is difficult because of the low case numbers in Northern Ireland,” said Mr McGuigan, “a higher percentage were dealt with by way of caution.”
Inspectors also found the method of submitting cases to the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland was cumbersome.
“Currently, files compiled by RMG investigators are submitted to the PSNI for forwarding to the PPS for a prosecutorial decision. This overly complex system increases the risks of delay and opportunities for case files to be mislaid, and hinders the flow of information regarding prosecutorial decisions made by prosecutors between the PPS and RMG investigators,” said Mr McGuigan.
In an effort to streamline the current process and enhance communication, Inspectors have recommended the RMG establish a direct method of presenting case files to the PPS for a prosecution decision.
“We have also suggested Royal Mail Group and the PSNI review their current arrangements and produce a memorandum of understanding to ensure the flow of information between the two organisations is embedded into organisational practice and not jeopardised by changes in personnel or structures,” he said.