PPS opens its first regional office 'Lisburn Chambers'

27 March 2006

Sir Alasdair Fraser CB QC, Director of the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPS) today said that it is essential that the PPS provides an independent, fair and effective service to the community which we serve. 
  
Sir Alasdair was speaking at the official opening of the new PPS Eastern Region office in Lisburn, the first outside of Belfast – known as ‘Lisburn Chambers’ and at the launch of the Service’s  Community Outreach Strategy and its Domestic Violence policy. 
 
Outlining the role of the new service and the opportunity the Lisburn office would provide the Director said:  “The new service will engage with the community and with relevant statutory and voluntary agencies and community groups.   
 
“We will try to increase the community’s understanding of our role as prosecutors and listen to the community’s concerns.  Our obligations are to ensure equality and diversity and we will focus on individuals and groups involved in issues, for example, age, disability, gender, racial issues, religious belief, sexual orientation, and domestic violence. 
 
“The Regional Prosecutor will be responsible for implementing a programme of meetings with community groups, responding to information requests, liaising with, for example schools and colleges (including providing open days in Lisburn Chambers)  and becoming more involved together with colleagues in the life of this community. 
 
“The  Regional Prosecutor responsible for the Eastern Region is Ronnie McCarey.  He will be supported by 8 senior public prosecutors, 20 public prosecutors and administrative staff numbering 60 persons.” 
 
Outlining the work of Lisburn Chambers, Ronnie McCarey said:  “It will serve a population of almost 475,000 people in six district council areas (Ards, Castlereagh, Craigavon, Down, Lisburn and North Down), which are coterminous with Police Service of Northern Ireland districts. 
  
“The office will take decisions in approximately 13,000 cases per year or approximately 20% of the total criminal case load in Northern Ireland.”