The quality of Crown advocacy has deteriorated, inspectors reported last week.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate said themes highlighted for improvement in a 2012 review remain, particularly in relation to contested advocacy, ‘with Crown advocates struggling to cross-examine effectively and having a tendency to present rather than prosecute cases’.

Since 2012, it said: ‘There has been no substantial improvement in performance and where any action has been taken to address [recommendations] there is no demonstrable business impact.’