- CDS Direct employs 15 'advisors', so at any one time there are up to 5 advisors at the CDS Direct call centre. This means that the Legal Services Commission have replaced the services of hundreds of solicitors available to deal with telephone advice calls at any point in the day with 5 advisors. It seems that calls that should be dealt with by CDS Direct are being put through to solicitors in the way they were prior to the CDS Direct pilot because the CDS Direct call centre is under staffed. On this same point the man who has trained the advisors is apparently Tony Edwards from the solicitors firm TV Edwards. A colleague has stated that Mr. Edwards advice to the advisors was that they must complete their telephone advice call and complete their notes before moving on to the next call and if that means not picking up an incoming call then so be it.
- Of all the Custody Sergeants asked none are aware of the CDS Direct pilot. This snap shot view has been obtained by solicitors asking in an ad hoc way when they attend at the Police Station.
- CDS Direct are not sticking to their operational procedures as they are advising people for cases that fall outside of their remit.
- The Legal Services Commission press office (it has been suggested that Richard Shand has made this comment) is stating that the CDS Direct pilot has dealt with all eligible cases. 90% Being dealt with (i.e. advice given) within 15 minutes, 99% within 30 minutes (these times are less than the target times set down). The experiences of solicitors attending at the Police Station, and other solicitors picking up calls because CDS Direct has not dealt with the call for some reason, suggests that the comment by the Legal Services Commission press office may not be correct.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
CDS Direct Rumours
I talked a few days ago about the new pilot scheme being run by the Legal Services Commission to provide telephone advice to people detained at the Police Station in certain circumstances called CDS Direct. During the past week I have been listening to comments made by solicitors across the country and it seems that the CDS Direct pilot is not running as smoothly as it should be. All of my comments here are based on rumours or accounts given to me by colleagues - I have yet to have my own experience with CDS Direct. Here are some of the things that I have heard: