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Feedback and complaints

Feedback and Complaints

If you would like to provide feedback or make a complaint on any aspect of our service, we would like to hear from you.

Feedback on your experiences, both positive and negative, helps us to identify good practice and make improvements to our services so they continue to meet the needs of the public.

When you tell us about a good experience it helps us identify best practice and encourages us to improve our service.

If you have a bad experience, you can make a complaint (if you have been directly involved in the matter you are complaining about). If you are not directly involved in the matter about which you wish to complain you can provide us with negative feedback.

If you want to complain, the first thing to do is to talk to your local CPS or the member of staff involved. They will try to resolve the problem immediately.

You can also make a complaint to us directly through the completion of the online form.

Feedback and Complaints Guidance

We will:

  1. Listen to what you say.
  2. Investigate the problem.
  3. Where we have made a mistake, we will:
    • Admit it.
    • Apologise.
    • Take action to stop it happening again.
  4. If we conclude that we have not made a mistake, we will explain our reasons to you.
  5. If you are not happy with our explanation, we will tell you how you can take the complaint further.

We will respond to complaints promptly and effectively deal with them sensitively, fairly and thoroughly. All feedback and complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Find out more about our Feedback and Complaints Guidance

Who can complain?

Anyone can provide feedback to the CPS and there is no time limited for doing so. If you have had direct contact with the CPS, you can make a complaint.

The complaint can be made by you or by someone you ask to make the complaint such as:

  • a member of your family or friend
  • a support group
  • a legal adviser or other professional

Written permission will need to be provided for a representative to act on your behalf.

If you want to complain about something that has happened to someone else, then your concerns will be recorded as negative feedback. We will not enter into correspondence with you if you provide us with feedback.

What can I complain about?

Two women discussing a document

If you have had direct contact with the CPS and had a negative experience, you can make a complaint.

Complaints can be either:

  • Legal Complaints(excluding victim right to review cases) relating to legal decisions made by the CPS, or
  • Service Complaints relating to the way in which we have conducted ourselves. The Independent Assessor of Complaints (IAC) for the CPS will only consider service complaints.

Sometimes people complain to us about problems with other criminal justice agencies for example, concerns about the handling of an investigation, which is the responsibility of the police or problems at court that are the responsibility of the court service.

In these cases, we will tell you how to send your complaint to the right organisation.

Sometimes problems involve more than one organisation for example, the police and the CPS.

In these cases, we will try to sort out the problem and we will work with the other organisation to provide a joint reply if we can.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

stopwatch

You should complain about a problem as soon as possible.

We do not deal with complaints made about things that happened more than six months ago.

Victims' Right to Review

The CPS has launched a new initiative called the Victims' Right to Review Scheme, which makes it easier for victims to seek a review of a CPS decision not to bring charges against a suspect or to terminate proceedings.

If you are a victim seeking to exercise your right to request a review of a CPS decision not to bring charges, discontinue proceedings or offer no evidence in a case please visit the Victims and Witnesses section of this website

Please note that the scheme applies only in relation to qualifying decisions made on or after the 5 June 2013.

How to provide feedback or make a complaint

Feedback and complaints about the CPS can be made in the following ways:

online

Online

Go to the feedback and complaint form.

Complete the form.

Click the 'send' button at the end of the form.

Welsh version: Ffurflen Ymateb a Chwynion yn y Gymraeg.

online

By Email

Download the feedback and complaints form.

Complete the information on the form and include your contact details.

Email your feedback form to the relevant CPS office.

by post

By Post

Download the feedback and complaints form.

Print the feedback and complaints form.

Write your information on the form and include your contact details.

Post your feedback form to the relevant CPS office.

by post

By Telephone

Contact the relevant CPS office.

We will try to resolve your complaint by telephone. However, we may ask you to put your complaint in writing if we are unable to clarify the nature of your complaint over the phone or if your complaint is complex.

complaints leaflet

Feedback and complaints guidance

Download the feedback and complaints guidance in English or Welsh:

English Feedback and complaints guidance (PDF format, 305kb)

Welsh Feedback and complaints guidance (PDF format, 402kb)

Note: you need Adobe Reader to view and print PDF files.

What happens to my feedback?

All feedback will be formally recorded and analysed to identify improvements to our services so that they continue to meet the needs of the public. We will not enter into correspondence with those who have provided feedback but will report on the feedback received and outline the action taken as a result of feedback provided.

What happens to my complaint?

When you complain to us, we will:

Stage 1

  1. Record your complaint.
  2. We will let you know we have received your complaint within three working days.
  3. Send your complaint to the manager at the office where the problem happened.
  4. Investigate your complaint.
  5. If we have made a mistake, we will:
    1. Admit the mistake
    2. Apologise
    3. Take action to prevent the mistake from happening again
  6. If we feel we have not made a mistake, we will explain our decision to you.
  7. We will do this within 20 working days of receiving your complaint.
  8. If it is not possible to provide a response within that timeframe we will write to you providing the date by which we hope to reply.

Stage 2

  1. If you are not satisfied with our response at Stage 1, you must tell us within one month of receiving our explanation. Complaints received outside of this timescale will not be considered.
  2. Your complaint will be reviewed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) or Casework Division Director (CCD).
  3. The CCP or CCD will review your complaint and decide if they agree or disagree with the action taken and will explain their decision to you.
  4. We will do this within 20 working days of receipt.
  5. If it is not possible to provide a response within that timeframe we will write to you providing the date by which we hope to reply.
  6. This is the end of the process for complaints relating to legal decisions and the formal CPS complaints procedure.

Stage 3

  1. If you are not satisfied with the response from the CCP or CCD at Stage Two and your complaint is a service complaint (the way in which we have conducted ourselves) you can refer your complaint to the Independent Assessor of Complaints (IAC) for the CPS for review. You must do this within one month of receiving our explanation.
  2. You should outline why you are not satisfied with the responses provided at Stage One and Two of the complaints procedure and why the matter should be reviewed. You must do in writing either by email or post.
  3. Your complaint will be acknowledged and reviewed by the IAC and you will receive a response within 40 working days.