Magistrates' Court Team

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the main prosecuting authority in England and Wales. In our daily operations we work in partnership with all the agencies in the criminal justice system. We work especially closely with the police, although we are independent of them.

The CPS East of England Magistrates' Court Team serves a population of four million and last year dealt with 43,000 cases brought before magistrates' courts in the four counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. The remaining 4,900 more serious cases were dealt with in the Crown Courts.

The team prosecutes the type of crimes that affect the everyday lives of all members of our community. These crimes include domestic violence, assaults, criminal damage, minor public disorder incidents, all but the most serious traffic offences, possession of drugs, dangerous dog offences, offences of dishonesty and commercial burglaries. The list is not exhaustive but generally comprises of any offence where the maximum permitted sentence does not exceed six months' imprisonment or one year if two or more offences are to be considered.

We also deal with most, if not all, youth crime prosecuted in dedicated Youth Courts, unless the offence is so grave that it might attract a sentence of custody in excess of two years, when it is heard in the Crown Court.

The Crown Court Team deals with cases such as murder, rape, robberies, serious assaults, dwelling house burglaries, complex fraud, the supply and trafficking of drugs, and the most serious road traffic offences especially those that result in a fatality.

In addition, there are several dedicated Witness Care Units which are jointly staffed by police and CPS employees in order to provide guidance, information and support for victims and civilian witnesses involved in prosecutions.