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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Commendation for CPS lawyers

08/04/2009

Three CPS lawyers have been praised by police for their part in a crack-down on North London criminals which resulted in 21 men receiving jail sentences.

Daren Streeter, Andrew Mazibrada and Louise Gallagher were commended by borough commander for Islington, Chief Superintendent Bob Carr.

The CPS London team were consulted by detectives six weeks before police mounted an operation against criminals based in Islington's Blackstock Road.

More than 1,200 officers raided 37 homes and 19 business addresses, arresting 80 people for offences including drugs dealing, money laundering, handling stolen goods and forging official documents.

The raids followed a two-year undercover operation to infiltrate the gang who had turned Blackstock Road into a "crooks' bazaar", where items were stolen to order and supplied often within the hour.

Daren Streeter, district crown prosecutor for North & West London Prosecution Service at the time, set up a team in advance of the arrests.

Louise Gallagher was deployed as lead reviewing lawyer, assisted by prosecutors who specialised in cases involving asset recovery and ASBOs (Anti-Social Behavior Orders).

As a crown advocate Andrew Mazibrada's task was to prosecute cases heard at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Before the raids the team reviewed all the case papers and gave advice to police on evidence gathering.

Local prosecutors decided which charges should be levelled against suspects arrested during the operation.

Daren and his team of lawyers prosecuted the early cases at remand courts, opened specially on the Friday and Saturday following the arrests in March last year.

Andrew Mazibrada drafted a sentencing pack for the Crown Court judges, outlining operation details, sentencing guidelines, and sentences imposed at previous hearings.

Of those arrested 21 were tried, found guilty and sentenced. All but one were imprisoned, with the main defendant getting seven years.

Daren, now a senior policy advisor at CPS HQ, said: "The most satisfying aspect was knowing Blackstock Road had been cleared of premises which were being used as a cover for organised crime.

"ASBOs were secured for all of the main defendants and as a result of the operation and the work carried out by the Safer Neighbourhood Team local people were able to hold their first community day."

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Enquiries by email to enquiries@cps.gsi.gov.uk