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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

Comprehensive Spending Review


The Government has today announced the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review - which sets budgets and performance targets for government departments for the next three financial years (April 2008 to March 2011).

The budget for the CPS was agreed in March 2007 and is unaffected by today’s announcement. The CPS budget will reduce by 3.5% per year in real terms over the three year period. The savings required will be delivered through a variety of initiatives, including increased use of IT and more streamlined criminal justice processes.

Alongside the budget settlement, the CPS has agreed a new Departmental Strategic Objective (DSO). This sets out the overall aim of the Service over the next three years and is:

“To bring offenders to justice, improve services to victims and witnesses and promote confidence by applying the Code for Crown Prosecutors, by adopting a proportionate approach to determine which offenders should be charged and which should be diverted from court, and by firm and fair presentation of cases in court.”

The CPS, working with the police and the courts, also has a central role in the delivery of Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets for the criminal justice system. The Attorney General’s Office, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice share responsibility for delivering two PSAs - ‘Justice for All’ and ‘Making Communities Safer’. A delivery plan in relation to these targets will shortly be published by the Treasury.

The Treasury have published delivery plans in relation to the PSA targets.

For further information on the settlement, please see the Attorney General’s Office website.