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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

Crown Prosecution Service Statement on Wahleed Hussain


The Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to proceed with the retrial of Wahleed Hussain, who stood trial last year alongside his uncles for an attack on burglar Walid Salem near their home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

At Reading Crown Court this morning, prosecuting counsel John Price QC, asked for a charge of grievous bodily harm with intent against Wahleed Hussain be left on file. His uncles, Munir and Tokeer Hussain had previously been convicted of the attack on Mr Salem but a jury was unable to reach a verdict on Wahleed.

Paul Harrison, head of the Complex Casework Unit for CPS Thames and Chiltern said: "We have decided it is no longer in the public interest to have a retrial in the case of Wahleed Hussain.

"This is an exceptional decision, taking into account the fact that Wahleed Hussain, a young man of good character, is a much younger and a junior member of the family to his uncles and that any court is likely to follow the Court of Appeal's lead on sentencing and take a merciful view.

"We also considered the distressing effects of another trial on the wider Hussain family, some of whom might have to give evidence for the second time against a member of their own family."

Following the conviction of his uncles in September 2009, the CPS reviewed the case against Wahleed and decided at that time there was still a case to answer.

Both Munir and Tokeer Hussain appealed their convictions and sentences to  the Court of Appeal and in January 2010, the Lord Chief Justice upheld their convictions for grievous bodily harm with intent but reduced their sentences.

Mr Harrison said: "In allowing the appeals against sentence, the Lord Chief Justice made clear the Court of Appeal regarded the circumstances of the case as "wholly exceptional".

"In light of the Court of Appeal's comments, the CPS decided it was appropriate to look again at the public interest in the case of Wahleed Hussain and after reviewing the case, decided not to go ahead with the retrial on the grounds of public interest."


  1. Media enquiries by phone: 020 7710 8127. Out of hours pager: 07699 781926.
  2. The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
    • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
    • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
    • Preparing cases for court
    • Presenting cases at court
  3. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 14 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are five specialised national divisions: Organised Crime, Special Crime, Counter-Terrorism, Fraud Prosecution, and Revenue and Customs. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,250 people and prosecuted 1,032,598 cases with an overall conviction rate of 86.6% in 2008-2009. Further information can be found on our website.

    More about the CPS

  4. The DPP has published his long term vision for the prosecution service and its role within the wider criminal justice system. It includes modernising the service and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal justice - read "The Public Prosecution Service: Setting the Standard" at
  5. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests.

    Publicity and the Criminal Justice System protocol