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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

Find out more about private prosecutions

Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support young victims and witnesses and treat them with dignity.

Find out more about how we support young victims and witnesses

Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

Find out more about how we prosecute youth crime

Prosecuting Homicide

Murder and manslaughter are two of the offences that constitute homicide.

Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways:

  1. killing with the intent for murder but where there is provocation, diminished responsibility or a suicide pact.
  2. conduct that was grossly negligent given the risk of death, and resulted in death.
  3. conduct, taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm, that caused death.

With some exceptions, the crime of murder is committed, where a person:

  • of sound mind and discretion (i.e. sane):
  • unlawfully kills (i.e. not self-defence or other justified killing)
  • any reasonable creature (human being)
  • in being (born alive and breathing through its own lungs)
  • under the Queen's Peace
  • with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

There are other specific homicide offences, for example, infanticide, causing death by dangerous driving, and corporate manslaughter.

Find out more about prosecuting homicide

Crown Prosecution Service advises police to charge boys aged 10 and 11 with attempted murder


South Yorkshire Crown Prosecution Service has advised South Yorkshire Police to charge two young boys with offences of attempted murder and robbery following an incident in Edlington at the weekend.

Chris Hartley Head of South Yorkshire CPS Crown Court Unit said: "South Yorkshire Police have been investigating an incident in Edlington during the weekend of April 4 and 5, in which two young boys aged nine and 11 received significant injuries. They arrested two boys aged 10 and 11 in connection with this incident.

"South Yorkshire CPS has been advising the police during the last few days as their investigations continued. We have now authorised the police to charge a boy aged 10 and a boy aged 11.

"Each boy is charged with an offence of attempted murder for each victim and each boy is also charged with an offence of robbery against each victim. This gives a total for four charges for each boy.

"One of the victims remains in hospital and it is hoped that they will both make good progress.

"I must remind the media to take care in reporting events surrounding this case. These boys have been charged with the offences and are entitled to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice that trial.

"I should also remind the media that as these boys are both under 18 there will be reporting restrictions on their identity and nothing should be reported to reveal their identities, or the identities of the victims."


  1. For further information contact the CPS Press Office, 020 7796 8180.
  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). In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Organised Crime, Special Crime, Counter-Terrorism and the Fraud Prosecution Service. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on our website.

    More about the CPS

  4. 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