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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

Director of Public Prosecutions announces appointments to two senior CPS posts

08/04/2009

Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, today announced appointments to the key posts of Director of Equality and Diversity and Principal Legal Advisor.

 Dale Simon has been appointed Director of Equality and Diversity and Alison Levitt QC is the new Principal Legal Advisor.

Mr Starmer said:  "These posts are vital to taking forward my vision of a transparent and modern Crown Prosecution Service and I am delighted to be able to appoint people of the calibre of Dale and Alison."

"It is particularly pleasing that we are able to attract such a high quality counsel to the CPS.  Alison is a Recorder and a QC and has held a number of prestigious positions, notably Secretary of the Criminal Bar Association.  She is a highly regarded barrister whose reputation for excellence goes before her.  Alison will work closely with me on major cases and she will also conduct advocacy for the CPS in the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords on important matters of principle. I am looking forward to working with her."

"The post of Director of Equality and Diversity is a key one because it is central to our policy of engaging with communities, for which we have received important recognition from national bodies over the past couple of years.  Dale has excellent qualifications and experience for this role, having been a member of the first CPS National Equality Committee and an independent member of the HM Prison Service Race Advisory Group."

Dale Simon replaces Seamus Taylor who is taking up a lecturing post in Ireland and Alison Levitt replaces Chris Newell, who has retired.

Ends

Biographical notes

Called to the Bar in 1988, Alison Levitt has been a tenant at the Chambers of Rock Tansey QC since 1991. She became a Recorder in 2006 and a QC in 2008. She was Secretary of the Criminal Bar Association from 2006 - 2007.

Alison's practice has been predominantly criminal defence work, though she also acts as a Grade 4 Advocate for CPS London since 2007.  Alison is an advocacy trainer for Inner Temple.

Dale Simon began her career as a criminal barrister in private practice before moving to the CPS as a Crown Prosecutor in 1992. By 2005 she became the District Crown Prosecutor of West Central London, followed by a one year secondment to CPS Headquarters in a policy project role concerning racist and religiously motivated offences as well as that of domestic violence cases.

In 2006 Dale left the CPS to take up a secondment as Head of the Office for Judicial Complaints.

Dale was also a member of the first CPS National Equality Committee and has been an independent member of the HM Prison Service Race Advisory Group since 2007.

  1. Media enquiries to CPS press office on 020 7796 8127.
  2. Pictures of Dale and Alison are available on request.
  3. 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
  4. 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

  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