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Prosecuting Corruption

Bribery involves making illegal payments to people in positions of power in order to change their decisions.

Legal guidance about prosecuting cases of bribery and corruption

Misconduct in public office

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

Court officer admits taking bribe in first prosecution under Bribery Act

14/10/2011

A former magistrates' court administrative officer has today admitted taking a £500 bribe to "get rid" of a speeding charge. This is the first prosecution and conviction under the Bribery Act 2010.

Munir Patel pleaded guilty today at Southwark Crown Court to bribery and misconduct in public office.

Gaon Hart, Senior Crown Advocate for the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: "Public corruption is an extremely serious offence that undermines public faith in the integrity of those who work in the criminal justice system. The prosecution case is that Patel abused his position as a court administrative officer at Redbridge Magistrates' Court in East London, to solicit a bribe from a member of the public.

"Public servants are required to act with integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality but Patel's actions could not have been further from each of these. His conduct has brought into disrepute the criminal justice system as he sought to undermine the very laws which he was employed to uphold. The public rightly expects criminal cases to be dealt with fairly and professionally, and the police, courts and CPS have all worked together to deal with this case swiftly and robustly.

"This prosecution is the first of its kind under the Bribery Act 2010 which has provided a significant weapon in the armoury of prosecutors that enables us to focus on the bribery element rather than general misconduct behaviour. We will continue to target those who act corruptly purely for personal gain and tailor the charge to reflect their wrong-doing."

Patel pleaded guilty to section 2 of the Bribery Act 2010 for requesting and receiving a bribe of £500 for offering to 'get rid' of a speeding charge for someone. He also pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office for other similar offences. The seven charges of possessing false garage receipts for use in fraud have been ordered to lie on file.

Munir Patel will be sentenced on 11 November 2011 at Southwark Crown Court.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. The Director of Public Prosecutions and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office have issued guidelines to prosecutors on the Act: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/bribery_act_2010/
  2. Section 2(1) states that a person is guilty of an offence if they request, agree to receive, or accept a financial or other advantage intending that a relevant function or activity should be performed improperly.
  3. The maximum sentence for this offence is 10 years' imprisonment at the Crown Court.
  4. The Director of Public Prosecutions consented to this charge on 26 August 2011.
  5. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  6. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  7. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism, and Organised Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  8. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  9. 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. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.