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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

Convictions in royal blackmail case


After a three week trial, Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan have today been found guilty of blackmailing a member of the extended Royal Family.

CPS reviewing lawyer Mark Carroll said: "Although they claimed to be acting in the interests of the victim, the jury rejected this story and agreed with the prosecution that they were simply interested in the money.

"Prosecutions for blackmail are rare but it is a serious offence which can involve the vicitms making themselves vulnerable in order that the case come to trial.

"The Crown Prosecution Service will not hesitate to prosecute blackmail cases and we will always seek to protect the anonymity of blackmail victims. We recognise that victims may be reluctant to come forward and give evidence against a blackmailer unless such protection is granted.

"In cases like these, evidence may sometimes need to be seen by the jury away from the public and press, and we ensured this was kept to a minimum. The jury was able to reach its decision having full access to all the evidence and we thank them for their time and consideration in coming to their verdicts."

  1. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7710 6088 or 020 7796 8127.
  2. The media are reminded to be aware that reporting restrictions imposed by the court may remain on this case.
  3. The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department 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;
    • Presentation of cases at court;

    The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). 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 83.7% in 2006-2007. Further information can be found on this website.