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CPS Counter Terrorism Division wins top international award


The Counter Terrorism Division of the Crown Prosecution Service has been given a Special Achievement Award by the International Association of Prosecutors for its work on the Airline Bomb Plot and other cases.

 The Counter Terrorism Division of the Crown Prosecution Service has been given a Special Achievement Award by the International Association of Prosecutors for its work on the Airline Bomb Plot and other cases.

Sue Hemming, the head of the Counter Terrorism Division, and Colin Gibbs, the senior prosecutor in the Airline Bomb Plot, accepted the award from Association President Francois Falletti at a ceremony in The Hague today.

At the same ceremony, CPS Policy Adviser Esther George was given a Certificate of Merit for her work on setting up the Global Prosecutors E-Crime Network (GPen), an on-line information sharing network to help solve hi-tech crime around the world.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, who was present at the ceremony said: "I am particularly pleased that the Special Achievement Award highlights the professional approach of staff in the Counter Terrorism Division and the high regard in which they are held inside and outside the CPS and around the world.

"It recognises that they are dedicated and professional, often working long hours on complex and sensitive cases which can be very demanding.This award is a fitting tribute to all their hard work.

"Esther's award recognises her work as the main architect of GPen and is equally well-deserved. She realised that prosecutors dealing with hi-tech crime around the world would benefit from being able to share solutions to problems they were experiencing in their work and so set up GPen. Esther has also been instrumental in designing a GPen approved training programme."

The nomination for the Special Achievement Award said that prosecutions in the Airline Bomb Plot and the Counter Terrorism Divisions other cases are complex and challenging, due to their enormous scale, evidence being required from far flung international jurisdictions, and the handling of sensitive national security information and intelligence.

It said prosecutors dealing with cases of this type need a vast amount of skills and significant experience to build strong prosecutions and deal effectively with the obstacles that continually arise before and during trial.

Ms Hemming said they were honoured to pick up the prestigious award on behalf of all their colleagues in the Division and paid tribute to Mr Gibbs hard work on the case.

She said: "Colin worked tirelessly on the Airline Bomb Plot prosecution from the initial stages when we worked together with the police and the intelligence services to build a coherent picture of the plot and find sufficient evidence to charge these dangerous individuals.

"He was equally committed through the enormous task of putting together thousands of pieces of evidence into a clear and resilient prosecution case. Throughout he provided leadership to the strong prosecution team which finally secured these important convictions.

"I am proud to be the leader of a Division with prosecutors of Colins calibre and which as a team has been recognised as an exemplar for dealing with such complex, sensitive and challenging work.

" We have built up a network of strong relationships with prosecutors across the world enabling us to work together effectively to tackle the global challenge of international terrorism which cannot be beaten without us all working together."   

Last year, the Counter Terrorism Division was inspected by the independent CPS Inspectorate which concluded that the Division carried out its work to "an exceptionally high standard". Following that inspection, CTD received the Attorney General's Award for Excellence.


  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0910; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. Details of the work of the Counter Terrorism Division are on the CPS website
  3. Details of the Global Prosecutors E-crime Network (GPEN) are on the GPEN website
  4. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
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  6. 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.

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