Advanced Search

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

Support for Victims and Witnesses

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

The aim of witness care units is to provide a single point of contact for Victims and Witnesses, minimising the stress of attending court and keeping  victims and witnesses up to date with any news in a way that is convenient to them.

Witnesses are essential to successful prosecutions and we are committed to making the process as straightforward as we can.

Read the fact sheet about witness care units

Find out more about being a witness

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

Two boys plead guilty to violent offences against other children


At Sheffield Crown Court today, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) accepted guilty pleas from two boys accused of violent offences against other children in Edlington, near Doncaster. They had been charged with the attempted murder of two other boys.

Adrian Lower, Head of the CPS Complex Casework Unit for South Yorkshire and Humberside explained: "After consultation with the victims' families, we have decided to accept the defendants' offers of guilty pleas in this case, including pleas to grievous bodily harm with intent, rather than attempted murder, against two young boys. A major consideration in accepting the pleas on these particular charges was that this would avoid the need for these two young victims to relive in court the shocking events of their ordeal. Throughout this case, the prosecution team have had in mind the distress that attending court and giving evidence would cause all the victims.

"We have carefully considered whether the offered pleas would enable us to fully set out the serious nature of the defendants' behaviour and whether, if we accepted such an offer, the judge would have sufficient powers to sentence the defendants in accordance with the seriousness of their offending. We are satisfied that this is the case as grievous bodily harm with intent carries the same maximum sentence as attempted murder, which is life imprisonment. The defendants have also pleaded guilty to robbery and a sexual offence in relation to these two victims.

"The defendants have also offered a plea to actual bodily harm, rather than grievous bodily harm, against a third victim, which we have accepted after consultation with the family. We are no longer pursuing a charge of making threats to kill this boy.

"In taking these decisions we are satisfied that the aggravating factors can still be put before the court and will be taken into consideration alongside any mitigating factors."


  1. Media enquiries by email :CPS Press Office or by phone: 020 7710 6091, Out of hours pager: 07699 781926.
  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). These are organised into 14 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior 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 8,250 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.

    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