Advanced Search

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

CPS moves closer to electronic case file

09/10/2009

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today taken a major step towards electronic case files by signing two contract extensions that will bring new technology to staff, allowing them to access case information wherever and whenever they need it.

Under the three year extension of their current contracts, Logica and Global Crossing will supply IT and telecommunications services to the CPS until 2015 at a cost of around £125m. These contracts represent a 25% saving on current running costs and deliver vital new technology three years early.

David Jones, CPS Chief Information Officer, said: "These extended contracts give us the opportunity to radically change how we work at the CPS, particularly in the area of electronic case management. Currently, we have to track down information that might be in a bundle of papers or on a computer. Soon, the information will be available electronically wherever the individual is."

New secure laptops will be able to access and update electronic case files from court by using an encrypted 3G mobile connection, while a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system will allow staff who move between main offices to use the same phone number at all times. Both improvements will greatly increase efficiency by allowing staff to access information quickly and contact colleagues who move between offices and courts. The new laptops and phone system will be delivered by the end of 2011.

Mr Jones said: "The CPS is taking a prominent role working with partners across the criminal justice system as we move to the electronic case file while maintaining the appropriate level of security. Everything transmitted and received by the 3G laptops will be encrypted and the VoIP system is approved for government restricted use."

Logica began supplying services to the CPS in 2002 and Global Crossing began in 2006. Both contracts, which were originally scheduled to close in 2012 with options to extend, will now run until March 2015.

Ends

  1. Media enquiries to the CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8127 or 020 7710 6088.
  2. The contract extension with Logica is worth £113m of the approximate total £125m value of both extensions.
  3. Over the next six months elements of electronic case file working will be piloted in Dyffd Powys, Merseyside, and North Wales using the present technology base. These areas will be amongst the first to receive the new capability which will continue to roll out to all CPS Areas until 2011.
  4. 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
  5. 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

  6. 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