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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

CPS advises no charges should be brought over alleged disclosure of information to the media

21/10/2013

Simon Orme, Specialist Lawyer in the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "I have considered the evidence provided by Cumbria Police concerning allegations that information relating to expenses incurred by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria had been disclosed to the media.

"In doing so, I considered whether a criminal offence of obtaining or disclosing personal data had been committed by one suspect, contrary to the Data Protection Act (1988), and have determined that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

"In reaching this decision I took into account the statutory defence to this offence, which exists if an individual disclosing personal data can demonstrate that the disclosure was justified as being in the public interest.

"To rely on this defence, an individual is required to establish on the balance of probabilities that the disclosure was in the public interest. In my view, given the nature and circumstances of the disclosure, the suspect would be in a position to do so and, therefore, there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

"We have therefore advised Cumbria Police that no further action should be taken in this case."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  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. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.