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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

Prosecuting crimes involving drugs

The legal restrictions placed on the use of controlled drugs are aimed at preventing drug abuse. The principal offences relating to the misuse of controlled drugs are contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Find out more about prosecution policy for drug offences

CPS statement on conclusion of the 16 'Operation Eaglewood' trials


Jonathan McGarry, reviewing lawyer from CPS London, said:

"Today's hearing in the last of 16 linked trials marks the conclusion of the biggest ever criminal case in London handled by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police. The investigation began in 2007. It included, in 2008, a drugs bust in which over 100kg of cocaine was seized, still wet with seawater, having arrived on our shores just hours earlier after being loaded by criminals onto an inflatable raft.

"I was on hand to advise the police from 'day one' on the sort of evidence that would be admissible in court and would help to build an unbeatable prosecution case. As part of that, the CPS considered over 1000 witness statements. Having also co-ordinated the 16 trials, I have seen dozens of corrupt criminals face justice and a series of drugs and money-laundering networks disbanded.

"I thank the Metropolitan Police for their exhaustive investigation, and pay tribute to the witnesses who bravely came forward to give evidence to ensure these dangerous men would not go unpunished."


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 DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website
  5. 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