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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

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

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

Crown Prosecution Service Statement on the case of Swift and McKnight


John Lord, head of the Complex Casework Unit, CPS Greater Manchester, said: "Our judicial system is designed to test fully those cases that are placed before it.

"The case brought against Matthew Swift and Ross Mcknight was, we believe, one that was as equally strong as serious. As such, we felt it was in the public interest to ensure that the charges against the defendants were given the full scrutiny of a jury.

"Having considered all the evidence presented, the jury have concluded that Mr Swift and Mr Mcknight are not guilty of charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.

"We fully respect that decision and thank the jury for their careful deliberations. We also wish to thank those witnesses that gave evidence during this trial."