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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

DPP statement on new CPS Welfare, Rural and Health Prosecutions Division


Speaking about the merger of the Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health Prosecution Division with the Crown Prosecution Service, Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "Today’s merger is good news for the CPS and good news for the public.

"It bolsters our armoury against economic crime. Our triumvirate of highly experienced teams dealing with economic crime - fraud, organised crime and the new division handling benefit fraud - hails a new joined-up approach for the CPS in tackling financial crime for the benefit of tax-payers.

"This type of crime is of real public concern, and I am confident that the newly combined strength of the teams will make the CPS more resilient in bringing to justice increasingly sophisticated and complex crime."



About the division:

  • The CPS Welfare, Rural and Health Prosecutions Division will start work on 2 April (following the official 1 April transfer) having recently already welcomed colleagues from Defra. The division will also now be responsible for specialist fraud work on behalf of the DWP, the NHS and the Department of Health.
  • The Welfare, Rural and Health Prosecutions Division sits alongside the other specialised national divisions which are the Central Fraud Group, Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism, and Organised Crime.
  • The CPS welcomes 125 new staff from DWP, who will be located in offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool and London.
  • Simon Clements is the head of the division.

A strengthened CPS:

  • Joined up prosecutions:
    At a time when criminals are increasingly sophisticated, operating across both functional and geographic boundaries, bringing new skills into the CPS will add to our range of different specialisms, helping us to develop joined up prosecutions where a criminal has engaged in various types of offending at the same time. The new division will also be able to draw on the expertise of CPS national network of Areas and regional Complex Casework Units when necessary.
  • More resources available:
    The division will benefit from the ability to call on the full resources of our national organisation. This will allow flexibility so that work from specialist investigators can be dealt with by prosecutors with the necessary specialist skills, wherever they are in the country. This will improve as the CPS moves towards electronic case files which will see us becoming more efficient.
  • CPS Press Office: 020 3357 0906. Please continue to refer queries relating to DWP prosecutions to the DWP Press Office until April 2.