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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

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

Former prison officer charged with misconduct in public office


Gregor McGill, a senior lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service, said, "A full file was received from the Metropolitan Police Service on 28 May 2015 and the CPS has today authorised the police to charge Joe De Souza, a former prison officer, with misconduct in public office.

"Joe De Souza will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on 9 July.

"May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Joe De Souza will now be commenced and of his right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.

"This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the Guidelines for Prosecutors on Assessing the Public Interest in Cases Affecting the Media and the Additional Guidance on Cases Involving Payments made to Corrupt Public Officials by Journalists. We have decided that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest."

Details of the full charge:

Joseph De Souza, between 1st March 2007 and 12th June 2009, being a public officer namely a Prison Officer at Her Majesty's Prison Holloway, and acting as such, without reasonable excuse or justification, wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in that office.


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 three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area 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 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  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.