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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.

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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

Man jailed for endangering railway passengers


A man has today pleaded guilty to endangering railway passengers and attempted theft of electrical cable from an overhead line, Basildon Crown Court has heard.

Mark Bradshaw, 44, was charged by British Transport Police following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), after an incident in which a man was found dead at the side of the railway in Benfleet, Essex, on June 27, 2012. It appeared the man had been killed while attempting to steal the overhead cable.

District Crown Prosecutor Ian Elkins for CPS East of England said: "This case has highlighted the dangers of tampering with electrical lines on the railway. It is distressing that a man was killed as a result of trying to steal overhead cable and Bradshaw was lucky to have escaped injury.

"However, because of the serious nature of the offending and the potential danger caused to commuters, we felt it was in the public interest to proceed and we will prosecute these cases rigorously through the courts.

"On reviewing the evidence we advised that Bradshaw should be charged with endangering railway passengers or any other persons who might use or be on that track for any reason, by an unlawful act. This charge reflects the danger caused not only to passengers travelling on the railway but also to Bradshaw and the man who died.

"We also advised that Bradshaw be charged with attempting to steal electrical cable belonging to Network Rail, on the same date."

Bradshaw admitted both charges against him and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment.

Mr Elkins said: "We also hope this case serves as a warning that trying to steal cable or other material from the railways is extremely dangerous and carries serious consequences."