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New Director of Public Prosecutions appointed

23/07/2013

Alison Saunders CB has been announced as the new Director of Public Prosecutions at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by the Attorney General, The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP.

Alison, who is currently the Chief Crown Prosecutor London, was chosen following an open competition. This follows Keir Starmer's decision to step down from the role at the end of October.

The Attorney General, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, said: "Alison will make an excellent Director of Public Prosecutions and is the right person to help the Crown Prosecution Service meet the challenges it will face in the coming years.

"I am particularly pleased that Alison is the first Head of the CPS to be appointed from within its ranks as proof of the high quality of the professionals that work within the Service.

"I'd also like to thank Keir Starmer for the great contribution he has made not only to the CPS but more generally to the criminal justice system.  He can be proud of the reforms that he and his staff have led to keep our criminal justice system one of the best in the world."

Commenting on her new role, Alison said: "I am delighted and privileged to be appointed as the next Director of Public Prosecutions. To lead an organisation of committed and professional staff is an honour especially having worked for the CPS since its inception.

"I look forward to carrying on with the fantastic work that Keir Starmer QC has undertaken, ensuring the CPS further improves and continuing with reforms, both within the CPS and more widely in the criminal justice system."

Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, said: "I have had the privilege of working with Alison Saunders for five years. She has been an outstanding leader within the CPS and she will make a first rate DPP."

Alison will take up post on 1 November 2013.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Alison joined the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 1986, the year it was formed. In her time at CPS she has prosecuted some of the country's most infamous criminals, and handled some of the most sensitive and complex cases.
  2. Alison has been London's Chief Crown Prosecutor since December 2009. CPS London is the largest CPS Area accounting for nearly a quarter of the national business. From 2005-09 Alison was Head of the CPS Organised Crime Division which deals with the most serious offences, including human trafficking, immigration, drugs-running, counterfeiting and money laundering, and confiscation of criminals' assets.
  3. She spent her early CPS career prosecuting in what was then known as CPS London South and then moved to the CPS Policy Directorate in 1991 where she developed an expertise in issues involving child victims and witnesses. Appointed Branch Crown Prosecutor for Wood Green in 1997, she was promoted to Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor.
  4. Her role in the prosecution of 'Railway Rapist' David Mulcahy - convicted of a spate of sex attacks and murders during the 1980s - was highlighted in a TV documentary in 2001. That year Alison became Chief Crown Prosecutor Sussex, and in 2003 she served as Deputy Legal Advisor to the Attorney General before rejoining the CPS two years later as Head of the Organised Crime Division.