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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

Operation Elveden retrial of Jamie Pyatt and Chris Pharo


A CPS spokesperson said, "After careful consideration, following the re-review of Operation Elveden this year, the Crown Prosecution Service determined that the case against Jamie Pyatt and Chris Pharo met both the evidential and public interest requirements of the Code, so this matter was put before a jury.

"It is right that a jury, rather than the CPS, decides whether a defendant is guilty or not. The CPS is duty-bound to prosecute cases which provide a realistic prospect of conviction and are in the public interest. This test is significantly different to that of a jury, which must only convict if they are assured of guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. The case was allowed by the judge to progress to a full trial and we respect the verdict of the jury today.

"This case in particular involved allegations of multiple payments to a corrupt public official in areas where the public should generally expect confidentiality."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief 
  3. 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.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly 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.