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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

Police officers fined for assaulting man in custody


Two serving officers from Durham Constabulary were today fined a total of £750 and ordered to pay costs totalling £1300 at Teesside Magistrates' Court, after being found guilty of assaulting a man in custody.

Sgt Stephen Harvey and DO Michael Mount were each found guilty of two counts of assault against their victim, David Healer, while he was detained at Peterlee Police Station in March of last year.

Sgt Harvey was ordered to pay a fine of £450 and £900 costs and DO Mount a £350 fine and £400 costs.

The case was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service after an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Gerry Sydenham, Head of the Crown Court Unit at CPS North East, said: "Every serving police officer has a commitment to ensuring the welfare of members of the public, including those brought into custody. As such, there are clear, stringent guidelines governing exactly how and when people are to be restrained and the level of force appropriate to this.

"The overwhelming majority of police officers operate in strict accordance with these guidelines, often despite challenging circumstances, and as a result cases of this nature are incredibly rare.

"In this case, however, the use of force was both unnecessary and unlawful and the actions of the officers amounted to assaults upon the victim Mr Healer, making a prosecution wholly appropriate."