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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

Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Ten men guilty of child sexual exploitation in Rochdale

04/02/2016

Ten men have been convicted of a catalogue of sexual offences against young girls in the Rochdale area following two trials at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

All of the offenders committed offences against one girl who was aged between 14 and 18 at the time.  Three of the men also committed offences against other victims.

Alison Cartmell, Senior Crown Prosecutor from CPS North West Complex Casework Unit said:

"These offenders have been convicted of a wide range of child sexual exploitation offences against young girls.   They deliberately targeted the girls because of their youth and their vulnerability at the time, and in many cases groomed them by plying them with large amounts of alcohol or by pretending that they were offering genuine friendship before sexually abusing them.  On a number of occasions the victims were subjected to violence or threats.

"One victim, an extremely vulnerable young girl with a troubled home life, was sexually exploited in some way by each one of these offenders.  She has shown tremendous courage and determination in facing up to her abusers and giving evidence at court during two trials.

"The bravery of all the victims in reporting what happened and providing evidence during the trials has enabled us to bring strong prosecution cases and to bring these offenders to justice.  Supporting them has been a key priority of the CPS and police throughout this prosecution, and we have put in place various special measures at court to help support them, such as giving evidence through a video link to the courtroom.

"This case sends out a clear message to those who abuse and exploit children in this way, that tackling these crimes remains a priority for the CPS and police and we will continue to bring offenders to trial. We take these cases extremely seriously and I hope these convictions will provide other victims of sexual abuse with confidence to come forward and report the abuse to police."

Sentencing will take place at Minshull Street Crown Court on 7th and 8th April.

Ends

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 - blog.cps.gov.uk
  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: www.cps.gov.uk.
  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.