Advanced Search

Racist and religious crime – CPS prosecution policy

Annex B - The roles of the Police, the CPS and the Courts

Police CPS Courts


  • Takes the report
  • Takes victim and witness statements
  • Investigates crime
  • Gathers evidence
  • Compiles the case
  • Offers to take a victim personal statement
  • Apprehends the accused
  • Refers to CPS to decide the charge (in all but the most minor of cases)
  • Sends the prosecution file to CPS
  • Offers victims choice to be referred to Victim Support
  • Keeps victim informed of progress of case

Top of page


  • Advises the police on evidence before charge
  • Reviews the file
  • Decides whether a suspect should be charged, and if so, decide what the charge(s) should be
  • Assesses the evidence
  • Makes suggestions to police where evidence is lacking
  • If circumstances change, decides whether a charge should be altered or dropped
  • Prepares cases for court
  • Presents the case to magistrates' or Crown Court

Top of page


Youth Court

  • Deals with young people up to the age of 17

Magistrates' court

  • Deals with most criminal cases and is the court that makes an initial decision on bail in all cases

Crown Court

  • Deals with the most serious cases e.g. murder, rape, etc. and some less serious cases where the accused claims aright to trial by jury. It also deals with appeals and referrals for sentencing from the magistrates' court

Top of page

Back to Policy on prosecuting cases of racist and religious crime