Chief Prosecutor announces his retirement


After 28 years with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the head of the organisation in the West Midlands region, Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP), Harry Ireland, has announced his retirement.

Mr Ireland's distinguished career in prosecution began in 1981 as an Assistant Prosecuting Solicitor in South Yorkshire before joining the CPS as an Senior Crown Prosecutor at its inception in 1986.

He moved to Wiltshire as a Branch Crown Prosecutor in 1990 where he was instrumental in drafting the CPS Youth Offenders policy and a national Youth Offenders training package.

In 1999 Mr Ireland was appointed as CCP for Staffordshire and then in 2009 he was appointed Group Chair and then CCP for CPS West Midlands which incorporated West Mercia, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the metropolitan West Midlands.

As the Refocusing National Senior Reporting Officer for Magistrates' Court Working, Mr Ireland has driven digital hub-based solutions which are placing the department in a position where standard operating procedures and innovative ways of working in the magistrates' court have become a reality, which includes prosecutors now using electronic tablets to digitally present cases in court rather than using paper files.

Mr Ireland will officially leave his post at the end of May 2014.

On announcing his retirement, Mr Ireland said: "Throughout my career I have tried to champion an independent prosecution service and the work that its staff does which is not always recognised and acknowledged.

"During my 28 years with the Service, I have been fortunate to have worked with many talented members of staff within the CPS and in local criminal justice. They have worked tirelessly to serve the diverse public in the region despite the challenging circumstances which they have been faced with.

"Through their dedication and commitment, I believe that they have made the region a safer place to work, visit and live.

"It has been a privilege to have led the CPS in the West Midlands over the last five years and I would like to thank all those members of staff who have supported and guided me over the years.

"Finally, I would like wish everyone in the criminal justice system, including my successor, all the success in the future."


Harry Ireland was appointed as Chief Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands CPS, which covers the prosecution areas of Staffordshire, West Mercia, Warwickshire and the metropolitan area of the West Midlands in June 2009.

Mr Ireland qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and he then began in working in private practice in Manchester, dealing mainly in crime and matrimonial work. In 1981 he joined the County Prosecuting Solicitors Department for South Yorkshire. He transferred to CPS upon its creation in April 1986.

In 1990 he became Branch Crown Prosecutor for Wiltshire where he remained until his appointment as CCP for Staffordshire CPS in 1999. Mr Ireland leads the CPS nationally on Youth Justice issues and edits the national Youth Specialist training course.