Fake police car and the gang hiding in an alleyway

How the CPS prosecuted a gang of raiders disguised as police

A gang of intruders who held up a family home masquerading as police officers have been convicted of conspiracy to rob.

A variety of evidence discovered by the police

Find out how the CPS prosecuted the man who rebooted the Silk Road online drugs marketplace

A dark web drug dealer has been convicted after he rebooted notorious trading website Silk Road when it was shut down by the FBI.

Qaiser and one of his lock-screens

How the CPS prosecuted prolific cyber-criminal

Zain Qaiser, 24, was a member of a sophisticated organised crime group that targeted visitors to pornographic websites with malicious browser-locking software.

CPS lawyer recruitment campaign

CPS Lawyer Recruitment Campaign

Are you a lawyer looking for a change of direction? Or are you looking to progress your career? As a Crown Prosecutor or Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service you will be responsible for delivering justice through the independent and effective prosecution of crime.

Lady Justice image

How cases are prosecuted in the CPS: From charge to conviction - a case study

The CPS prosecuted 533,161 cases last year. Here, see how we prosecuted a man for murder from the first phone call through to conviction

Lady Justice image

CPS takes action to tackle childlike sex dolls

Robust measures to help prosecutors bring charges against importers and sellers of child sex dolls have been unveiled

The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales. The CPS is independent, and we make our decisions independently of the police and government.

Our duty is to make sure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence, and to bring offenders to justice wherever possible.

The CPS:

  • decides which cases should be prosecuted; 
  • determines the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases, and advises the police during the early stages of investigations; 
  • prepares cases and presents them at court; and 
  • provides information, assistance and support to victims and prosecution witnesses. 

Prosecutors must be fair, objective and independent. When deciding whether to prosecute a criminal case, our lawyers must follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors. This means that to charge someone with a criminal offence, prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and that prosecuting is in the public interest.

Crime info

We prosecute people for hundreds of different types of crime every year. This section gives an introduction to some of the categories of offending that we are asked about most often.

Victims & witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but with your help, we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support you and treat you with dignity.

From reporting the crime to passing sentence we explain what happens, the role of the CPS and what you can expect from us.

Support for victims & witnesses

Prosecution guidance

This guidance assists our prosecutors when they are making decisions about cases. It is regularly updated to reflect changes in law and practice. 

View all prosecution guidance