Lady Justice

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

Sinaga waiting for victims, bottles in Sinaga's flat and Sinaga's bedroom

Britain’s most prolific rapist jailed for life following historic CPS prosecution

Raymond Sinaga, 36, the most prolific rapist ever tried in a British court, has been jailed for life after drugging and assaulting 48 men, following the largest prosecution of its kind in CPS history.

Lady Justice

CPS welcomes independent affirmation of rape charging decisions

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) has published the findings of its inspection into the CPS prosecution of rape cases.

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