Skip to main content

Accessibility controls

Text size
Main content area
Support worker holding a clipboard, a victim behind a screen and a barrister holding their wig while talking to a victim

Guide for victims of rape and serious sexual assault

What happens when a case comes to the CPS? We’ve designed this guide for victims to explain the process of a criminal trial and what you can expect at each stage.

CPS logo and text: 'investment fraud'

Fraudsters jailed for their part in defrauding millions of pounds from over 100 victims

Two men have been imprisoned for defrauding multiple elderly victims out of £2,469,620.48 in a boiler room investment fraud.

Gina Martin and Siobhan Blake

UPSKIRTING: Public urged to report offenders as prosecutions double

Upskirting prosecutions more than doubled over the second year of the legislation being in force, with CPS analysis finding at least a third of offenders are also committing other serious sexual crimes.

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
Scroll to top