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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. We are independent, and make our decisions independently of the police and government.
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.
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.
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
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