Advanced Search

Personal information

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Information Charter

This charter is for anyone who has dealings with the CPS whether in connection with a prosecution or through correspondence. It applies to any personal data we hold about you for any reason. The charter sets out the standards you can expect when we hold your personal data.

Why we process personal data

We need to handle personal data in order to prosecute criminal cases. The majority of the personal data we hold is passed to us by the police in order that we can determine whether or not to prosecute. In general, personal data is held by the CPS about defendants, victims and witnesses in criminal cases.

How we process personal data

This is how we look after personal data. We will:

  • protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn't
  • make sure we don't keep it longer than is necessary.

Data received from the police and others may only be disclosed to those classes of persons/organisations noted in the CPS Data Protection Notification

The CPS is required to share information with other parties under various Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments including the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 and the Criminal Procedure Rules 2010. It is intended that in appropriate circumstances, as part of the ordinary business of the CPS and to meet the requirements of criminal justice, personal data (generally only names but only that which is relevant) may be disclosed to:

  • solicitors acting for defendants
  • defendants in person
  • solicitors acting for third parties
  • solicitors acting for the CPS
  • the police
  • other law enforcement agencies
  • persons/organisations providing support services for victims and witnesses
  • victims and witnesses
  • counsel (barrister) for the defendant
  • counsel (barrister) for the prosecution
  • Magistrates' Courts
  • Crown Courts
  • Appeal Courts
  • National Probation Service
  • Prison Service
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • Home Office
  • others with a legitimate interest in the data.

In the rare circumstances where we collect information directly from you, we will:

  • make sure you know why we need it
  • ask only for what we need and not collect too much information or irrelevant information
  • let you know if we share it with other organisations to give you a better service and seek your consent when necessary.

In dealing with your personal information, we will also:

  • value the personal information entrusted to us and make sure we respect that trust
  • abide by the law when it comes to handling personal information
  • consider the privacy risks when we are planning to use or hold personal information in new ways such as when introducing new systems
  • provide training to staff who handle personal information and respond appropriately if personal information is not used or protected properly.

To ensure we keep your information reliable and up to date in return we ask you, where applicable, to:

  • give us accurate information
  • tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes to the information we hold about you such as a new address, telephone number, email address and name change.

How to find out what information we hold about you

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to a copy of the information the CPS holds about you. A request for this information is known as a subject access request. For further details on how to make a subject access request, please see the Obtaining personal information page of our website.

For more information

If you would like information about:

  • agreements we have with other organisations for sharing personal data
  • circumstances where we can pass on your personal data without telling you for example, to prevent and detect crime or to produce anonymised statistics
  • any other matters mentioned in this charter.

For further information, please contact:

Information Management Unit
Business Information Systems Directorate
Crown Prosecution Service
Rose Court,
2 Southwark Bridge

Making a complaint

If you wish to make a complaint about the way your personal data has been handled, please put it in writing to:

Information Management Unit
Business Information Systems Directorate
Crown Prosecution Service
Rose Court
2 Southwark Bridge

The Information Commissioner

For independent advice about the Data Protection Act 1998, contact:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 545745