About CPS Direct

How we work

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is responsible for deciding what charges are to be brought against suspects in more serious or complex cases. CPS prosecutors work closely with police colleagues as The Prosecution Team to build strong cases from the start.

green arrow right Find out more about the work of the Crown Prosecution Service.

CPS Direct provides charging decisions to all police forces across England and Wales. We have a dedicated network of Duty Prosecutors based throughout the country, linked to the police via IT and telephony.

To receive a charging decision, Police officers and other investigators call a single national number and are connected to the next available Duty Prosecutor. In some cases, officers can submit and receive charging decisions electronically.

For large scale or sensitive cases, such as sexual offences, CPS Direct will work with local CPS colleagues to provide officers with access to advice from an appropriate CPS Prosecutor, whether this is from the local CPS Area or out of hours when a suspect is in custody, from CPS Direct.

Our Structure

Chief Crown Prosecutor Kate Brown has overall responsibility for CPS Direct, and reports to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Chief Crown Prosecutor is supported by the Senior Management Team, including an Area Business Manager who oversees the business management and administrative functions of CPS Direct; and Unit Heads who manage the day to day legal delivery.

Our Duty Prosecutors work in shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide police forces and other investigators across England and Wales with quick access to charging decisions from the CPS. They work from local CPS offices alongside teams of Prosecutors based in their own homes who primarily work at evenings, night-time and weekends.

Administrative and business support come from a Central Support Team based at CPS headquarters in York.