The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the main prosecuting authority in England and Wales. In our daily operations we work in partnership with all agencies in the criminal justice system. We work especially closely with the police, although we are independent of them.
The CPS has 14 Areas/Regions across England and Wales - the CPS East Midlands Region serves the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire, including the cities of Nottingham, Derby and Leicester and the county of Rutland.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Janine Smith leads CPS East Midlands and she is supported by Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutors Karen Thompson, who has responsibility for our Magistrates’ Court team, Andrew Baxter, who has responsibility for the Crown Court teams, and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences and Complex Casework Units. Adele Clarke is the Area Business Manager and has responsibility for Business and Operational Delivery functions across the region.
We currently employ 320 members of staff. This consists of lawyers, paralegals, managers and administrators. The majority of our people work from our main offices in Nottingham and Leicester. We have a small office in Lincoln and some of our people work from court centres in Derby and Northampton.
The Area is supported by a Business Centre - a team of specialists in the fields of performance, finance, human resources, communications and inclusion.
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Janine Smith, Chief Crown Prosecutor
Janine was admitted as a solicitor in 1989 following articles in Leicester. After a year in private practice Janine joined Nottinghamshire CPS as a Crown Prosecutor in January 1991 and two years later became a Senior Crown Prosecutor.
In 2003 she was promoted to District Crown Prosecutor with responsibility for one of the Magistrates’ Court teams and then in 2009 took on responsibility for the whole of the Magistrates’ Court team. Janine was named Nottinghamshire Law Society ‘Solicitor of the Year’ in 2012 for her work to improve performance across the criminal justice system in the Magistrates Courts.
Janine moved to Derbyshire as Senior District Crown Prosecutor and became SDCP for the Magistrates’ Court in 2012. Appointed Deputy CCP in July 2013, she was also champion for hate crime, victims and custody time limits.
She became Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Area in October 2015. She is also the national CCP lead for road traffic offences.
Karen Thompson, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (Magistrates Court)
Karen has built her career in the CPS starting out as an administrator when the CPS was first established in 1986. She qualified as a solicitor in the early 1990s and has moved around the East Midlands in different management roles, including managing the team serving Lincolnshire.
In November 2013, she set up and led a Proceeds of Crime team at the request of the Chief Executive and has led the Area’s work in relation to the abolition of committals, the implementation of Better Case Management and the Crown Court standard operating practices. She has been the Area legal lead, custody time limits champion, violence against women and girls lead and led the systems and processes work streams during the Area restructure for the Crown Court.
She became temporary Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor in 2015 and took on leadership of the Magistrates Court in May 2017.
Andrew Baxter, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (Crown Court)
Andrew joined the management team at CPS East Midlands in June 2017. He has held senior management positions for a number of years before that. In his early CPS career, he was a Crown Advocate.
He was Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for Norfolk before the CPS was restructured, when he took on the role of Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East of England. He was Deputy CCP in London and at CPS Direct, the CPS’s 24-hour charging service, including two spells as acting CCP.
He moved to CPS South West as DCCP to lead the Magistrates Court team in 2016, before being appointed to the East Midlands.
Adele Clarke, Area Business Manager
Adele joined the CPS in 1987, after working for the Finance and Rates Department of Chesterfield Borough Council. During her CPS career she has held various specialist roles, including finance and estates management. She has been an Area Business Manager since 1999, in Derbyshire and Northumbria.
She joined the East Midlands in 2007. She was the national lead for a review of our business centres.
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Our Magistrates’ Court Unit prosecute offences of domestic violence, assaults, criminal damage, minor public disorder incidents, all but the most serious traffic offences, possession of drugs, dangerous dog offences, offences of dishonesty and commercial burglaries.
The list is not exhaustive but generally comprises of any offence where the maximum permitted sentence for each offence does not exceed six months imprisonment or one year if two or more relevant offences are to be considered.
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The Crown Court Unit deals with cases such as murder, robberies, serious assaults, dwelling house burglaries, complex fraud, the supply and trafficking of drugs, and the most serious road traffic offences especially those that result in a fatality.
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The Complex Casework Unit prosecutes cases that are particularly sensitive or high profile. They tackle the Area’s most serious and complex crimes and criminality that spans across borders. The unit enables CPS East Midlands to deal with complex cases more effectively by employing experienced lawyers, paralegals and administrators in one team, so that these cases can have the most appropriate resources allocated to them.
The team’s caseload includes serious organised crime; historical cases, complex frauds and cases that are particularly sensitive to their local communities. Prosecutors work very closely with more specialist police departments and are able to become involved with investigations early on.
Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit Toggle accordion
The Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit is a dedicated and specialised team who prosecutes cases such as rape, serious sexual offences, child abuse and child sexual exploitation.
The staff on the unit all have a great deal of understanding of the sensitivities of prosecuting cases of this nature and how difficult and harrowing it can be for a victim from the first step of making a complaint to the police, through to giving evidence in a trial.