Code for Crown Prosecutors

In January 2006 sole responsibility for charging criminal suspects transferred from the police to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), in all but the most minor and straightforward cases.

CPS prosecutors work closely with police officers, reviewing the evidence gathered throughout the investigation and advising on the case.  It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to decide whether a person should be charged with a criminal offence and, if so, determining what that charge should be.

Prosecutors work from a number of police stations across the Eastern Area to advise police officers on the appropriate charges to bring against a defendant.  They also advise the police on what further lines of enquiry they should pursue and the evidence they should obtain to ensure that the most robust cases are built from the outset.

Find out more about the Code for Crown Prosecutors


About Us

The Crown Prosecution Service was set up in 1986 to prosecute criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

Headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, the CPS is the largest "law firm" in the country

In undertaking this role, the CPS:

  • Advises police forces in Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire on cases for possible prosecution
  • Reviews cases submitted by the police for prosecution
  • Determines the charge in most cases
  • Prepares cases for court
  • Presents those cases at court

The CPS has 13 Areas across England and Wales, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). The East of England Area comprises the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire which have a large geographical size: from Cromer in the North to Grays in the South (a journey of 137 miles), and from Great Yarmouth in the East to Peterborough in the West (a journey of 100 miles).

The Area is led by Chief Crown Prosecutor Jenny Hopkins with Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, Frank Ferguson, and an Area Business Manager, Susan Stovell. It currently employs approximately 300 staff who serve a population in the East of England Area of approximately four million people.

Lawyers each follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors, a public document issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions, setting out the general principles they should follow when they make decisions on cases.

The two main considerations for Crown Prosecutors are to ensure there is sufficient evidence likely to lead to a conviction at court and if there is, whether it is in the public interest.

East of England CPS is supported by the Area Operations Centre, based in Chelmsford, Essex, which houses a team of specialists in the fields of performance, finance, human resources, communications and equality and diversity. They provide advice and guidance to all members of staff within the Area as well as staff from local and government agencies and the general public.