Referral of Cases
This guidance specifies the cases which must be referred to CPS Headquarters (Private Office, Director of Legal Services, Press Office); Central Casework Divisions and CPS Proceeds of Crime; Chief Crown Prosecutors/Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutors or Area Complex Casework Units/Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Units for information or for decision making. The case reporting criteria and Sensitive Case List reporting are also included.
- Referral of Cases to Private Office
- Referral of Cases to the Director of Legal Services (DLS)
- Referral of Cases to Press Office
- Referral of Cases to Central Casework Divisions and CPS POC
- Appeals and Review Unit
- Special Crime Units
- Allocation and handling of criminal allegations against persons serving with the police
- International Justice and Organised Crime Division (IJOCD)
- Referrals to the Extradition Unit
- Criteria for referral
- Material to be submitted
- Proceeds of Crime (POC)
- Referrals and Notifications to the CCPs\DCCPs
- Cases to be referred for minimum authorisation to charge and Case Handling Decisions
The following matters must be referred to the Private Office for the Director to decide whether to consent:
- Re-trial of serious offences - Part 10 Criminal Justice Act 2003*
- Any other case where the personal consent of the DPP is required*
- All requests for jury vetting must be referred to the Director*.
Prosecution of offences under section 10 of the Bribery Act 2010 requires the personal consent of the DPP. Any requests for consent to prosecute should be approved by the relevant Head of Central Casework Division, CCP, or DCCP, before submission to the Director with the relevant DLS copied in. The DLS will deal with any of these cases during the Director's absence where requested to do so by Private Office. Where Private Office request a briefing directly on any other case, the briefing should be should be approved by the relevant Head of Central Casework Division, CCP, or DCCP, before submission to the Director with the relevant DLS copied in. Any other briefing should be sent to the DLS rather than directly to Private Office. Cases of Assisted Suicide and Deaths in Custody or following police contact should be notified to Private Office for the Director’s information. These do not require formal consent, but he must be satisfied with the decision made before it is finalised.
A: The following areas of work must be referred to the DLS for decision:
- Area and Complex Casework Unit cases involving immunity from prosecution under section 71 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005). The DLS will sign any such agreement. Note: Cases falling under section 72 and 74(2)(a) must be dealt with by the CCP and notified to DLS. - Refer to King's Evidence: Immunities, undertakings and Agreements (SOCPA 2005) in the legal guidance.
- Prosecutor’s certificates under the Forum Bar (link to guidance). The DLS will sign any certificate.
- All cases where there is a decision to charge juror misconduct offences under sections 20A to 20G Juries Act 1974 [introduced by Sections 69 - 77 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015]. The MG3 must be submitted to the DLS before the consent of the AG is sought.
- Third Party Costs Order for Serious Misconduct concerning the CPS
- Court applications against the media for material to be disclosed for the purposes of criminal proceedings (Press Office to be informed as well)
B: There are also a number of areas of casework where the DLS must be notified and briefed before any decision is communicated but authority can be given by the CCP (personally). These categories include:
- All cases where there is a decision to charge in a case alleging perverting the course of justice arising from a false or a retracted complaint of rape or other sexual offence or domestic abuse.
- Department of Education prosecutions relating to unregistered schools
- Private prosecutions alleging abortion offences [s.58 and 59 Offences Against the Person Act 1861] which the CPS are asked to take over under section 6(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.
- Publications likely to lead to the identification of a complainant in a sexual offence and other breaches of reporting restrictions;
- Decisions on whether to appeal a terminating ruling.
- Cases falling under section 72 and 74(2)(a) (signed by the CCP but should be notified to DLS in advance).
- Cases which may trigger a review of previously finalised cases (this refers to substantial and high profile cases that have already been through all stages of the prosecution process)
- Female Genital Mutilation cases
- Cases involving the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of STIs
- Any case where the DLS asks to be notified or consulted. The following proposed decisions (or decisions, where CPSD with DCCP / CCP approval, has taken them given the urgency) must now be referred to SCCTD rather than the DLS team for approval:
- Any proposal to charge a communications offence where the allegation is one of gross offence, obscenity or indecency:
- Section 1(1)(a)(i) and 1(1)(b);
- Section 127(1) save for the reference to “menacing”.
- Any proposal to charge or NFA any communications offence (section 1 or 127) where directed towards a person of public prominence.
Decisions to NFA communications offences other than those relating to persons of public prominence do not require referral to SCCTD. Decisions to charge offences other than those relating to persons of public prominence, contrary to section 1(1)(a)(ii) and (iii) and section 127(1) (menacing only) and (2), do not require referral.
For some cases, there is no special form for either referral or notification. Referral to the DLSs should be by email copied to Asia Schuler. Briefings for Private Office should be in the relevant briefing template and send via the DLS unless specifically requested by Private Office.
The referral or notification should be through the normal line management channels.
There are separate arrangements for the Sensitive Case List, NCMP cases and the Top 10.
Where a charging decision has been made by or approved by the DLS, the Area which originally made the referral should consult the DLS when major changes to the charges are proposed, or when it is proposed to accept pleas to lesser charges.
For notification, a narrative report should be supplied for information, dealing particularly with the point giving rise to the need for notification.
CTLs will continue to be notified to Operations Directorate.
HQ Press Office must be advised of any case which may attract national media interest. If in doubt please contact Area or Group Communications/Press Officer.
Unless it says otherwise, referral means that the case should be referred to the CCD to deal with. Areas will no longer be involved.
The Specialist Fraud Division (SFD) provides a specialist prosecution and advisory service for serious and/or complex economic crime cases in England and Wales.
SFD will handle cases of alleged fraud or economic crime which are considered to be serious, complex and / or highly sensitive. This will include the following:
- Cases where the alleged intended provable loss is significant and at least in excess of £1 million;
- All Bribery and corruption cases here or overseas which involve a corporate;
- Difficult cases requiring specialised knowledge, for example:
- Tax and duty evasion;
- Intellectual Property;
- Financial Markets;
- Regulatory bodies;
- Complex banking issues;
- Shipping law;
- Onshore and offshore trusts.
- The investigation involves more than one Government department, regulator, and/or investigator and it would be appropriate for SFD to perform a co-ordinating and standard setting role;
- The investigation involves an organised crime group engaged in serious economic crime activities;
- Extensive pre-charge investigative advice is required including the use of compulsory powers, parallel regulatory investigations or proceedings, disclosure notices, immunities and undertakings.
- All cases investigated by the specialist directorates in the City of London Police and the Metropolitan police dealing with serious or complex economic crime
- All cases in which there are potential Deferred Prosecution Agreement considerations.
A more extensive list of complexity considerations is at Annex A.
In addition SFD handles all cases, regardless of seriousness or complexity investigated by the following law enforcement agencies, on the basis that they have differing investigative powers and are likely to involve challenging technical / regulatory issues:
- National Health Service Counter Fraud Authority
- Department for Health and Social Care
- Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
- Welsh Revenue Authority
Once a case is referred to SFD it will be registered and then considered against specific case acceptance criteria by a Unit Head. Provided there is sufficient detail included within the papers referred to the SFD, this assessment will take place within 5 working days of receipt. If it is not considered to be suitable, it will be referred to a CPS Area Fraud Centre or CPS Complex Casework Unit. When a case is referred on to a CPS Area, SFD will inform the relevant police officer or Senior Investigating Officer of its decision and the person within the local Area to whom the case has been referred.
Cases that do not meet the complex definition (above) for referral to SFD should be referred to a CPS Area Fraud Centre in CPS Mersey-Cheshire, CPS Cymru-Wales and CPS Wessex. Examples of lower complexity cases are provided at Annex B. All DEFRA and Executive Agency work that does not meet the complex definition should be referred to CPS Mersey Cheshire irrespective of location of offending.
CPS Areas must refer the following cases to the Counter Terrorism Unit in SCCTD:
- acts of terrorism or terrorist related offences;
- incitement to hatred based on race, religion or sexual orientation;
- Official Secrets Act offences;
- violent extremism;
- war crimes, crimes against humanity including torture and hostage taking; and,
- arrest warrants in private prosecutions (section 153(1) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011)
- other national security related crime including cybercrime.
- High Court Serious Crime Prevention Orders if connected to terrorism
Prosecutors need to be aware that the following could lead to the consideration of terrorist related offences:
- any act involving commission, preparation or instigation for a potential political, religious or ideological purpose; or
- possession of articles that might be useful to a terrorist.
In a few cases involving explosives, the possibility of a prosecution under the counter- terrorism legislation will arise. The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 create a wide variety of offences, and most investigations are dealt with by specialist police units and referred directly to the Counter Terrorism Division. However, it is possible that prosecutors will be presented with cases where the legislation is applicable, for example, where involvement with explosives is in some way linked to extremist political, religious or ideological activities which may include extreme right wing motivation.
Any case involving a possible charge under the terrorism legislation is referred immediately to the Counter Terrorism Unit in the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division (SCCTD) and not dealt with by Area or CPS Direct prosecutors.
CPS Areas must refer the following cases to the Appeals and Review Unit in SCCTD:
- Appeals to the Supreme Court;
- Judicial Review and Case Stated Appeals to the Administrative Court (except interlocutory appeals unless they relate to bail or Custody Time Limits);
- Appeals to the Court of Appeal including Criminal Cases Review Commissions referrals (some interlocutory appeals, including appeals under section 58, are conducted by Areas – see below for further information)
- Unduly Lenient Sentences;
- Attorney General's Reference on points of law;
- Application for the retrial of serious offences under section 76(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Double Jeopardy cases).
The ARU must also be notified if a letter before claim is received by a CPS Area under the judicial review pre-action protocol; and
The ARU must be notified in advance of all prosecution initiated judicial review or case stated appeals.
Appeals relating to the following interlocutory matters will usually be dealt with by the ARU:
Application to quash an acquittal and seek a retrial for a qualifying offence;
- Applications for a determination as to whether a foreign acquittal is a bar to a trial, and, if so, an order that it not be a bar;
- Applications for restrictions on publication relating to these matters;
- Appeals against orders relating to a trial to be conducted without a jury where there is a danger of jury tampering; and
- Appeals against an order that a trial should continue without a jury or a new trial take place without a jury after jury tampering.
The ARU will not generally deal with the following interlocutory hearings:
- Appeals against rulings in preliminary matters;
- Appeals against terminating rulings;
- Appeals in relation to restraint or receivership;
- Appeals against an order for trial by jury of sampling counts; and
- Appeals against orders restricting or preventing media reporting or restricting public access to a trial.
The ARU must also be notified of all appeals against terminating rulings under section 58 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This can be done by copying them into the notification to the DLS.
VRRs should be handled in accordance with the VRR Guidance.
CPS Areas must refer the following cases to the Special Crime Unit in SCCTD:
- Serious Independent Office of Police Complaints Commission (IOPC) cases ;
- Corporate manslaughter; see Service Level Agreement (SLA) between CPS Areas and SCCTD for further information;
- Medical manslaughter;
- All other cases of gross negligence manslaughter, save for those arising from road traffic collisions or cases involving neglect (including those concerning children, patients or Care Home residents);
- Deaths in custody;
- Assisting suicide;
- Allegations of political or constitutional significance against public figures with a nationally high profile. This could include (as an illustration) Members of Parliament, Police and Crime Commissioners or police chief constables, but would not extend to 'tabloid' celebrities with a generally high media profile. Such cases will often relate to the suspect's performance of, or matters connected to, their public duties. Minor motoring and other offences may be dealt with on Area but where any case involves an MP or significant local politician, a PCC or chief constable, the CCP should discuss allocation with the relevant DLS.
- Election offences;
- Cases against CPS staff except cases relating to minor uncontested motoring offences (this does not include cases where employees are witnesses);
- National Crime Agency (NCA) Employee Cases except cases relating to minor uncontested motoring offences;
- Serious public corruption (except cases submitted by NCA See “Allegations against Police” below) (Fraud-related cases should be referred to the Specialist Fraud Division);
- Cases involving the disclosure of confidential information by public servants to journalists;
- Allegations against police officers of seriously corrupt activity;
- Allegations against police officers concerning deaths following police contact;
- Cases alleging a contravention of section 7 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by a police officer or firefighter who has carried out an heroic act.
- Any case which after discussion with the CCP, the DPP/DLS decides should be dealt with by Special Crime
There are two case types where Special Crime has a review function but the case will be retained by Areas:-
- All private prosecution cases referred to the CPS for possible intervention. The case will be reviewed to ensure the private prosecution policy has been followed then returned to Area to take the necessary action.
- Cases involving communications sent via social media that fall within category (4) of the guidelines except those charged by CPSD out of hours. The case will be reviewed for ‘grossness’ and returned to Area to prosecute and/or communicate the decision.
CPS Areas should consider referring the following cases to SCCTD:
- Cases involving an allegation against a person serving with the police that involve issues of considerable complexity or sensitivity (e.g. involvement of CPS staff; officer with large local connections).
The following categories of cases should be referred to the Special Crime Unit:
- Allegations against persons serving with the police at any rank of seriously corrupt activity. For these purposes, allegations are likely to include one or more of the following:
- systematic and organised attempts to pervert the course of justice or other conduct likely to seriously harm the administration of justice, in particular the criminal justice system;
- undue payments or other benefits or favours received in connection with the performance of duties, where a magistrates' Court would be likely to decline jurisdiction;
- corrupt controller/handler/source relationships;
- provision of confidential information in return for payment, or other benefits or favours, where the conduct goes beyond a possible prosecution for an offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998;
- extraction and/or supply of seized controlled drugs, firearms or other illegal material, e.g. drugs proceeds, counterfeit currency etc;
- attempt or conspiracies to do any of the above.
- Allegations concerning death(s) in police custody or following police contact. This definition includes the deaths of persons who have been arrested or otherwise detained by the police. It also includes deaths occurring whilst a person is being arrested or taken into detention. The death may have taken place on police, private or medical premises. Also included are circumstances where the person dies during or after some form of contact with the police which did not amount to detention and there is a link between that contact and the death. Finally, it includes fatal shooting incidents in which police fire the fatal shots
The Organised Crime Division (OCD) deals with most cases meeting the 'General Complexity Criteria' from the National Crime agency (NCA) and associated confiscation issues. It also deals with top end cases from the Regional Organised Crime Units, organised crime cases investigated by SO15, cybercrime (except where it is connected to national security in which case, it should referred to CTD) and cases from the Immigration Enforcement Directorate.
NCA Commands include:
- Organised Crime
- Border Force
- Child Exploitation Online Protection (CEOP) Command
- Economic Crime Command
- National Cybercrime Unit
NCA 'general complexity criteria' is available here.
Border Command allocation criteria is available here.
SO15 criteria for allocation of non-terrorism cases is available here.
Referral criteria for Prosecuting Immigration Enforcement cases within the CPS is available here.
- Prosecutors in CPS Areas, including Complex Casework Units (CCUs) must submit requests for the return of fugitives from countries outside of the European Union to the Extradition Unit (with the exception of those cases which are by reason of the offence type to be referred to another CCD). Before any case is sent to the Extradition Unit it must be quality assured and signed off by the CCU Head or DCCP for the Area.
- Cases should not be submitted to the Extradition Unit unless and until each of the following questions is answered positively:
- In accusation cases, has the case passed the Full Code Tests (or Threshold Test where, exceptionally, this is approved for use - see Extradition Legal Guidance for further details)?
- Is the case trial ready? The Requested Person (RP) may be returned quickly and it is therefore essential that CPS is ready to prosecute
- In conviction cases, has the defendant had a sentence of at least four months' imprisonment imposed and what is the outstanding balance of the sentence still to serve?
- Do the police know where the fugitive is currently living or may move to in the near future? It is not necessary to know a fugitive's exact address, but a country or countries should be identified. It is impossible to prepare a single extradition request that would be acceptable in every country
- Are local arrangements in place under which the police or other investigators have agreed to pay the costs of:
- translating the extradition request if required. For operational reasons the Extradition Unit will normally arrange for translation in appropriate cases, but it has no budget to pay for the cost of that service (see further below);
- paying for any necessary expert witnesses to attend hearings to swear depositions in cases where full sworn evidence is required. To avoid disproportionate administrative costs CPS HQ bears the costs of non-expert witnesses;
- should extradition be granted, a suitable police escort (at least two officers) flying to collect the requested person and the additional cost of that person being brought back to the UK with the officers.
- The following material should be submitted electronically to the allocated lawyer or to the Extradition Unit. Statements and case summaries should be in Microsoft Word format. Exhibits and other documents should be in pdf format:
a) In accusation cases:
- Confirmation that the case has met the Full Code Test (or Threshold Test where, exceptionally, this has been authorised), is trial ready and the person's return is sought to face trial for the offences contained in the warrant.
- The original or certified copy of a first instance warrant detailing all the offences on which the RP will be tried should his/her extradition be ordered. A bench warrant for failing to appear is insufficient unless it has an indictment or list of charges appended to it and is so endorsed by a Judge or clerk of the court.
- The full name of the District Judge or Justice of the Peace who issued the warrant.
- A case summary or overview statement drafted by the reviewing lawyer or Officer in the Case identifying and summarising the evidence substantiating every offence for which extradition is sought.
- A file of statements and exhibits which show a prima facie case in respect of every offence for which extradition will be sought (please identify and provide only the key witness statements and exhibits as required to establish a prima facie case and not the whole file).
- Evidence or identity, namely photograph, fingerprints and a physical description of the RP. The photograph need not be an official police photograph; a family photograph is acceptable. In all cases there must be a witness who is able to certify that the photograph is a true likeness of the person whose extradition is being requested.
- Details of the Requested Person's location
b) In conviction cases:
- Confirmation that the person's return is sought so that he can be sentenced for the offences of which he has been convicted or that a sentence of at least 4 months' imprisonment has been imposed.
- The original or certified copy of the Memorandum of Conviction detailing all the offences of which the RP has been convicted and any sentences imposed.
- A file of statements and exhibits which were used at trial and show a prima facie case in respect of every offence for which extradition will be sought (please identify and provide only the key witness statements and exhibits as required to establish a prima facie case and not the whole file). Alternatively, an electronic copy of the transcript of the evidence called.
- Evidence of identity, namely photograph, fingerprints and a physical description of the RP. The photograph need not be an official police photograph, a family photograph is acceptable. In all cases there must be a witness who is able to certify that the photograph is a true likeness of the person whose extradition is being requested.
- Details of the Requested Person's location
c) Additional information in all cases: It is essential that the referral includes a note of the appropriate payment code for the reimbursement of translation costs (where these are likely to be incurred), together with contact details for the person who will be responsible for processing the claim for re-imbursement. To avoid any delay in submission of the extradition request the extradition Unit will normally arrange for necessary translations to be made by an approved service provider. However, the Extradition Unit is not funded to meet the cost of translation which falls to be paid by Areas in the first instance. Areas may wish to secure reimbursement from the police through local arrangements for what is essentially an investigation cost.
The following cases must be referred to POC:
- High Court Serious Crime Prevention Orders (unless connected to terrorism in which case they should go to CTD)
- Civil asset recovery;
- Pre POCA high court restraint and receivership work;
- Civil proceedings against CPS
CPS Proceeds of Crime (CPS POC) Allocation Criteria
|CPS POC||All restraint casework resulting from a parallel prosecution by a Central Casework Division (excluding Area Welfare Rural Health casework)|
Complex Area restraint casework as referred to the Central Pre-enforcement Unit by a CPS POC regional team
|All civil recovery casework|
|Central Casework Divisions (CCDs)|
CCDs will conduct their own confiscation casework which does not meet the CPS POC referral criteria
Note: CPS POC will additionally take confiscation casework by exception by agreement with the CPS POC CCP or DCCP.
Referrals and Notifications to the CCPs\DCCPs
A. The following cases must be referred to the CCP for approval of the charging decision and consultation on subsequent decisions which terminate proceedings or substantially alter the charge:
- Cases where a briefing must be sent to the DLS confirming that the CCP has approved the charge or substantial change. A brief outline of the case and decisions together with an indication of when the decision will be actioned should be sent pre charge in the following cases:-
- All cases where there is a decision to charge in a case alleging perverting the course of justice arising from a false or a retracted complaint of rape or other sexual offence or domestic abuse;
- Department of Education prosecutions relating to unregistered schools;
- Private prosecutions alleging abortion offences [s.58 and 59 Offences against the Person Act 1861] which the CPS are asked to take over under section 6(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985;
- Publications likely to lead to the identification of a complainant in a sexual offence and other breaches of reporting restrictions;
- Cases falling under section 72 and 74(2)(a) SOCPA (signed by the CCP);
- Cases which may trigger a review of previously finalised cases which may attract significant attention or criticism;
- Female Genital Mutilation cases;
- Cases involving the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of STIs;
- Decisions on whether to appeal a terminating ruling should be notified in a short briefing to DLS afterwards given the time restraints.
- Any case in which the prosecutor wishes to apply for consent to prefer a Voluntary Bill of Indictment - refer to Voluntary Bills of Indictment elsewhere in the Legal Guidance.
- Cases involving allegations of criminal libel.
- Cases involving applications to the Home Office for Resident Informant Status.
- All decisions to reinstitute proceedings other than VRR cases.
- Any case where both the suspect and the complainant in a sex case are under 13 years old at the time of the alleged offence.
- Allegations of rape involving conditional consent.
B. The following cases must be referred to for DCCP for approval of charging decision and consultation on any decision which terminates proceedings or substantially alters the charge (other than on a threshold test decision where a briefing should be sent immediately thereafter) Cases dealt with by CPSD are subject to their own agreed authorisation and referral criteria:-
- Any case involving the prosecution of a person with diplomatic immunity – refer to Diplomatic Immunity and Diplomatic Premises elsewhere in the Legal Guidance
- Any offence by a solicitor representing a client
- References by the Criminal Cases Review Commission to the Court of Appeal - refer to Appeals from the Criminal Cases Review Commission elsewhere in the Legal Guidance, and also to Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division referral criteria
- Conspiracy, attempt, incitement or aiding and abetting any of the offences above
- A decision to intervene in a non-CPS prosecution - refer to Private Prosecutions elsewhere in the Legal Guidance
- Misconduct in public office
- Reinstitution of proceedings where there has been a request for VRR. - refer to Reconsidering a Prosecution Decision elsewhere in the Legal Guidance.)
- PACE applications for personal records - trade / business material from a bank when section 7 Bankers' Books Evidence Act 1879 is not available;
- Cases involving journalistic material
- Any case involving a fatal road traffic collision - including those where it is not proposed to proceed with an offence of causing death by dangerous or careless driving but where the driver was either:
- unfit to drive through drink or drugs;
- where the proportion of alcohol exceeded the prescribed limit; or
- where the driver failed without reasonable excuse to provide a specimen for analysis Refer to Road Traffic Offences – Guidance on Prosecuting Cases of Bad Driving elsewhere in the Legal Guidance
- Motor manslaughter
- Appeals to the Court of Appeal - refer to Appeals to the Court of Appeal elsewhere in the Legal Guidance
- Cases involving applications to the Attorney General for Nolle Prosequi - refer to Termination of Proceedings elsewhere in the Legal Guidance
- Any case where charges under the Explosives Act 1883 (non-terrorism related) are being considered. An application for the Attorney General's consent is required for such charges to be made. Guidance on the information and documentation needed to support such applications can be found in Consents to Prosecute.
- Where an investigation into contempt is required - the DCCP should be informed and should bring the matter to the immediate attention of the relevant Chief Superintendent and the Attorney General's Office and notify the DLS.
- Cases where an employee is a witness and may need to be handled by another CPS Area – should be agreed between DCCPs and the approved by the Area dealing with the case.
- Any case which is going to the DPP for personal consent should be approved by the DCCP and sent via the DLS. For ease, those are:-
- Any case involving an offence under the Bribery Act 2010. Under section 10 of the Act, prosecution of these offences requires the personal consent of the DPP; prosecutors should refer any request for consent to their CCP or DCCP, or the Head or Deputy Head of the Central Casework Division, for approval before submission to the DPP. The procedure for obtaining the DPP's personal consent is set out in the guidance on Consents to Prosecute.
- Re-trials for serious offences (Part 10, Criminal Justice Act 2003 - Double Jeopardy cases) - refer to Retrial of Serious Offences elsewhere in the Legal Guidance
C. Cases to be notified to the CCPs/DCCPs
The following cases must be notified to the CCP/DCCP through local arrangements:
- Any case involving a death
- Cases that may raise national media interest
- Road traffic offences by members of the police, ambulance or fire services whilst on duty - refer to Allegations of Criminal Offences Against Police Officers and Other Persons Serving with the Police elsewhere in the Legal Guidance
- Gaming, betting and lottery offences
- Cases involving allegations of sexual offences committed abroad
- Any case that raises issues of liability under section 5(1)(a) or section 5(1)(c) of the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1992, or the defence under section 5(5) of the Act, or any unusual complexities.
- All cases involving the breach of reporting restrictions under section 39 and section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.
- All social media cases being sent to SCCTD for authorisation
- Any serious allegation against someone serving with the police (see guidance elsewhere)
D. Referral of Cases to the Area Complex Casework Units
Complex casework to be dealt with in Area Complex Casework Units (CCU) will be mainly from Level 1 and Level 2 crimes with broadly defined characteristics of complexity that distinguish them from non-complex crime. The cases will normally bear one or more of the following characteristics:
- Substantial and complex fraud.
- Large scale human trafficking.
- Serious drug related offences involving substantial importation, manufacture or supply, particularly with an international dimension.
- Major targeted local criminals in organised or international crime.
- Major large scale public disorder offences of a political, racial or religious nature, or which cause particular local concern.
- Complex/serious cases involving professional misconduct.
- Hate related murders.
- "Mercy" killings/euthanasia. (To note 'suicide pacts' should be handled as a defence to murder, rather than a possible assisted suicide.)
- High profile/multi-victim/multi-defendant murders.
- Serious/complex animal rights extremism cases especially across several police force areas.
- Complex restraint and confiscation of assets.
- Cases involving complicated PII issues.
- Complicated betting/lotteries cases.
- Sensitive, serious or complex cases of major media interest, e.g. allegations involving individuals or organisations with a high public profile. (Note: most allegations against public figures of particular power and influence are normally dealt with in the Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division: refer to above referral criteria).
- Corporate manslaughter involving unincorporated partnerships (all other corporate manslaughter cases are currently dealt with in the Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division).
- Cases where consideration is being given to issues of immunity and restricted use agreements under SOCPA 2005 (but not in relation to approving a letter of agreement with a co-operating defendant).
- All applications for a witness anonymity order.
- All cases involving the negotiation of jurisdiction with the USA.
- All cases in which the CPS Regional Asset Team Recovery lawyer has been involved in advising upon prosecution (Applicable Areas only. Currently: London, West Midlands, NE England, NW England and Wales (not North)).
- Cases investigated by a Counter Terrorism Unit which fall short of being terrorist offences and thus are not prosecuted by the Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division (Applicable Areas only; currently: London, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire).
- Breach of sexual offence complainant anonymity requiring Attorney General's consent.
- Any case that raises the issue of liability under section 5(1)(a) or section 5(1)(c) of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, or the defence under section 5(5), or any other other unusual complexities.
- All cases involving a breach of reporting restrictions under section 39 and section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1939.
- Homicide cases where the death occurs either:
- more than 3 years after an initial injury is sustained, or
- after a person has previously been convicted of an offence committed in the circumstances connected with the death.
- Prosecutors should refer to the legal guidance Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter elsewhere in the Legal Guidance.
There is a presumption that all cases in the Crown Court which are likely to last for 40 days or more and thus fall within the VHCC scheme will be dealt with by the CCU, RASSO or, in London, the Homicide Unit. This presumption can be overridden with the agreement of the Chief Crown Prosecutor if a VHCC case is considered to be suitable for handling by a Crown Court Unit or it has started elsewhere the CCP is content for it to remain on the original unit.
In addition, cases may be referred to the CCU by agreement or at the direction of the Chief Crown Prosecutor and which are likely to feature one or more of the following:
- Unusual legal or evidential issues (including RIPA)
- Complex expert evidence or multiple experts
- Extensive confiscation issues
- Significant or multiple foreign enquires or liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies
- Protected witnesses
- Multi agency involvement
- Resident source
- Extensive undercover police operations / multiple use of sources
- Where the skills of a CCU prosecutor are deemed necessary.
(In London, all cases involving a death a referred to the Homicide Unit.)