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 across England and Wales and CPS London North Area is one of two Areas in the Greater London Area (CPS London South being the other). It covers most of the London boroughs north of the River Thames (excluding Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster). We prosecute cases investigated by the Metropolitan Police in these boroughs.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Barry Hughes is the head of CPS London North and is supported by Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (DCCP) Paul Stimson, who has responsibility for Magistrates’ Court work, DCCP Joanna Coleman, who has responsibility for the Crown Court unit, and DCCP Lisa Ramsarran, who has responsibility for the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit and a pan-London Homicide team. Zeltia Carrera is the Area Business Manager and has responsibility for Business and Operational Delivery functions across the region.
We currently employ approximately 450 members of staff which consists of lawyers, paralegals and administrators. Our teams are based in offices near Victoria. We also have a small number of remote staff based in CPS offices in Cardiff.
The Area is supported by a Business Centre which houses a team of specialists in the fields of performance, finance, human resources, communications and inclusion.
Barry Hughes, Chief Crown Prosecutor
Barry Hughes is from Liverpool and studied law at Sheffield University before joining the newly formed Crown Prosecution Service in 1986 as a Crown Prosecutor in North London. In 1996 Barry was promoted to the post of Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor for London and then appointed Chief Crown Prosecutor for Cheshire in 1999.
In 2004 he was appointed Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Direct and set up the CPS service which provides charging advice outside normal working hours across England and Wales.
In 2007 Barry was appointed Chief Crown Prosecutor for Avon and Somerset. Following a CPS restructure in April 2011, Barry became Chief Crown Prosecutor for the South West. In June 2017, Barry took up post of Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Cymru-Wales with ultimate responsibility for all criminal prosecutions in Gwent, South Wales, Dyfed Powys and North Wales. In early 2020, he moved to be Chief Crown Prosecutor or London North.
Jo Coleman, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor
Jo is the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (DCCP) responsible for Crown Court cases in London North. She joined the CPS in 2001 as a Senior Crown Prosecutor (SCP) in Thames Valley. Prior to that she was a defence solicitor in private practice for seven years.
Having worked as an SCP, Jo was appointed a District Crown Prosecutor (DCP) in 2003 and undertook a number of DCP roles over the Magistrates’ and Crown Court teams across Thames Valley and then Thames and Chiltern, following the restructure of CPS Areas.
Jo had a period as acting Senior DCP heading the Complex Casework Unit (CCU) in Thames Valley in 2010. She also undertook a role as project manager for rolling out digital working in Thames and Chiltern in 2012.
In June 2014 she became DCCP in CPS Thames and Chiltern. She led the Magistrates’ Court team until May 2017 when she took over as DCCP for the Crown Court, CCU and RASSO teams in Thames and Chiltern. She joined London South as DCCP in August 2019 and moved over to London North in April 2021.
Lisa Ramsarran, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor
Lisa joined the CPS in 1996 as a legal trainee in the South East Area. She was appointed as a Crown Prosecutor in 1998 and Senior Crown Prosecutor in 2000. She held a variety of prosecutor roles within the South East and held appointments as the Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime Area champion. In 2005, Lisa was appointed as the temporary Unit Head for the Brighton Criminal Justice Unit. Shortly after in 2006, she was appointed as the Borough Crown Prosecutor for Croydon, South London.
Lisa later returned to CPS South East and held District Crown Prosecutor roles for the Early Guilty Plea team and the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit. Following promotion to Senior District Crown Prosecutor in 2016 she was appointed to the Magistrates' Court then the Crown Court before taking up her role as Head of Complex Casework and RASSO in 2017.
In July 2019, Lisa started in London North as Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS London North Magistrates’ Unit. She took over as DCCP for the RASSO team and the pan-London Homicide Team in August 2020.
Paul Stimson, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor
Paul Stimson joined the CPS as a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the East Midlands, first working on the advocacy team in the Magistrates’ Court. He became a Crown Advocate, before being promoted to the position of District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Advocacy team in 2013. He became a Senior District Crown Prosecutor in 2015, before taking up the role of Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (DCCP) in the South East in May 2017. He joined London North in August 2020 and is the DCCP with responsibility for magistrates’ court work.
Zeltia Carrera, Area Business Manager
Our Magistrates’ Court Unit prosecutes offences of domestic abuse, 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.
The Crown Court Unit deals with cases such as attempted murder, robberies, serious assaults, dwelling house burglaries, complex fraud and the supply and trafficking of drugs.
The Homicide unit, which covers the whole of London, deals with murders and the most serious road traffic offences, especially those that result in a fatality. A separate Complex Casework Unit which covers the whole of London is aligned to the CPS London South Area.
The RASSO Unit is a dedicated and specialised team which prosecutes cases such as rape, serious sexual offences, child abuse, child sexual exploitation, honour based violence and Female Genital Mutilation. 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.
Working with You
CPS London North continues to engage with the diverse communities that we serve in order to ensure that we make this region a safer place to live, work and visit.
We acknowledge that public trust is measured against our ability to work with members of our local communities in key areas. To this end we have two community panels that work on a pan-London basis – one that focusses specifically on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and one that has a wider remit and will for instance look at cases involving hate crime.
Our aim is to inform, listen, work with and in turn, be informed by those living and working across north London.
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