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 South Area is one of two Areas in the Greater London Area (CPS London North being the other). It covers the London boroughs south of the River Thames and also includes Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. As well as prosecuting cases investigated by the Metropolitan Police in South London boroughs, the Area also prosecutes cases investigated by City of London Police.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Claire Lindley is the head of CPS London South and is supported by Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Kris Venkatasami, who has responsibility for Magistrates’ and Domestic Abuse teams, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Jonathan Storer, who has responsibility for Crown Court unit, and Lynette Woodrow, who has responsibility for the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit and a pan-London Complex Casework Unit. Wray Ferguson is the Area Business Manager and has responsibility for Business and Operational Delivery functions across the region.
We currently employ approximately 470 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.
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Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor
Claire joined the CPS in 1987. Previously she was the CCP of the North West and Mersey-Cheshire Areas. She is a barrister and was called to the Bar in 1986, having studied Law at both Nottingham University (LLB) and London School of Economics (LLM). Claire is a Crown Advocate and Bencher of Gray's Inn.
She is committed to the prosecution of violence against women and represented the CPS in a subcommittee of the UN in the Far East which was considering how countries can work together in eliminating crimes against women in society. In her personal life, Claire is married to a solicitor and has two children.
Kris Venkatasami, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor
Kris is the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor with responsibility for all magistrates’ court and domestic abuse prosecutions in London South. He took on the position in June 2017 after having spent three years as DCCP in CPS South East.
Kris has spent much of his career working in London, progressing to become Senior District Crown Prosecutor, responsible for Crown Court and magistrates’ court work across North West London. He then moved to head up the Special Casework Unit in the capital, dealing with a number of high profile cases, including the Lord McAlpine Twitter case.
In 2013, he was appointed a temporary Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor in London, looking after magistrates’ court work, before joining South East.
Jonathan Storer, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor
Jonathan is responsible for the Crown Court Unit which prosecutes in the following Crown Court centres: Croydon, Kingston, Inner London, Isleworth, Southwark and Woolwich. Jonathan qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and joined the CPS in 2001.
Gaining a wide range of experience in various roles in Greater Manchester he was appointed Senior District Crown Prosecutor in 2010. Since then Jonathan has led a range of Magistrates and Crown Court teams in Lancashire and Cumbria before stepping up to temporary DCCP in CPS North West in April 2015.
Lynette Woodrow, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor
Lynette Woodrow is the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor with responsibility for the London Complex Casework Unit and RASSO prosecutions.
Wray Ferguson, Area Business Manager
Wray started her career in the Department of Employment in 1975, transferring to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) in 1976. During her time in HMCTS, she had a number of roles. These included casework, listing, management, training and HR. In 1994 she became the Group Chief Clerk for the North Wales and Chester County Court Group, transferring in 1997 to the role of Court Manager for the North Wales and Chester Crown Court Group.
Wray joined the CPS in 2004, as the Area Business Manager for North Wales. Following the 2011 Area restructure, Wray took on the role of Business Change and Delivery Manager in CPS Cymru/Wales. In January 2014 she became a member of the project team responsible for development and delivery of the new national CPS Proceeds of Crime service.
In January 2015 she was promoted to ABM for CPS Mersey-Cheshire and in August 2015, she was appointed as Area Business Manager for CPS North West. Wray joined CPS London South in March 2018 as Area Business Manager and has overall responsibility for the Operational Delivery and Business Operations for the Area.
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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.
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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.
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The Complex Casework Unit works across London and in collaboration with the police to tackle serious and organised crime, particularly drugs importation and distribution, money laundering. A separate Homicide unit, which covers the whole of London, is aligned to CPS London North and deals with murders and the most serious road traffic offences, especially those that result in a fatality.
Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit Toggle accordion
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 South 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 south London.