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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Fact Sheets

Anti-Social Behaviour

Anti-social behaviour has a huge impact on the quality of life of millions of people in England and Wales.

Find out more about how we prosecute anti-social behaviour

Domestic abuse

There is no specific statutory offence of 'domestic abuse'; however, the term can be applied to a number of offences committed in a domestic environment. The CPS regards these offences as being particularly serious. The domestic nature of the offending is seen as an aggravating factor because of the abuse of trust involved.

Find out more about domestic abuse

Driving Offences Involving Death

The main types of driving offences involving fatalities are 'dangerous driving' and 'careless or inconsiderate' driving.

Find out more about driving offences involving death


Extradition is the formal procedure for returning persons located in one country to another country for legal reasons.

Find out more about extradition


There are many different types of offence which may be referred to as 'fraud' but broadly speaking, a fraud is committed when a person gains a dishonest advantage, often financial, over another person or organisation.

Find out more about fraud

Hate crime

In England and Wales there are three main strands of hate crime: Racial & Religious, Homophobic & Transphobic, and Crimes against disabled people.

Find out more about hate crime

Human trafficking and modern slavery

Offences of human trafficking, slavery and forced labour are criminalised by the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Crown Prosecution Service is working with law enforcement agencies and across government to improve the criminal justice response to these offences and build capacity and capability in key source countries, in support of the Prime Minister's task force on modern slavery.

Find out more about human trafficking and modern slavery

Organised Crime

Organised crime prosecutions often involve offences related to drugs, immigration, sexual exploitation and cyber-crime.

Find out more about organised crime

Private Prosecutions

We recognise that the right to bring a private prosecution should remain and that we should not take over a private prosecution unless there is a good reason to do so for the public good.

Find out more about private prosecutions

Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides clear and coherent sex offences to protect individuals from abuse and exploitation, and is designed to be fair and non-discriminatory.

Find out more about the Sexual Offences Act 2003


Terrorism is the use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation or to intimidate the public.

Find out more about how the CPS prosecutes Terrorism

Witness Care Units

The aim of witness care units is to provide a single point of contact for victims and witnesses, minimising the stress of attending court and keeping victims and witnesses up to date with any news in a way that is convenient to them. Witnesses are essential to successful prosecutions and we are committed to making the process as straightforward as we can.

Find out more about witness care units