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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


What is fraud?

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.

How does the CPS prosecute fraud?

Prosecutions for the majority of fraud offences investigated by the police are brought by the CPS Areas. Some prosecutions, particularly those investigated by specialist units in the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police, are brought by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division.

What is the CPS Specialist Fraud Division?

The Division handles some of the most serious, complex and difficult fraud cases. In addition to cases investigated by the police, the Division prosecutes cases brought by a range of other agencies including the National Crime Agency, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions, NHS Protect, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

What is your relationship with the Serious Fraud Office?

The Serious Fraud Office is a separate entity and, unlike the CPS, is an investigating authority as well as a prosecuting authority. The CPS Specialist Fraud Division works closely with the SFO and to ensure consistency of approach in prosecuting fraud and bribery cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the director of the SFO have agreed a series of joint policy statements.

Where can I find more information?

For more on the CPS Specialist Fraud Division:

For advice and information on combating fraud: