Advanced Search

Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

Find out more about private prosecutions

Prosecuting Special Crime

Deaths in custody, allegations against the police, corporate manslaughter, medical manslaughter, serious public corruption, election offences, appeals to the House of Lords and extradition are just some of the types of cases dealt with by specialist Crown Prosecutors in the Special Crime Division.

Find out more about extradition

Find out more about how we prosecute bribery and corruption

Find out how we prosecute election offences

Find out more about how we deal with allegations against the police

Find out about our prosecution policy for deaths in custody

Find out about unduly lenient sentences

Four police officers to face charge of causing actual bodily harm to Babar Ahmad


The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that four officers of the Metropolitan Police Service's Territorial Support Group should be charged with causing actual bodily harm to Babar Ahmad during his arrest on 2 December 2003.

Simon Clements, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "Babar Ahmad was arrested by the officers on suspicion of terrorism offences. Mr Ahmad suffered a number of injuries during that arrest, including heavy bruising to the head, neck, wrists and feet.

"The Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence on how those injuries were caused from the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2004. We took the view at that time that there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction of anyone involved.

"Following Mr Ahmad's successful civil proceedings for compensation from the police in the High Court last year, his solicitors asked the CPS to look at the evidence again. The Director of Public Prosecutions asked the Special Crime Division to do so.

"We have now completed our review of the evidence. Our conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge four of the officers involved in the arrest of Mr Ahmad with causing actual bodily harm to him, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Police Constables Nigel Cowley, John Donohue, Roderick James-Bowen and Mark Jones will be summonsed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 22 September 2010.

"These are serious offences and it is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice a trial."


  1. Media enquiries by phone: 020 3357 0906. Out of hours pager: 07699 781926.
  2. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm is an offence under section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. It is an either-way offence, punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine at the magistrates' court or five years imprisonment at the Crown Court.
  3. The CPS decided that Babar Ahmad should not be prosecuted for any terrorism offences in this country in December 2003.
  4. The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
    • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
    • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
    • Preparing cases for court
    • Presenting cases at court
  5. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 14 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: the Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.

    More about the CPS

  6. The DPP has published his long term vision for the prosecution service and its role within the wider criminal justice system. It includes modernising the service and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal justice - read "The Public Prosecution Service: Setting the Standard" at