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Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support young victims and witnesses and treat them with dignity.

Find out more about how we support young victims and witnesses

Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

Find out more about how we prosecute youth crime

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

CPS improves its contribution to the safeguarding of children


The Crown Prosecution Service has welcomed the report by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate which shows that it has improved its role and contribution to the safeguarding of children as recommended in its earlier report.

Robert Turnbull, Chief Crown Prosecutor for North Yorkshire and CPS lead on child issues said: "We welcome the Inspectorate's second review and are pleased that it recognises that the CPS has undertaken considerable work since the last report. The report acknowledges that there is much to be positive about in the way that we deal with children's issues and that improvements have been made."

These improvements include:

  • The publication of the CPS policy on prosecuting cases involving children and young people as victims and witnesses and two booklets aimed a explaining the policy and practice to young witnesses, namely, "Millie the Witness" and "Jerome a witness in court".
  • "Significant developments" in strategic planning and improvement in initiatives for victims and witnesses, including the introduction of a victim and witness strategy and the Violence Against Women strategy which HM CPSI says should benefit children who are victims of or witnesses to such crimes.
  • The appointment of a policy advisor for children and young people and some significant work has been undertaken during the period since the last report.

Robert Turnbull said that the CPS has accepted those recommendations which highlight areas where further improvements can be made and it will carry out a review of coordinator roles.

Mr Turnbull said:"The CPS is fully committed to the safeguarding of children."

"We are already conducting a review of all CPS Coordinator roles and we will be working hard to ensure the other recommendations are implemented as soon as possible."

  1. The Inspectorate made five recommendations:
    • Action is taken to ensure the strategic approach to safeguarding translates into area planning and operational practice;
    • Engagement with local safeguarding children boards is formalised to ensure CPS participation where appropriate;
    • Child abuse coordinators are appointed locally with an effective network, and child abuse case outcomes are monitored locally so that lessons can be identified and disseminated;
    • Video recorded interviews with child witnesses are always watched and assessments and decisions recorded;
    • Child abuse is defined and outcomes analysed; consideration should be given to a monitoring exercise of the use of special measures for child witnesses to give evidence; and results of unduly lenient sentence referrals in child abuse cases are analysed and disseminated to coordinators/relevant prosecutors and caseworkers.
  2. The CPS policy on prosecuting cases involving children and young people as victims and witnesses, along with the two booklets "Millie the Witness" and "Jerome a witness in court" are available on this website in the Victims and Witnesses section.
  3. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8105.
  4. The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department 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;
    • Presentation of cases at court;

    The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 83.7% in 2006-2007.

    More about the CPS

    The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests.

    Publicity and the Criminal Justice System protocol