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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

Crown Prosecution Service and Brazilian officials tackle football-related violence at World Cup 2014


The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today hailed a visit by a delegation from Brazil - here to learn from British expertise in security and tackling hooliganism - as an outstanding success. Brazil will be hosting the World Cup in 2014.

Members of the delegation, including representatives of Brazilian criminal justice agencies, parliament and Football Federation, have been meeting key personnel from the CPS, the UK Football Policing Unit, Government departments, the FA and British clubs and have visited stadia including the Emirates, Fratton Park and Wembley.

Nick Hawkins, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and the CPS lead on football matters, said: "We are delighted to have hosted a delegation of senior Brazilian colleagues and are happy to share with them our expertise in dealing with violence and disorder in and around football stadia. Their visit has provided an excellent opportunity for officials from both countries to start working together in preparation for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

"What is obvious to me is the professionalism and commitment of our Brazilian colleagues. The CPS, UK Football Policing Unit and the Home Office look forward to assisting our counterparts in Brazil in any way we can."

Dr Ailton de Souza, delegation organiser and judge from Pernambuco state, one of the Brazilian states hosting matches in 2014, said: "We are here to establish a co-operative partnership between judges, prosecutors and police in preparation for dealing with any possible trouble from hooligans at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. We want to determine, as representatives of government, parliament and the legal system, what changes to the law need to be made, and it's important to see what the clubs can do to help, too."

Dr Fernando Ferro, Congressman in the Brazilian Parliament, continued: "We want to see how the agencies in this country deal with this problem and how these methods will translate to Brazil. We would like representatives from the English police and CPS to come to Brazil to share their expertise with the police and prosecutors there."

Dr Carlos de Oliveira, President of the Regional Football Federation, added: "Football is so important in Brazil, so it's crucial that the Government works with the clubs to avoid violence in and around the stadiums - it's the biggest potential problem we face, and all agencies must work well together to prevent it. We can learn a lot from how Britain and other European countries have dealt with this problem recently."

  1. The Brazilian delegation consisted of officials from the judiciary, the police, the prosecuting authority and the football federation of Pernambuco state, as well as members of the Brazilian parliament and Ministry of the Interior
  2. The CPS Legal Guidance on football related offences and the Prosecution Policy for Football Related Offences are available on our website.
  3. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8105.
  4. The Crown Prosecution Service is the 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

    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