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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

CPS wins diversity and equality award


The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has won the Improvement Award at the annual Civil Service Diversity and Equality Awards ceremony which was held in Birmingham on Tuesday 2 December.

Recognising the significant steps the organisation has made in the field of equality and diversity the judges were particularly impressed by the Service's track record of consulting with community groups before forming policies which affect them.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, said:

"I commend everyone in our Equality and Diversity Unit for their hard work and innovation which has transformed the CPS into an organisation which is dedicated to ensuring that the promotion of diversity and equality is central to everything we do."

Seamus Taylor, Director of Equality and Diversity, said:

"Receiving this award is a testament to the work of many people at all levels of the CPS over recent years. It is a recognition of the improvements we have made. A lot has been done but there is a lot more still to do. We are far from complacent. We recognise that whilst we have come out of the shadows on equality and diversity, the challenge is now to come of age and I am confident we will do so under the leadership of Keir Starmer QC."

The CPS has consulted on and published a number of policies relating to diversity and equality, such as on the Single Equality Scheme, Racist and Religious Crime, Violence against Women, Domestic Violence, Rape, Disability Hate Crime, Homophobic and Transphobic Crime and Crimes against Older People. All are available on the CPS website.


  1. For Further information contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8127. Out of hours pager: 07699 781926
  2. Around fourteen percent of CPS staff comes from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds which is the same amongst Chief Crown Prosecutors, who are among the highest ranking members of staff.
  3. The Commission for Racial Equality, in 2007, recognised the CPS as "at the forefront of good practice in the field of equalities in employment in general, and meeting the race equality duty in particular."
  4. In 2007 the CPS was commended by the Cabinet Office Capability Review Team for achievements on equality and diversity and praised for leading this agenda among Government departments.
  5. In 2004 the CPS won a RaceActionNet award for community consultation on the Racist and Religious Crime Policy.
  6. 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
  7. 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 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on our website:
  8. 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. The Protocol is published on our website at: