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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.

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Caroline Lucas MP Charged over Balcombe Fracking Protests


Nigel Pilkington, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service South East, said: "Following an investigation by Sussex police, the Crown Prosecution Service has received a file of evidence in relation to Ms Caroline Lucas MP, who was arrested during the anti-fracking demonstrations at the Cuadrilla drilling site in Balcombe last month.

"After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Ms Lucas for breaching a police order on public assemblies and wilful obstruction of the highway.

"Sussex Police have therefore been authorised to charge one count of breach of a section 14 order contrary to section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 and one count of Wilful Obstruction of the Highway contrary to section 137 of the Highways Act 1980. Both offences are alleged to have taken place on 19 August 2013.

"The decision has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the DPP's guidance on cases involving public protest.

"These are summary offences which can only be tried at Magistrates' Court.

"Ms Lucas will appear before Crawley Magistrates' Court on 9 October 2013."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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  4. 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. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.