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

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

Constance Briscoe charged with intending to pervert the course of justice

12/06/2013

Deborah Walsh, a senior lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "We have today authorised the Kent and Essex Police Serious Crime Directorate to charge Constance Briscoe with two counts of intending to pervert the course of public justice.

"The first allegation is that, between 16 May 2011 and 6 October 2012, Constance Briscoe provided Essex Police with two statements which were inaccurate. The second allegation, dated 6 October 2012, is that Constance Briscoe produced a copy of a witness statement that had been altered and that she maintained was the correct version.

"This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that these charges are in the public interest.

"Constance Briscoe will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 24 June 2013.

"Constance Briscoe is now charged with criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial."

The full charges are as follows:
Charge 1

Between 16 May 2011 and 6 October 2012 you with intent to pervert the course of public justice, did a series of acts which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, in that you provided the police with two statements which were inaccurate.

Contrary to Common Law

Charge 2

On 6 October 2012 you with intent to pervert the course of public justice, did an act which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, in that you produced a copy of your witness statement that had been altered and maintained that it was the correct version of that statement.

Contrary to Common Law

Ends

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 DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  5. 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.