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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 statement following sentences for looting in Manchester


Following the sentencing at Manchester Crown Court today of five offenders in connection with the disturbances in Manchester and Salford, Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service's North West Area said:

"All right minded people have been shocked and alarmed by what happened on our streets a week ago. The reports and pictures in the media of widespread violence, destruction and looting will remain with us for a long time. For many people living and working in the communities where it happened, the effects of the fear and the damage caused will be deep and long lasting.

"The spirit and resolve of Manchester and Salford people has been remarkable in the response that we have seen since last week. Delivering justice on behalf of communities is an important part of the process of rebuilding and repairing the damage and pain suffered by victims and the community. Prosecutors, working alongside police, have worked tirelessly to charge those responsible and to bring them before the courts, and at the hearings today we have been able to tell the court exactly how these crimes have affected the community as a whole.

"All the offenders sentenced at the crown court this afternoon were involved in the widespread criminality that happened that night. The sight of people looting and stealing, helping themselves to goods from shops simply because that's what others were doing or because they thought they could get away with it was truly shocking.

"The message today is clear. Stealing, looting, handling stolen property are against the law and there are consequences for those who engage in this criminal behaviour. Today some of these people are starting custodial sentences and paying the price for their dishonesty and their part in the criminality that took place.

"Many others have been charged and their cases are proceeding through the courts and over the coming days, weeks and months if necessary, we will continue to bring before the courts those who were involved in the disorder and crime on that night."