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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 Proceeds of Crime

When the trial is over and the offender convicted, specialist lawyers in Crown Prosecution Service Proceeds of Crime (CPSPOC) - along with other criminal justice agencies - go after any ill-gotten gains.

CPSPOC has three main offices around the country and plays a key role in recovering millions of pounds each year.

Find out more about CPS Proceeds of Crime.

Criminal extradited from Spain and jailed for non-payment of UK Confiscation Order


Martin Hickman, who was convicted in relation to the illegal sale and supply of medicinal products in 2009, has been extradited from Spain and jailed for 10 years after failure to pay a confiscation order made against him in 2012 at Southwark Crown Court.

Nick Price, Head of CPS Proceeds of Crime said: "Martin Hickman’s crimes were unscrupulous and greedy, putting people's health at risk for the sake of pure profit. Having failed to pay his debt, he has now begun a ten year sentence behind bars.

"Mr Hickman's arrest, extradition from Spain and subsequent imprisonment back in the UK should send out a clear message to criminals seeking to hide themselves and their assets abroad: if you won't pay up, we will find you and you will go to jail.

"We would like to thank Titan, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit and International law enforcement colleagues for their tireless work on this case."


  • Hickman was prosecuted by DWP in relation to the illegal sale and supply of medicinal products. He was convicted on 06/03/09, having pleaded guilty to five counts on the Indictment, and was convicted of one further offence following a guilty plea on 16/03/09. On 08/06/09 he was sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment. On 27/04/12 a Confiscation Order was made. DWP prosecutions were transferred to the CPS on 1 April 2012.
  • Martin Hickman was jailed for 10 years following his extradition from Spain in August after failure to pay on a Confiscation Order made against him at Southwark Crown Court on 27/4/12 for £14,407,850.28.
  • His Confiscation Order currently stands at £13,940,391.44 plus interest. The service of the default sentence will not expunge the debt.
  • A European Arrest Warrant was issued in March this year. Mr Hickman was arrested in Spain in early July and extradited to the UK on 13 August where he was taken immediately to prison to begin his sentence. 


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 three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area 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.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  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.