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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

Operation Elveden: CPS concludes it is no longer in the public interest to prosecute Virginia Wheeler


Gregor McGill, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service, whose team handles CPS decision making and potential prosecutions in relation to the on-going phone hacking investigations and other related matters, said: "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of cases arising from Operation Elveden, which is the Metropolitan Police's investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.

"In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, which requires prosecutors to keep all cases under continual review, following receipt of further expert medical evidence relating to her health the CPS has concluded that it is no longer in the public interest to prosecute Virginia Wheeler.

"Proceedings against Ms Wheeler were commenced on 22 January 2013 by way of summons for an alleged offence of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

"The proceedings against Ms Wheeler have now been concluded."


Virginia Wheeler and her co-accused, Paul Flattley, appeared on an indictment alleging the following offence:

Virginia Wheeler and Paul Flattley, between 25 May 2008 and 13 September 2011, conspired together to commit misconduct in public office. Contrary to s.1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Paul Flattley pleaded guilty to this offence on 7 March 2013. Reporting restrictions previously in place regarding this case have now been lifted.


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.