The CPS policy on assisted suicide provides guidance to prosecutors on the public interest factors to take into account in reaching decisions in cases of encouraging or assisting suicide.
It was originally published following a consultation exercise commenced in September 2009, which attracted more than 5,000 responses to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Policy for Prosecutors in respect of Cases of Encouraging or Assisting Suicide
Also available to download as an Adobe Acrobat PDF:
Policy for Prosecutors in respect of Cases of Encouraging or Assisting Suicide PDF
Polisi i Erlynyddion Yn ymwneud ag Achosion o Annog neu Gynorthwyo Hunan Laddiad - dogfen PDF
Latest Assisted Suicide Figures
This information will next be updated in April 2024, and thereafter in April of each year.
Update as of 31 March 2023:
From 1 April 2009 up to 31 March 2023, there have been 182 cases referred to the CPS by the police that have been recorded as assisted suicide. Of these 182 cases, 125 were not proceeded with by the CPS and 35 cases were withdrawn by the police.
There are currently four ongoing cases. Four cases of encouraging or assisting suicide have been successfully prosecuted. One case of assisted suicide was charged and acquitted after trial in May 2015 and eight cases were referred onwards for prosecution for homicide or other serious crime.
The CPS collects data to assist in the effective management of its prosecution functions. The CPS does not collect data that constitutes official statistics as defined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Official statistics relating to sentencing, criminal court proceedings, offenders brought to justice, the courts and the judiciary are maintained by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).