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Crown Prosecutors

Crown Prosecutors are responsible for determining the charge in all but minor cases, advising the police during the early stages of an investigation, reviewing cases submitted by the police for prosecution, preparing cases for court and presenting those cases at court. In each case reviewed, the prosecutor will consider whether there is sufficient evidence and, if so, whether the public interest requires a prosecution. Although Crown Prosecutors work closely with the police, they are responsible to the Crown Prosecution Service, an independent governmental organisation.

Code for Crown Prosecutors

Reconsidering a Prosecution Decision

10.1 People should be able to rely on decisions taken by the CPS. Normally, if the CPS tells a suspect or defendant that there will not be a prosecution, or that the prosecution has been stopped, the case will not start again. But occasionally there are reasons why the CPS will overturn a decision not to prosecute or to deal with the case by way of an out-of-court disposal or when it will restart the prosecution, particularly if the case is serious.

10.2 These reasons include:

  1. cases where a new look at the original decision shows that it was wrong and, in order to maintain confidence in the criminal justice system, a prosecution should be brought despite the earlier decision;
  2. cases which are stopped so that more evidence [which is likely to become available in the fairly near future] can be collected and prepared. In these cases, the prosecutor will tell the defendant that the prosecution may well start again;
  3. cases which are stopped because of a lack of evidence but where more significant evidence is discovered later; and
  4. cases involving a death in which a review following the findings of an inquest concludes that a prosecution should be brought, notwithstanding any earlier decision not to prosecute.