Thames and Chiltern

The Crown Prosecution Service is the main prosecuting authority in England and Wales, and was set up in 1986 to prosecute criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

Thames Chiltern mapCPS Thames and Chiltern is one of 14 CPS Areas and covers three police force areas; Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Thames Valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) and serves a population of approximately 4 million.

Our aim is to be a service that is confident and independent, efficient and effective, becoming truly world class.

Everything that we do aims to support victims and witnesses, deliver justice for all, and make our communities safer. We work in partnership with our police forces, but are independent of them.

CPS Thames and Chiltern is led by Chief Crown Prosecutor Adrian Foster, supported by two Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutors (Joanna Coleman (Crown) and Adele Kelly (Magistrates). 

In the financial year 2016-17, CPS Thames and Chiltern prosecuted 30,663 cases in Magistrates' Courts and 5,094 cases in Crown Courts. The conviction rate for this period was 83.3% in Magistrates' Courts and 77.6% in Crown Courts.

Our 284 staff are based in St Albans and Reading, and are structured into teams responsible for cases in the Magistrates' Courts and Crown Courts, specialist casework, and central business functions.

The Area Business Centre houses experts in finance; performance; communications; human resources and learning and development; health and safety, security and estates; change and assurance, and inclusion and community engagement.

CPS Thames and Chiltern business plan, 2017-2018

The CPS Thames and Chiltern Business Plan sets out the strategic objectives for the Area in 2017-18.

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Adrian Foster - Chief Crown Prosecutor

Adrian Foster_Thames and Chiltern_web.jpgAs Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for CPS Thames and Chiltern, Adrian Foster is responsible for all prosecutions in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Thames Valley. In the financial year 2016-17, CPS Thames and Chiltern prosecuted 30,663 cases in Magistrates' Courts and 5,094 cases in Crown Courts. The conviction rate for this period was 83.3% in Magistrates' Courts and 77.6% in Crown Courts.

Adrian says: "The key objectives going forward for the Area are to deliver a high-quality service to the public in line with the CPS 2020 priorities, the CPS vision and values and the Area Business Plan, whilst focusing on digital working, and the efficiency agenda. We also aim to improve public confidence in the local communities that we serve."

 

Rachel Mort - Area Business Manager

Rachel Mort profile photoRachel is the Area Business Manager, who reports to the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Adrian Foster. The Area Business Manager is a key visible leader, who is responsible for delivering the strategic and operational business across the Area. She is accountable for the overall people and financial management of the Area and is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of all operational business systems, including adherence to national standard operating procedures (SOPs), the change agenda and the transformation of the service through digital working.

Working closely with the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Rachel ensures continuous performance improvement and quality of service. The role provides leadership and strategic direction internally, and by working with key criminal justice partners, local communities and stakeholders drives forward improvements in the local criminal justice system.

Joanna Coleman - Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (Crown Court)

Joanna Coleman - Deputy Chief Crown ProsecutorAs Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern, Joanna Coleman is responsible for Crown Court performance across the Area. She also has responsibility for a number of thematics in which she provides support to the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Adrian Foster, which include Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), Rape, fatal cases, firearms, Proceeds of Crime, and Unduly Lenient Sentences.

Working closely with the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Joanna ensures continuous performance improvement and quality of service for Crown Court cases. She also works closely with key criminal justice partners, local communities and stakeholders.

Adele Kelly - Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (Magistrates' Court)

Adele Kelly - Deputy Chief Crown ProsecutorAs Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern, Adele Kelly is responsible for Magistrates' Court performance across the Area. She also has responsibility for a number of thematics in which she provides support to the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Adrian Foster, which include Domestic Violence, Road Traffic, Hate Crime, Stalking and Harassment, Custody Time Limits, and Youths.

Working closely with the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Adele ensures continuous performance improvement and quality of service for Magistrates' Court cases. She also works closely with key criminal justice partners, local communities and stakeholders.

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The Magistrates’ Court Team prosecutes offences including assaults, domestic abuse, criminal damage, possession of drugs, public order, commercial burglary, and minor traffic offences (excluding those dealt with by the police as Police-Led Prosecutions).

This is not an exhaustive list, but this team is generally responsible for offences where the maximum permitted sentence for each offence does not exceed six months imprisonment, or one year if two or more relevant offences are to be considered.

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The Crown Court Unit deals with cases such as murder, robberies, serious assaults, dwelling house burglaries, complex fraud, the supply and trafficking of drugs and the most serious road traffic offences, especially those that result in a fatality. 

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Our Complex Casework Unit is a team of experienced specialist lawyers, paralegal officers and administrators who work in collaboration with our three police forces to tackle serious, organised, and cross border crime across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire. The Unit advises and guides the police during these complex and major investigations.

Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Team Toggle accordion

Our dedicated Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) team deals with rape cases, including attempted rape, child sexual abuse cases, serious sexual offences and allegations of perverting the course of justice or wasting police time which arise from false accusations of rape and domestic violence.

Specially trained lawyers offer specialist legal advice, decision making and support to victims of these crimes. The RASSO Team works closely with a number of other organisations, including the police, to improve the service that is offered to the victims of rape, child sexual abuse, and all other serious sexual offences.

Latest news

Introductory video from CCP Adrian Foster

Hello, and welcome to the CPS Thames and Chiltern website. 

I'm Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor. I have responsibility for prosecuting most criminal cases across five counties: Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire - which form the Thames Valley Police force area - and Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, which have their own police forces. Every year, we prosecute about 38,000 cases across those areas. We prosecute about five-and-a-half thousand of those in the Crown Court - the most serious cases - and we have an eight-in-ten success rate: 80% of our cases are successful. 

I have a number of specialist lawyer teams dealing with the most serious casework and also a specialist legal team that deals with Rape and Serious Sexual Offences, and we have a particular priority in terms of other offending - Domestic Violence is one of those; Hate Crimes involving: race; religion; disability; Hostility based on sexual orientation; we take particularly seriously - and we make sure we have the Proceeds of Crime from criminals - we make sure that we get that back for the public, because it's the public we prosecute for. Individual victims and witnesses are taken into account - we do need them to give their very best evidence in court - and they are supported throughout the process. 

Our website has a number of links to what we do and to previous cases, so I'd ask you to explore it as best you can, and if you have any direct feedback, please use the Feedback and Complaints link on the website. 

Thank you.

Working with You

CPS Thames and Chiltern is committed to building relationships and working with our local communities and partners. This involves us explaining our role and promoting awareness on how we make decisions to maintain public confidence in us and the criminal justice system.

Our work on improving services to victims of Domestic Abuse is being taken forward by working with the Thames Valley Domestic Abuse Forum. In Hertfordshire, we are involved in work to support victims of Honour Based Abuse. Two posts have been awarded funding by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to support the BME and Traveller communities in Hertfordshire. In Bedfordshire, the CPS has worked as a key partner on the Hate Crime Partnership. The Partnership commissioned Milton Keynes Equality Council to deliver Disability Hate Crime training to frontline professionals in a multi-agency context, which was recently completed.

Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel

The Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel (LSIP) is the main mechanism through which the CPS engages with communities and partners. It gives us an opportunity to meet community and public sector partners and for them to influence our decision making, particularly on priority issues such as hate crime and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) prosecutions. The panel’s subsequent recommendations enable the CPS to make improvements to how it prosecutes such cases. Feedback on wider CPS business received from the LSIP also helps performance improvements.

The panel has been operating effectively for nine years and is attended by senior managers from the CPS. Chief Crown Prosecutor, Adrian Foster, chairs the LSIP Strategic Business meeting. Members are consulted on national and local priorities for example consultation on the CPS Hate Crime policies, our proposed 2017-18 Business Plan, Social Media guidelines, and Area performance on victim and witness withdrawal during court proceedings.

LSIP feedback has impacted positively on numerous casework issues including improved file endorsements, referral of certain cases to senior managers, and more timely submission of special measures applications.

The LSIP consists of representatives from voluntary sector organisations and individual members of the community. The Citizens Advice Bureau, representation from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, professionals working in the field of domestic abuse, faith communities, and individuals who have an interest in criminal justice, and would like to make a positive difference, make up our LSIP.

Public sector partners are also represented on the panel and include representatives from the three police forces across the CPS Thames and Chiltern Area (Thames Valley, Hertfordshire, and Bedfordshire), the courts, and local councils.

From time to time, we will refresh the membership on the LSIP by recruiting new panel members from local communities and organisations. If you would like to be considered to take up this voluntary role you will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and undergo security vetting. 

Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager

All public enquiries, including interest in joining LSIP, for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire should be directed to the CPS Thames and Chiltern Area Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager:

Inderpal Kaur-Singh photoInder Kaur-Singh
Telephone: 0118 908 2509
Mobile: 07769 258088
Email: inderpal.kaur-singh@cps.gov.uk
Email: ThamesChiltern.contact@cps.gov.uk

 

Victims and Witnesses

Witness Care Units

Each Witness Care Unit is staffed by a team of police witness care officers, who provide a single point of contact for victims and witnesses throughout the life of a case; from when the defendant is charged through to sentencing. Witness care officers provide valuable information, practical help and support to victims and witnesses to help them through the, sometimes difficult, process of giving evidence at court.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Witness Care Unit

Witness Care Officers for Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary work within the joint Administration of Justice (AOJ) Unit based at Hatfield police station in Hertfordshire.

Contact details:
Telephone: 01707 806073 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, or 101 out of office hours
Email: BCHCriminalJustice@herts.pnn.police.uk

Thames Valley Witness Care Unit

Witness Care Officers for Thames Valley Police are based at Reading police station in Berkshire.

Contact details:
Telephone: 01865 845 384 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, or 101 out of office hours.
Email: witnesscareunit.TV@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Victim Liaison Unit

As part of our commitment to supporting victims, we have dedicated Victim Liaison Units (VLU). Whilst CPS prosecutors remain responsible for their prosecution decisions, the VLU is responsible for ensuring that victims are informed about CPS decisions to stop or to significantly change the charges. 

Where the decision has not been communicated directly to the victim at court by the prosecutor, the VLU will write to the victim providing a short summary of the reasons for the decision. Thereafter, the victim can contact the VLU for further details or explanation.

CPS Thames and Chiltern has a joint regional VLU with CPS London and CPS South East, which is based in London.

You can contact the VLU through the following methods:

By post:
Regional Victim Liaison Unit
Crown Prosecution Service 
Rose Court 
2 Southwark Bridge 
London, SE1 9HS

By email: London.VLU@cps.gov.uk

Victims' Right to Review and Feedback or Complaints

VRR / Complaints Co-ordinator
CPS Thames and Chiltern
Eaton Court
112 Oxford Road
Reading
Berkshire, RG1 7LL

Telephone: 0118 951 3676 (this is a voicemail facility, so please leave a message and someone will call you back within two working days)
Email:ThameschilternVRRandComplaints@cps.gov.uk

If a Crown Prosecutor decides not to bring charges, discontinues proceedings or offers no evidence in a case, you have the right to request that we review that decision under the Victims' Right to Review Scheme.

If you have a complaint that does not fall within the VRR scheme this will be dealt with through our existing complaints procedures.

When contacting the CPS please include as much information as possible, such as the unique reference number (URN), the name(s) of the defendant(s), the nature and date(s) of the offence(s), the court that dealt with the case, the date(s) of any hearing(s) and the police force that investigated the offence(s).

Please note that the scheme applies only in relation to qualifying decisions made on or after 5 June 2013.

Victims' Right to Review Scheme

Contact us

Area Headquarters and Area Business Centre
Eaton Court
112 Oxford Road
Reading
Berkshire, RG1 7LL
Switchboard: 01727 798700
Email: ThamesChiltern.ABC@cps.gov.uk

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Office (including Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Team)
Queen's House 
58 Victoria Street
St Albans, AL1 3HZ
Switchboard: 01727 798700
Email:
Magistrates' Court cases: HertsBedsMCT@cps.gov.uk
Crown Court cases: StAlbansGateway.CCT@cps.gov.uk
Rape and Serious Sexual Offences cases: ThamesChiltern.PreCharge@cps.gov.uk

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Office (including Complex Casework Unit)
Eaton Court
112 Oxford Road
Reading
Berkshire, RG1 7LL
Switchboard: 01727 798700
Email:
Magistrates' Court cases: ThamesValleyMCT@cps.gov.uk 
Crown Court cases: TVGateway.CCT@cps.gov.uk
Complex Casework Unit cases: ThamesChiltern.CCU@cps.gov.uk

When contacting the CPS please include as much information as possible, such as the unique reference number (URN), the name(s) of the defendant(s), the nature and date(s) of the offence(s), the court that dealt with the case, the date(s) of any hearing(s) and the police force that investigated the offence(s).

News Centre

All local / regional media enquiries for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire should be directed to the

Louise_Rosher.jpgCPS Thames and Chiltern Area Communications Manager
Louise Rosher
Telephone: 0118 951 3640
Email to Louise.Rosher@cps.gov.uk

The above contact details are for local/regional journalists and CPS Thames and Chiltern website enquiries only.

If you are a member of the national media, please call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906 or email cps.pressoffice@cps.gov.uk. Out of hours: 07590 617233 for emergency queries only.

Contact Information for the defence

The following email addresses are for the sole use of defence firms that are on the Criminal Justice Secure email system (CJSM).

When sending new CJSM account emails to CPS addresses, or sending reply emails to CPS email addresses, you should ensure that the cjsm.net suffix appears at the end of your from email address and the end of the email address you are sending to, so that the email remains secure.

Please note; if you have sent an email from any account other than a CJSM account we will not be able to reply with any protected information regarding a case.

Please ensure that the following information is provided in your email:

SUBJECT BOX - Unique Reference Number (URN) and court centre. 
BODY OF EMAIL - Defendant's name, date of birth, date of hearing and nature of request. 

Failure to include this information will result in a delay processing your email.

All requests for Initial Detail of Presentation Cases (IDPC), except overnight remand cases, should be emailed to the appropriate address below depending on the County of the court venue:
Beds.FirstHearing@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net 
Herts.FirstHearing@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net
TVMCT.FirstHearing@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net

All requests for IDPC for overnight remand cases should be emailed to TC.Overnights@cps.gov.uk (no additional mailboxes need to be copied in). This overnight mailbox is to be used only in relation to cases in the remand court and not for routine service of IDPC on bailed/TSJ cases.

We shall endeavour to email the IDPC bundle to you within two clear working days of the hearing.

For any other Magistrates' Court case queries after the first hearing please email the appropriate address below depending on the County of the court venue:
For Berks, Bucks and Oxon cases: ThamesValleyMCT@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net
For Herts and Beds cases: HertsBedsMCT@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net

If your query relates to a defendant who has appeared in court for a first appearance at the Magistrates' Court and it has been sent to the Crown Court then please email the appropriate address below depending on the court venue/team dealing with the case:

For Reading, Oxford, Aylesbury and Amersham Crown Court cases: TVGateway.CCT@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net
For St Albans and Luton Crown Court cases: StAlbansGateway.CCT@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net
If the case relates to a Complex Casework Unit prosecution please email: ThamesChiltern.CCU@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net
If the case relates to a Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Team prosecution please email: ThamesChiltern.PreCharge@cps.gov.uk.cjsm.net