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.
CPS 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 four 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 Jaswant Narwal, supported by two Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutors: Joanna Coleman (Crown Courts) and Sarah Maclaren (Magistrates' Courts).
In the financial year 2017-18, CPS Thames and Chiltern prosecuted 27,524 cases in Magistrates' Courts and 4,664 cases in Crown Courts. The conviction rate for this period was 84.3% in Magistrates' Courts and 81.1% in Crown Courts.
Our 289 staff are based in St Albans, Reading and Liverpool, and are structured into teams responsible for cases in the Magistrates' Courts, 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.
Executive Team Toggle accordion
Jaswant Kaur Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor
Jaswant Kaur Narwal took up the post of Chief Crown Prosecutor in CPS Thames and Chiltern, in October 2018.
Jaswant has been with the Crown Prosecution Service since 1989 and, following a successful scholarship, qualified as a barrister in 1993.
Much of her earlier prosecuting career was been spent in London on the frontline prosecuting the full range of offences, later Jaswant became the Head of the Old Bailey Trials Unit handling all homicide cases pan-London. She also handled specialist police complaints and led a team of lawyers reviewing past convictions in cases involving corrupt police officers and handled cases arising out of large scale public disorder.
In 2007, Jaswant was appointed Chief Crown Prosecutor for Lincolnshire and was subsequently promoted to Chief Crown Prosecutor for Sussex in 2010. Following a CPS reorganisation, she went on to become Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the South East Area, with responsibility for operational delivery and the digital working programme. She moved to CPS headquarters in 2013 to take up the national position of Deputy Head of the Central Fraud Division and then later also additionally took on the national role of Deputy Head of Welfare, Rural and Health Division.
Jaswant was the CPS national lead on victims and witnesses and piloted the original victim advocacy scheme at The Old Bailey, which led to the use of victim personal statements nationally in criminal cases. She is now the national lead on youth justice for the CPS. She is the Vice-Chair of the Surrey Criminal Justice Partnership and Vice Chair of the Sussex Criminal Justice Board. Jaswant has also recently been appointed as a Commissioner on a national commission chaired by Baroness Hilary Armstrong, focusing on domestic and sexual abuse against the most marginalised women and girls.
Her special interests include the prosecution of domestic violence, hate crime and honour based violence. Jaswant was named Public Service Lawyer of the Year in the Society of Asian Lawyers Awards in May 2010, shortlisted as a finalist at The Asian Achievers awards in 2015 and appeared in the BBC programme The Prosecutors in 2016.
Rachel Mort - Area Business Manager
Rachel 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)
As 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.
Sarah Maclaren - Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (Magistrates' Court)
As Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern, Sarah Maclaren 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, Sarah 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.
Magistrates’ Court Team Toggle accordion
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.
Crown Court Team Toggle accordion
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.
Complex Casework Unit Toggle accordion
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.