The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the main prosecuting authority in England and Wales. In our daily operations we work in partnership with all agencies in the criminal justice system. We work especially closely with the police, although we are independent of them.
The CPS has 14 Areas across England and Wales - the CPS Wessex Region consists of the counties of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and Wiltshire.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Joanne Jakymec is the head of CPS Wessex, supported by Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Nicola Haywood.
Denise Meldrum, the Area Business Manager has responsibility for Business and Operational Delivery functions across the region.
We currently employ 219 members of staff, including lawyers, paralegals, administrators and specialist staff.
Our Senior Management team, Business Centre, Crown Court, Crown Advocacy Support team and Complex Casework Unit are based in Eastleigh.
We also have a team of in-house Crown Advocates and court support legal staff covering the three counties.
Executive Team Toggle accordion
Joanne Jakymec, Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS Wessex
Joanne qualified as a barrister in 1998 and joined HM Customs and Excise Solicitors Office two years later. She went on to become a Senior Prosecutor and Team Leader in the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office Serious Organised Crime Division.
In 2011, Joanne was appointed Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor and Head of Organised Crime in the CPS. She was responsible for the prosecution of serious organised crime investigated by the National Crime Agency and other law enforcement partners in England and Wales.
Joanne has also worked in CPS London as a Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, leading on disclosure, advocacy and the prosecution of Crown Court cases.
In June 2017, Joanne became the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex.
Nicola Haywood, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor
Nicola qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and worked as a criminal defence advocate in Bristol before joining CPS Bristol in 2001. Nicola became a Higher Court Advocate in 2004, prosecuting cases across the South West, and then joined the Complex Casework Unit in Bristol.
By November 2013, Nicola was promoted to Head of the Complex Casework Unit in CPS South West, prosecuting the most serious and complex cases in the area. She went on to become temporary Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor in CPS South West, with specific responsibility for the Crown Court Units across the area.
Nicola returned to CPS Wessex in June 2017 as temporary Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor.
Denise Meldrum, Area Business Manager
Denise has worked for the CPS since October 1986. She started her career as an Administrator covering magistrates' court work. She has had a varied career, working as a Paralegal Officer, Branch Office Manager, plus other roles.
She spent 18 months in private practice before coming back to the CPS as Area Business Manager for Hampshire and Isle of Wight in 2002.
On 1 April 2011 Denise became Area Business Manager for Wessex.
Magistrates’ Court Team Toggle accordion
Our Magistrates’ court team is mainly based at our Portsmouth Offices, with two support teams based at our Chippenham and Eastleigh offices. They are responsible for prosecuting a wide range of offences, generally those for which the maximum sentence is six months' imprisonment.
Casework includes domestic abuse, assaults, hate crimes, criminal damage, minor public order incidents, minor traffic offences (excluding those dealt with by the police as police-led prosecutions), possession of drugs, dangerous dog offences and commercial burglaries.
Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit Toggle accordion
Our Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit is a dedicated specialist team which prosecutes cases such as rape, serious sexual assaults and child abuse. The lawyers in this team, which is based in our Portsmouth office, are all specially trained and fully understand the sensitivities of prosecuting cases of this nature.
Complex Casework Unit Toggle accordion
The CPS Wessex Complex Casework Unit handles our most serious and high profile cases. These can include murders, large-scale child abuse or abduction.