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Complaints Procedure Guidance

Making enquiries or complaints to the Crown Prosecution Service


Introduction

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is responsible for prosecuting nearly all criminal cases in England and Wales, following investigations by the police.

We are completely independent of the police although we work closely with them at all times.

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Enquiries

General queries

The CPS Public Enquiry Point can provide general information on the CPS and advice on who to contact. The Unit cannot give legal advice but may be able to offer you practical information.

Tel: 020 7796 8500 between 9am and 5pm weekdays (calls may be recorded). Outside these hours you may record a message.

e-mail for general enquiries: enquiries@cps.gsi.gov.uk
e-mail for complaints: complaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk

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Policy queries

CPS Policy: Tel: 020 7796 8000

e-mail: HQPolicy@cps.gsi.gov.uk

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Personnel queries

CPS Human Resources: Tel: 020 7796 8000

e-mail: hr.advice@cps.gsi.gov.uk

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Publications queries

CPS Publicity: Tel: 020 7796 8442

50 Ludgate Hill
London
EC4M 7EX

e-mail: publicity.branch@cps.gsi.gov.uk

Our Communications Branch offers a range of free publications about the CPS.

Publications and other useful information can also be found on this website.

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Complaints

We aim to deal with complaints sensitively, fairly and in confidence. If your complaint is justified we will apologise, try to put the matter right, and take steps to ensure it does not happen again.

We will try to reply to your complaint within three working days of receiving your letter.

If we cannot send you a full reply within that time, we will ackowledge receipt of your letter and aim to send a full reply within 10 working days.

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Procedure for making a complaint

If you wish to complain about the way a case was handled, you should write to the CPS office that originally dealt with it.

Include as much information as possible, such as the name of the defendant, the nature and date(s) of any 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).

If you are not satisfied with the reply you receive from the local office, you should contact the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Area in question. He or she will take up your complaint and write back to you.

If you are still not satisfied, you should contact:

CPS Correspondence Unit
50 Ludgate Hill
London EC4M 7EX

Tel: 020 7796 8500 (calls may be recorded)
Fax: 020 7796 8680

e-mail: complaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk

Complaints which cannot be resolved satisfactorily at an Area level, are referred, through the Correspondence Unit, to the Director of Public Prosecutions or Chief Executive. He or she will consider personally whether to refer the complaint to another senior member of staff to provide a reply, or to a member of the Correspondence Unit, who will draft a reply for the Director, or Chief Executive's approval.

The Correspondence Unit will not usually consider a complaint relating to an ongoing case, as this may prejudice any court proceedings.

Your local Citizen's Advice Bureau may be able to advise you about other means of pursuing your complaint, or you could write to your local MP

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Complaints against an HQ Directorate

If your complaint relates to a matter handled by a Headquarters Directorate, you should in the first instance write to the head of the relevant division at:

50 Ludgate Hill
London EC4M 7EX

If you are not satisfied with this reply, you should put your concerns in writing to the relevant Headquarters Director, again at the above address.

If you remain dissatisfied, you may then address your concerns to the Correspondence Unit.

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Further information

The criminal justice system is made up of a number of agencies. They include the following, listed with contact details, which may be useful if you are seeking any further information.

The Home Office: Public Enquiry Service

020 7035 4848
www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Ministry of Justice

020 7210 8500
www.justice.gov.uk

Her Majesty’s Court Service

www.hm-courts-service.gov.uk

Criminal Justice System

www.cjsonline.gov.uk

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)

020 7084 8950
www.acpo.police.uk

National Office of Victim Support:

020 7268 0200
www.victimsupport.org.uk

National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders

020 7840 7200
www.nacro.org.uk

Independent Police Complaints Commission:

08453 002 002
www.ipcc.gov.uk

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