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Feedback and complaints

Feedback and Complaints

Whether you have had a good or bad experience with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), we want to hear from you.

When you tell us about good experiences it helps us identify good practice and encourages us to improve our service.

If you have had a bad experience, you can make a complaint (if you are directly involved in the matter about which you wish to complain) or give us negative feedback (if you are not directly involved in the matter).

If you want to complain, the first thing to do is to talk to your local CPS or the member of staff involved. They will try to resolve the problem immediately.

You can also complain to us directly.

Complaints Policy

We will:

  1. Listen to what you say.
  2. Investigate the problem.
  3. Where we have made a mistake, we will:
    1. Admit it.
    2. Apologise.
    3. Take action to stop it happening again.
  4. If we conclude that we have not made a mistake, we will explain our reasons to you.
  5. If you are not happy with our explanation, we will tell you how you can take the complaint further.

We will deal with feedback and complaints sensitively, fairly and thoroughly.

Find out more about our Complaints Policy

What can I complain about?

Two women discussing a document

If you have had direct contact with the CPS and feel that the experience was bad, you can complain about it.

Sometimes people complain to us about problems with other criminal justice agencies for example, concerns about the handling of an investigation, which is the responsibility of the police or problems at court that are the responsibility of the court service.

In these cases, we will tell you how to send your complaint to the right organisation.

Sometimes problems involve more than one organisation for example, the police and the CPS.

In these cases, we will try to sort out the problem and we will work with the other organisation to provide a joint reply if we can.

How long do I have to complain?

stopwatch

You should complain about a problem as soon as possible.

We do not deal with complaints made about things that happened more than six months ago.

Who can complain?

If you have had direct contact with the CPS, you can make a complaint.

The complaint can be made by you or by someone you ask (in writing) to make the complaint such as:

  • a member of your family
  • a support group
  • a legal adviser.

If you want to complain about something that happened to someone else, then we will try to give you an explanation. We will only do this if it does not affect the confidentiality of the people directly involved in the complaint or for other legal reasons. We will record your concerns as negative feedback.

How to give us feedback or make a complaint

You can send us your feedback or complaint online or by post.

What happens to my complaint?

When you complain to us, we will:

Stage 1

  1. Record your complaint.
  2. We will let you know we have received your complaint. We aim to do this within three working days.
  3. Send your complaint to the manager at the office where the problem happened.
  4. Investigate your complaint.
  5. If we have made a mistake, we will:
    1. Admit the mistake.
    2. Apologise.
    3. Take action to prevent the mistake from happening again.
  6. If we feel we have not made a mistake, we will explain our decision to you.
  7. We aim to do this within 20 working days of receiving your complaint.

Stage 2

  1. If you are not satisfied with our explanation, you must tell us within one month of receiving our explanation (we decline to deal with complaints made outside this timescale). Your complaint will be reviewed by a senior manager:
    1. For legal decisions, this will be the local Chief Crown Prosecutor.
    2. For other issues this will usually be the Area Business Manager or other senior manager.
  2. The senior manager will review the decisions taken and decide if they agree or disagree with the action taken.
  3. The senior manager will explain their decision to you.

Stage 3

  1. If you are not satisfied with the response from the senior manager, you must tell us within one month of receiving our explanation at stage two (we decline to deal with complaints made outside this timescale). Your complaint may be passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Chief Executive or a senior manager nominated by them.
  2. You should tell us why you are not satisfied with the decisions we have taken and why the matter should be reviewed again. You must do this in writing.
  3. The Director of Public Prosecutions or the Chief Executive may ask for a full review of the complaint.
  4. You should receive a response within 40 working days.
  5. This is the end of the formal CPS complaints procedure.

The Attorney General's Office

  1. If you remain unhappy with the way your complaint has been handled, you can refer it to the Attorney General's office.
  2. The Attorney General will not review the decision we have made.
  3. The Attorney General will only decide if we have handled the complaint correctly according to our complaints policy and procedures.