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Guide to the CPS

The role of the Service is to prosecute cases firmly, fairly and effectively when there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and when it is in the public interest to do so.

To find out more about the Crown Prosecution Service, download our guide to the CPS

This guide is also available in Welsh


The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution;
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police;
  • determining any charges in all but minor cases;
  • preparing cases for court;
  • presenting cases at court.

CPS Vision

The CPS is working to become a world-class, independent prosecuting authority that delivers a valued public service by:

  • Strengthening the prosecution process to bring offenders to justice: providing an independent prosecution service, working with the police from the outset of a case to its disposal; advising the police before charge; building and testing the strongest possible prosecution case and presenting that case fairly in the courts on behalf of the public
  • Championing justice and the rights of victims: assessing the needs of victims and witnesses and their likely evidence from the outset and throughout the life of the case; making sure their experience of the CPS and the CJS encourages them and others to come forward in future to play their part in bringing offenders to justice.
  • Inspiring the confidence of the communities we serve: being visible, open and accountable for our decisions; being responsive to the needs of the community and providing a valuable public service; being seen as the decision-makers who decide which cases should be brought to court and bringing them to justice
  • Driving change and delivery in the Criminal Justice System: as a self-confident leader; influential in delivering local criminal justice and in shaping the CJS of the future
  • Being renowned for fairness, excellent career opportunities and the commitment and skills of all our people: where everyone is treated on merit; where people of ability can rise to the top and where all our people are renowned for their commitment, skills and dedication to justice
  • Having a strong capability to deliver: by transforming HQ support to frontline delivery; securing value for money and efficiencies to reinvest in frontline prosecution services; improving the management of prosecution costs; harnessing IT to support CPS business; and delivering through effective programme and project management.