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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is an independent body created by the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 and works closely with the police.
As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, the CPS is responsible for:
- Advising the police on cases for possible prosecution.
- Reviewing cases submitted by the police.
- Where the decision is to prosecute, determine the charge in all but minor cases.
- Preparing cases for court
- Presentation of cases at court.
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
The CPS is divided into 42 geographical areas which correspond with the boundaries of police forces in England and Wales (the CPS London area covers the both the City of London and Metropolitan Police Forces). Each area is headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor who is responsible for prosecutions within the area. In London the Chief Crown Prosecutor is supported by Sector Directors.
ARTICLE LAST UPDATED: 03/09/2007