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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.

A Vision for the CPS 2015

What will we be?

A high-performing, streamlined prosecution service relentlessly focused on quality and respected for its professionalism.

We will be confident and strong

Our prosecutors will be trusted, making sound prosecution decisions without unnecessary referral. They will be well-prepared for court and will challenge others who are not.

All our staff will be ready to solve problems and take responsibility.

We will exert our influence with our justice partners to deliver whole-system efficiencies and improvements.

We will be independent in our decision-making

We will take all prosecution decisions free from improper influence and in the interests of justice.

We will respect and stand up for the rights of victims.

We will engage positively with our justice partners.

But our casework decisions will be our own.

We will be transparent, accountable and fair

We will explain our decisions and account for the service we deliver.

We will treat our staff fairly and with respect and dignity, embedding a 'One CPS' philosophy in all our teams.

Our staff will have clearly defined career options and the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

We will be efficient

We will reduce expenditure through embedding a culture of cost-consciousness at every level and getting best value for money.

We will simplify our policies and processes, making prosecutions as straightforward as possible.

We will deliver year-on-year improvements in efficiency and economy by streamlining our business processes and optimising our use of IT.

We will work with our criminal justice partners to develop and deliver an efficient and effective criminal justice system.