Crown Prosecution Service


What we do

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the principal prosecuting authority for England and Wales, acting independently in criminal cases investigated by the police and others.

The CPS:

  • decides which cases should be prosecuted – keeping them all under continuous review;
  • determines the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases – advising the police during the early stages of investigations;
  • prepares cases and presents them at court - using a range of in-house advocates, self-employed advocates or agents in court; and
  • provides information, assistance and support to victims and prosecution witnesses.

In helping deliver justice across England and Wales, through prosecuting crime independently and effectively, the CPS provides leadership within a criminal justice system that is undergoing significant reform.

The CPS was established in 1986, under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985,and the way in which it undertakes its role is governed by two key documents:

Our mission

Our mission is to deliver justice through the independent and effective prosecution of crime, fostering a culture of excellence by supporting and inspiring each other to be the best we can.

Our values

We will be independent and fair

We will prosecute independently, without bias and will seek to deliver justice in every case.

We will be honest and open

We will explain our decisions, set clear standards about the service the public can expect from us and be honest if we make a mistake.

We will treat everyone with respect

We will respect each other, our colleagues and the public we serve, recognising that there are people behind every case.

We will behave professionally and strive for excellence

We will work as one team, always seeking new and better ways to deliver the best possible service for the public. We will be efficient and responsible with tax-payers' money.