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Crown Prosecution Service


The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in England and Wales. The CPS are independent and make impartial decisions that are separate from the police and government.

The CPS:

  • decides which cases should be prosecuted;
  • determines the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases, and advises the police during the early stages of investigations;
  • prepares cases and presents them at court; and
  • provides information, assistance and support to victims and prosecution witnesses.


It is advisable to contact the officer in the case / investigating officer in the first instance and inform them of your concerns. They will be able to answer any questions you may have, if not, they will seek advice from the CPS if appropriate.


If you are a victim and you want to request a review of a CPS decision not to bring charges, discontinue proceedings or offer no evidence in a case, you have a right to do so under the Victim's Right to Review Scheme.

This scheme enables victims to seek a review of a CPS decision:

  • Not to charge.
  • To discontinue (or withdraw in the Magistrates' Court) all charges thereby ending all proceedings.
  • To offer no evidence in all proceedings.
  • To leave all charges in the proceedings to 'lie on file' (this is the term used in circumstances where the CPS makes a decision not to proceed and requests that the charges be allowed 'to lie on the file' marked 'not to be proceeded with without the leave of this Court or the Court of Appeal').

Please note however that the scheme applies only in relation to qualifying decisions made on or after the 5th of June 2013. In the first instance, you will need to contact the office where the decision was made. You should normally submit your request within ten working days from the date of the communication of the decision, in order to ensure a prompt review. However, the scheme can be exercised for up to three months after the communication decision.

Any delay beyond the three months will only be allowed in exceptional circumstance taking into account the facts of the individual case.

When the CPS received your request for review, the decision will be checked by a prosecutor who has not been involved with the case previously and they will ensure that you have been provided with a clear and detailed explanation of the decision.

Where the CPS have been unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction at local resolution, the decision will be independently reviewed.

See the links in 'Related Information' further information on the Victim's Right to Review Scheme.

Contact your local police force

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