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The Crown Procecution Service

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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was established under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 and started operating in 1986. Although the CPS Work closely with the Police it is an independent body responsible for prosecuting criminal cases. The CPS is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP). Across England and Wales the CPS has 42 areas which are divided into 15 regional groups. A Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) is responsible for prosecutions in each area. The main role of the CPS is to prosecute people charged with criminal offences provided the cases pass the evidential test and public interest test. The CPS also gives the police advice on matters related to their investigation of crime and deciding on what offence should be charged. They also review prosecutions started or referred to them by the police to ensure that the defendants are prosecuted on the right charges before the right court. Another responsibility of the CPS is to prepare cases for court and present cases in front of a court. ...read more.


Factors against prosecution could include; the offence was committed as a result of a mistake or misunderstanding or the damage caused as a result of the offence was minor or the court may impose a small penalty. If the common public interest factors against prosecution outweigh those in favour of prosecution then case fails the test and cannot be taken further despite how serious or important it is. If the case passes both the evidential and the public interest test the CPS will prosecute. The use of the two stage test is effective in that adequate evidence is needed to prosecute and this can avoid prosecution of innocent individuals.Another advantage of the two stage test is that a lot of time and money can be saved in discounting cases that fail the test. On the other hand some serious cases can be discontinued for failing the test even though the defendants are known to be guilty. Therefore resulting in injustice. The CPS has been criticised for the number of cases it has decided to discontinue prosecuting. ...read more.


On the other hand from 2005-2006 the CPS prosecuted over a million defendants in the Magistrate court of which 82.8 percent resulted in a conviction and nearly a hundred thousand in the Crown Court of which 77.2 percent where convicted. This indicates that using the two stage test has helped to reduced discontinuation of cases. Working closely with the police saves time and has created better working practices between the Police and the CPS. The Crown Prosecution Inspectorate has a statutory duty to inspect each CPS area every two years this helps to maintain a good standard of service. There is also diversity training for staff to promote race equality. The CPS plays a vital role in the criminal justice system together with the police and the courts. There are some successes in terms of performance such as fewer discontinued cases and less delays. There are also failures in preparation of cases and discontinuance of cases. There have been numerous reports from the Glidewell report, Narey report and the Public Accounts Committee stating faults and failings of the CPS despite the Code of Practice, reorganisation, and pilot schemes. This shows that there is still room for improvement ...read more.

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