Charging and CPS Direct
Working closely with police colleagues as The Prosecution Team, Statutory Charging has been operating successfully on a national basis since 2006.
Operating at the very heart of the criminal justice system, CPS prosecutors are responsible for determining the charge in the more serious and complex cases, building strong cases from the start. The police retain the responsibility for deciding the charge in the remaining criminal cases (approximately 72%).
As the national charging service for the CPS, CPS Direct provides the majority of CPS charging decisions to the police. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, CPS Direct has a network of dedicated Duty Prosecutors based across England and Wales.
Evidence is transmitted digitally between the police and the CPS, and officers can access 'real time' advice via the telephone; in some cases officers can receive a response electronically.
For large scale or sensitive cases, such as sexual offences, CPS Area prosecutors will provide police officers with advice and charging decisions by way of face-to-face, telephone or digital consultations.