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Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division (SCCTD)

The CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division deals with some of our most high profile and demanding cases.

There are three operational units within SCCTD:

    Special Crime

    The team deals with sensitive cases such as deaths in custody, election offences and corporate manslaughter. As well as the police, they work alongside specialist investigators from organisations including the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Health and Safety Executive.

    Special Crime lawyers advise on and, where appropriate, prosecute some of the most sensitive and demanding cases across England and Wales. As well as high profile cases such as prosecutions related to the Hillsborough disaster, they manage cases which involve criminal allegations against police officers following investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. 

    The team has offices in York and London but the following types of cases will be referred to Special Crime from across England and Wales:

    • disasters
    • deaths in custody or following police contact
    • assisted suicide 
    • serious criminal allegations against police officers 
    • corporate manslaughter 
    • gross negligence medical manslaughter 
    • election offences 
    • cases involving high profile individuals such as MPs 
    • criminal allegations against CPS and National Crime Agency (NCA) employees, and 
    • leaks of confidential information by public officials to journalists

    The needs of victims and witnesses are a priority for us and it is now our practice, in appropriate cases, to invite victims or their families to meetings so we can update them on the progress of their cases and, once a decision is made, to explain its basis and answer any questions they may have.

    Counter Terrorism

    The majority of the team’s work involves prosecuting terrorism cases, which have rapidly increased in number and complexity in recent years. They also deal with all allegations of incitement to racial and religious hatred, war crimes and crimes against humanity, official secrets cases, piracy and hijacking. 

    The Counter Terrorism Division is responsible for prosecuting all terrorism crimes and terrorist related offences in England and Wales. The Division has expanded in recent years, in response to the increase in the number, and complexity of cases. Terrorism offences are distinct from other types of crime in that individuals who commit them have political, religious racial and/or ideological motivations. The team works alongside specialist units in the Metropolitan Police, and are four other police Counter Terrorism Units (CTUs) around the country.

    While the majority of the Division’s caseload involves terrorism offences, it also deals with all allegations of:

    • incitement to racial and religious hatred 
    • stirring up hatred based on sexual orientation 
    • war crimes and crimes against humanity 
    • official secrets cases and 
    • piracy and hijacking.

    This team provides a specialist service to the three most senior appellate courts in England and Wales - the Court of Appeal, the Administrative Court and the Supreme Court. They deal with judicial reviews, appeals against conviction or sentence and support the Attorney General’s Office in the Unduly Lenient Sentence appeals. ARU also has responsibility for the formal review stage of the Victims' Right to Review (VRR) Scheme.

    The unit:

    • conducts judicial reviews and case stated appeals in the Administrative Court in which the CPS is named as party, including judicial reviews of decisions made by local CPS Areas to prosecute or not to prosecute a case
    • conducts the majority of appeals against conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal, and
    • supports the Attorney General's Office in the administration of Unduly Lenient Sentence appeals
    • has responsibility for the centralised, formal review stage of the Victims' Right to Review (VRR) Scheme.

    ARU cases involve the practice of specialist civil as well as criminal law and procedure. They are often high profile, sensitive cases which can have an impact upon the development of case law and the wider criminal justice system as well as on the lives of the individuals directly involved.

    The VRR Scheme gives victims of crime and bereaved families a clear mechanism through which they can obtain a full reconsideration of certain decisions not to proceed with their case. The ARU is responsible for conducting these independent reviews in VRR cases where local resolution has not been possible.

    Executive team of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division

    Nick Price

    Nick Price profile photoNick Price is Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division. 

    Nick previously led the International Justice and Organised Crime Division and, before that, CPS Proceeds of Crime, a team of 150 staff tasked with restraining and confiscating criminal assets both within England and Wales and internationally. Before that, he was the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor in the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, the largest CPS Area outside London, responsible for 90,000 Criminal Prosecutions annually.

    Nick joined CPS from the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body responsible for investigating alleged miscarriage of justice cases in England and Wales. Whilst at the Commission Nick investigated a number of complex and high profile cases, including complex fraud, human rights, terrorism, homicide and large scale organised crime.

    Nick was called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1998. He has a Masters degree In Criminal Litigation awarded by the Inns of Court School of Law, London. Prior to joining the CCRC he had a busy private practice at the criminal bar, both Prosecuting and Defending.

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