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North East

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the main prosecuting authority in England and Wales. In our daily operations we work in partnership with all agencies in the criminal justice system. We work especially closely with the police, although we are independent of them.

North East mapThe CPS has 14 Areas/Regions across England and Wales - the CPS North East Area consists of the counties of Northumbria, Tyne and Wear and Cleveland.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Gale Gilchrist is the head of the CPS North East Area.

Ian Brown is the Area Business Manager, with overall responsibility for Business and Operational Delivery functions across the region.

We currently employ 279 staff across the region, working out of our Newcastle and Middlesbrough offices.

The Area is supported by a Business Centre which houses a team of specialists in the fields of performance, finance, human resources, communications and inclusion.

Gale Gilchrist, Chief Crown Prosecutor

Gale started her career in private practice and in 2002, after 10 years defending, joined the CPS as a Senior Crown Prosecutor. Gale then qualified as a Crown Advocate where she enjoyed a number of years doing advocacy in the Crown Court. Gale continued doing this work after joining the Complex Casework Unit, where she became Unit Head in 2013.

Gale moved to the CPS Specialist Fraud Division as a Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor in June 2017, where she worked for two years before spending three years as a Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor in CPS Yorkshire and Humberside. Gale returned home to CPS North East in August of 2022 to begin her current role as Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Area.

Ian Brown, Area Business Manager

Ian joined the CPS in 2008 as Senior Area Business Manager for Northumbria. He has a background in engineering and brings with him many years’ experience in senior leadership roles in the private sector.

Ian is responsible for the business functions of the Area, monitoring performance and overseeing staff management. Working alongside our Chief Crown Prosecutor Gale Gilchrist, his role is to ensure the appropriate resources are in place for the CPS to operate effectively and efficiently.

Our Magistrates’ Court Unit prosecute offences of domestic violence, assaults, criminal damage, minor public disorder incidents, all but the most serious traffic offences, possession of drugs, dangerous dog offences, offences of dishonesty and commercial burglaries.

The list is not exhaustive but generally comprises of any offence where the maximum permitted sentence for each offence does not exceed six months imprisonment or one year if two or more relevant offences are to be considered. 

The Crown Court Unit deals with cases such as murder, robberies, serious assaults, dwelling house burglaries, complex fraud, the supply and trafficking of drugs, and the most serious road traffic offences especially those that result in a fatality.

The Complex Casework Unit houses a team who work in collaboration with the police to tackle organised and serious cross border crime, and to robustly tackle and disrupt criminal enterprises.

The bulk of their casework arises from serious and organised crime, particularly drugs importation and distribution, money laundering, organised crime group multi defendant homicide and serious fraud, usually involving a value of over £1million plus at least one element of complexity such as multiple defendants / companies / victims and/or complex financial / restraint issues.

The Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit is a dedicated and specialised team who prosecutes cases such as rape, serious sexual offences, child abuse, child sexual exploitation, honour based violence and Female Genital Mutilation.

The staff on the unit all have a great deal of understanding of the sensitivities of prosecuting cases of this nature and how difficult and harrowing it can be for a victim from the first step of making a complaint to the police, through to giving evidence in a trial. 

Working with you

Across Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland, we aim to work with all groups and communities to ensure that new policies adopted by the CPS reflect the diverse society we live in.

We acknowledge that public trust is measured against our ability to work with the public in key areas, which is why we established Local Scritiny and Involvement Panels throughout the North East to examine key parts of CPS policy.

CPS North East has three Community Involvement Panels (CIPs) one for each of the police force areas (Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria). The three Panels meet together to form the North East Joint Community Involvement Panels. The panels are a partnership between the CPS and local communities, working together to deliver improvements to the way we make decisions and deliver our service.

We consult the Joint Community Involvement Panels about, amongst other things, our Business Plan and our Equality and Diversity and Community Engagement Strategies. By retaining individual CIPs, we make sure that we do not lost sight of the concerns of individual local communities within the North East. Panel members are drawn from a wide cross-section of community groups including charities, inter-agency partnerships and local authorities. 

The overall remit of the Community Involvement Panel is to provide a forum for dialogue between the CPS and the diverse communities we serve, so that the role of the CPS can be more widely understood and to ensure that we actively consult on the delivery, determination and identification of our business objectives.

Victims and Witnesses

Without the help of victims and witnesses, it can be difficult for us to achieve a successful prosecution and bring an offender to justice. We understand being a victim and or witness of crime can be difficult and are sensitive to how vulnerable some may feel due to their experiences. We will ensure that they are dealt with in a professional and courteous manner. We will listen to their needs and support them through the process so that they can give their best evidence at court.

CPS North East wants all of our communities to continue to have confidence in their local justice system, to believe their interests are fairly represented and justice is seen to be done.

Victims’ Right to Review

The VRR scheme makes it easier for victims to seek a review of a CPS decision not to bring charges or to terminate proceedings.

If you are a victim seeking to exercise your right to request a review of a CPS decision not to bring charges, discontinue proceedings or offer no evidence in a case please go to ourVictims' Right to Review page.

North East contact point for Victims' Right to Review enquiries:
Tel: 0191 260 4385

Please note that the scheme applies only in relation to qualifying decisions made on or after 5 June 2013.

Victims' Right to Review

Contact us

St Ann's Quay 
122 Quayside 
Newcastle upon Tyne

DX 407301 Newcastle upon Tyne 53

Telephone numbers
Newcastle Office (Northumbria Cases) 0191 260 4200 
Middlesbrough Office (Durham Tees Cases) 01642 204 500

Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager
Rebecca Croser
Telephone: 0191 260 4215

News Centre

For local and regional media enquiries please contact:

Area Communications Manager
Chris Black
Telephone: 0191 2604216

If you are a member of the national media, please call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906 or email

Out of hours: 020 3357 0913 for emergency media queries only.

Contact Information for the Defence

The following email addresses are for the sole use of defence firms who are on the Criminal Justice System email system (CJSM).

Please note if you send an email from any account other than a CJSM account, you will not receive a response to your request.

Please ensure that the following information is included in your email:

Subject Box - Unique Reference Number (URN) and court centre 
Body of Email - Defendant's name, date of birth, date of hearing and nature of request

Failure to include this information may result in a delay processing your request.

Secure email contacts

For requests relating to cases in Durham or Teesside Magistrates' Courts please email:

For requests relating to cases in Durham or Teesside Crown Courts please email:

For requests relating to cases in Northumbria Magistrates' Courts please email:

For requests relating to cases in Newcastle Crown Court please email:

Contact information for defendants without representation:

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