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New legal guidance for prosecutors helps to tackle rape myths and stereotypes against the changing picture of modern life

The growing exchange of naked selfies, misconceptions about the use of ‘hook up’ dating sites and discussion of why sexual assault victims may remain in contact with their attacker all form part of new draft guidance for prosecutors on rape myths and stereotypes published by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions

DPP discusses prosecutorial independence and the rule of law

The Director of Public Prosecutions discussed the importance of fair and independent prosecutions during a time of national emergency at an online event hosted by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law on Friday, 18 September.

Max Hill QC was in conversation with journalist Razia Iqbal for a webinar titled Prosecuting in the Public Interest: Independence Without Isolation, which addressed how independent prosecutions underpin the Rule of Law and protect the public interest.

Rape and Serious Sexual Offences strategy image

CPS announces five year blueprint for prosecution of rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO)

An ambitious package of measures to make sure offenders of sexual violence are brought to justice and victims of these devastating crimes are properly supported has been published by the CPS.

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The CPS response to the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. The Government’s priority is to do everything it can to tackle the pandemic and mitigate its impact.

The measures taken to protect public safety and maintain essential services are reviewed and adapted in response to the rapidly evolving situation.

The CPS is carefully following Government advice and guidance while keeping our own operations under constant review.

We continue to work with partners in the criminal justice system to ensure that urgent work can continue safely, using technology to minimise in-person contact wherever possible.

Uppermost in our thinking is ensuring - in all our work - a safe environment for all those involved.

All updates to our website content related to the coronavirus crisis.

The latest information for prosecuting advocates on the CPS response to COVID-19.

Read the latest information about the Government’s response and plans.

Follow the latest information about prevention, treatment and travel.

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Update on the impact of COVID-19 for Victims and Witnesses

We appreciate that this is a particularly worrying time for individuals involved in criminal proceedings. We continue to work with partners in the Criminal Justice System to ensure that urgent work can continue safely, using technology to minimise in-person contact wherever possible.

For more information, please visit our Victims and Witnesses page

The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales. The CPS is independent, and we make our decisions independently of the police and government.

Our duty is to make sure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence, and to bring offenders to justice wherever possible.

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. 

Prosecutors must be fair, objective and independent. When deciding whether to prosecute a criminal case, our lawyers must follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors. This means that to charge someone with a criminal offence, prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and that prosecuting is in the public interest.

Crime info

We prosecute people for hundreds of different types of crime every year. This section gives an introduction to some of the categories of offending that we are asked about most often.

Victims & witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but with your help, we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support you and treat you with dignity.

From reporting the crime to passing sentence we explain what happens, the role of the CPS and what you can expect from us.

Support for victims & witnesses

Prosecution guidance

This guidance assists our prosecutors when they are making decisions about cases. It is regularly updated to reflect changes in law and practice. 

View all prosecution guidance
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