Private Prosecutions

Prosecuting offenders is  not the exclusinve domain of the police and Crown Prosecution Service.

In respect of most offences, anyone can commence proceedings in the Magistrates Court, This is done, in the first instance, by applying to the Clerk to the Justices for a 'summons'. Indeed the RSPCA will frequently commence private prosecutions in animal cruelty cases, 

The Crown Prosecution Service have a legal right to take over a prosecution. Having done so they may 'adopt' the prosecution or discontinue it, should they be so minded. In reality, unless there is a good reason to intervene, they seldom will.

There are some offences that require the consent of the Attorney General of the Director of Public Prosecution before a prosecution can commence. These offences are generally offences with a political or human rights dimension. 

With the loss of 20,000 police officers in the last 5 years, the effects are inevitably felt in our communities. Increasingly police call handlers are erroneously advising the public that their call relates to a 'civil matter'  and that the police can't assist. This is a frequent response to those wishing to report offences that in the police canon are low level, such as harassment and intimidation, where to the victim, the effects can be damaging to their mental health and well being,.

The police are often reluctant to get involved with cyber bullying cases (unless of course the complainant is an MP or celebrity). 

Sometimes it is impossible to get beyond the civilian call handler when trying to report a potential criminal issue. 

How can we help?

Firstly, we can approach the police or Crown Prosecution Service on your behalf. Police forces are required to have an appeals procedure in respect of their decision making. There is also a legal right to challenge the decision the Crown Prosecution Service makes not to prosecute. We can assist with these appeals and if all else fails, we can bring the prosecution on your behalf.

Please contact us for your free case assessment and an idea as to the likely costs.