Skip to main content

Why won't they charge?

I've mentioned the apparent lack of enthusiasm the police and CPS seem to have for charging people with crimes and as I sit here billing I am seeing yet more examples of it.

I won't go into detail, but one case I have is very simple and clear cut.  Ex-partners meet up to discuss sale of former home.  One of them gets upset and punches the other in the face several times causing minor injuries.  The suspect is obviously known to the complainant so no ID issues. 

Result: no further action.


  1. The answer is all too simple. The CPS won't charge unless its a dead cert. I don't much care what their official policies are, down at the volume end of the business cps London direct will only authorise were there is utterly and completely overwhelming evidence. Over the years police have been worn down by this and now our gatekeepers ( known as evidential review officers in the met) have the same mindset . So now we bin perfectly good jobs ourselves without even going near the cps . The sort of job like this one where a court should be allowed to decide. Ive got an opinion becausevI've been a London CID officer for years and years and years.

  2. You give far few details for a reasonable answer as to why this wasn't charged. There could be any number of explanations - one of the common ones being that the complainant refuses to support a prosecution.

    What about the account of the suspect in interview - presumably it was denied? Their version may have been just as plausible as that of the complainant and so it is nothing more sinister than there not being a realistic prospect of conviction because there was no way to choose between the two.

    Or perhaps they claimed self defence - potentially rendering visible injuries (if any) far less relevant.

    With respect, it is very easy to provide few details and then make imply criticisms based on those limited facts. The reality is that these things are rarely as simplistic as Met detective above suggests and you, as a defence lawyer, may well never see the information that was crucial in the decision not to charge.

  3. Anon2, without meaning to be rude, but I wonder if I could invite you to consider for a moment why I might be light on the details? I cannot disclose confidential client information and so I provide a brief outline that sets out the situation in a nutshell.

  4. I do of course understand that you can only provide brief details about any case. However, here you have asked the question "why won't they charge?", thereby implying that they should have done, but don't provide enough information to allow anyone to challenge that implication.

    So, also without wishing to be rude, if you are not in a position to provide any further information then it might be better not to ask the question in the first place. It's not really fair to take a swipe at the police and CPS and then say that you can't discuss the matter any more because of confidentiality.

  5. How about a private criminal prosecution? Obviously you'd end up doing the work for no fee. The CPS would take it over and probably discontinue it but it might make a point.

  6. Offence denied by suspect. No medical evidence or other evidence of injuries. No witnesses.
    Essentially one word against another.

    Does this pass the CPS full code test of realistic prospect of conviction?
    I don't thinks so, particularly if the account or previous of the victim can be held against them.

    Me - I'd charge, but that's why I'm a cop and not a lawyer ;-)

  7. It appears I have to point out what I had mistakenly thought to be obvious... the title of this blog post is rhetorical. It does not literally call for an answer to the question. I was rather hoping, along with similar posts on this topic, to raise awareness of the continual lack of charging that seems to pervade the prosecution ranks of the criminal justice system at the moment. If I did not make that clear then I am sorry.

  8. When very effort that is made to save your married life fails, a marriage therapist is the best person who can sort out the differences and bring
    life back to the crumbling relationship. It is not uncommon for massage therapists to
    consult with physiotherapists before and during a massage.

    The school or university should have what is called the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
    My webpage ; sertraline treatment of major depression


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ched Evans

Before I begin, I will say that at around 4,500 words this is probably the longest blog I’ve ever posted but I think it’s all necessary to set the scene for this case and explain the background that has been largely ignored or airbrushed in the press. Despite its length, I have not attempted to include every little detail of either fact or law but have done my best to provide a balanced picture of the Ched Evans case, what happened and why the courts reached the decisions they did. There has been so much written about the Ched Evans case over the past weekend, much of it based on a very shaky grasp of the facts and law, that I decided I would read up about the case and weigh in (hopefully on a slightly firmer footing than most of the articles I’ve read so far).

Broadly speaking there seem to be three groups who have opinions on the case:
1.Sexual violence groups (including people describing themselves as “radical feminists”) who appear to take the view that the case is awful, the Court o…

How do the police decide whether to charge a suspect?

A question I’m often asked by clients (and in a roundabout way by people arriving at this blog using searches that ask the question in a variety of ways), is “how do the police decide whether to charge or take no further action (NFA)?”
What are the options?
Let’s have a quick think about what options are available to the police at the end of an investigation.
First, they can charge or report you for summons to attend court.  Charging means that you are given police bail and are required to attend court in person.  A summons is an order from the court for you to attend or for you to send a solicitor on your behalf.  In many cases where a person is summonsed, the court will allow you the option of entering a plea by post.
Second, you may be given a caution.  These can be a simple caution, which on the face of it is a warning not to be naughty in future, or it can be a conditional caution.  Conditions could include a requirement to pay for the cost of damage or compensation, etc.  Either…

Bid to prevent defendants knowing who accuses them of a crime

When I read The Trial by Kafka and Nineteen Eighty-Four by Orwell, I took them as warnings of how a bad justice system wrecks lives of those caught up in it. Sadly, some Members of Parliament and the House of Lords seem to view the books more as a guide to how they would like our Criminal Justice System to run. Today, I read of plans to hide the names of accusers and witnesses from defendants in a large number of cases. Victims of sexual offences, such as rape, have had the right to lifelong anonymity for many years now. This means that it is a criminal offence to publish information that will lead to a complainant being identified. A Bill currently being considered by Parliament would extend that anonymity to bar defendants and their lawyers knowing the name of the person accusing them. This would apply not only in sexual offences, as has been reported in the press, but also in violent offences.
The anonymity currently offered to victims of sexual offences is not total, the complainant…