Police-led prosecutions (PLP)

The police now have more discretion to prosecute some high volume offences, which cause serious harm to communities, quickly and efficiently through the criminal justice system.

The Crown Prosecution Service is still responsible for prosecuting crimes, while the police have the power to prosecute some uncontested traffic offences (like speeding, driving without insurance or failing to produce a driving licence).

The offences which the police can prosecute are set out in the Specified Proceedings Order 1999. The changes to this order were laid in Parliament on 26 June 2012.

The changes came into force on 3rd September 2012. They allow the police to prosecute:

  • Guilty Plea traffic cases
  • In proof in absence cases (where the defendant does not attend court and has not objected to the evidence presented)
  • Where exceptional hardship representations are made.

If a defendant pleads not guilty then the case will continue to be handled by the Police Led Prosecutors until 48 hours before the Trial date. At this stage the case is formally transferred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who will advocate at the Trial.

Before these recent changes approximately a third of specified proceedings cases had to be de-specified, leading to delays while files were transferred, backlogs in the courts due to adjournments, and unnecessary burdens for the police and CPS. This new process enables this court procedure to be faster and more efficient.

*If you have received a Postal Requisition our preferred means of response is via our online plea service (see yellow page within paperwork)*

Alternatively you can complete the plea form contained within your pack and return it to:

North Cheshire Magistrates' Court
Administrative Office
Winmarleigh Street
WA1 1PB.