In 1962 a Royal Commission recommended that police forces set up independent prosecution departments so as to avoid having the same officers investigate and prosecute cases, although technically the prosecuting police officers did so as private citizens.
The Royal Commission's recommendation was not implemented by all police forces however, and so in 1978, another Royal Commission was set up, this time headed by Sir Cyril Philips.
This includes clarifying the intent needed to commit an offence or addressing shortcomings in the available evidence.
Unlike in many other jurisdictions, the CPS has no power to order investigations or direct investigators to take action.
CPS Direct provides charging advice/authorisation by phone and electronically to police forces at all hours.
Most charging decisions by the CPS are now made by CPS Direct, which then passes the prosecution to the appropriate CPS Area.
Most of its casework is dealt with by the thirteen CPS Areas, which are responsible for conducting prosecutions in specific parts of England and Wales; each area is led by a Chief Crown Prosecutor.
The areas (with their respective police forces) are: Prior to the spending review, there were forty-two CPS Areas, mirroring the geographical boundaries of the police forces (except for CPS London, which has always dealt with both of the city's police forces).
The Spending Review undertaken by HM Treasury in 2010 (and revised in 2013) has led to a budget decrease of almost 30% between 20, resulting in a restructure of the organisation and a large number of voluntary redundancies.
The CPS has implemented measures such as the Core Quality Standards with the intention of maintaining and raising standards.