Ordinarily when a crime occurs, the prosecution is brought by the Crown after a police investigation. Sometimes, however, the police or the Crown Prosecution Service fail to proceed – and this can leave a victim feeling aggrieved and in those circumstances it can often be appropriate to bring a private prosecution.
Beginning a private prosecution is not a straightforward process and even when a case is underway, the Attorney General can still intervene, take over conduct of the proceedings and then discontinue them.
But private prosecutions, or even the threat of a private prosecution, can often force the police and/or the Crown Prosecution Service to take a victim more seriously than would otherwise be the case.
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