Case Review Panels

Those who have made a complaint in the past where no action was taken might be eligible to have their case looked at again.

In June 2013, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) published terms of reference for the CPS-ACPO Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel.

The panel reviews cases of alleged child sexual abuse where at the time a complaint was made, the CPS made a decision that no action was needed, but the individual who made the complaint was not satisfied that the allegations were dealt with appropriately.

During a review, the panel will be looking to decide whether the decision to take no action was correct. If it is found that the decision at the time was wrong, they will advise on whether the case should be reinvestigated.

Who can make a referral to the panel?

Individuals can refer a case to the panel concerning offences committed in England and Wales prior to 5 June 2013 as long as all of these factors apply:

  • the complaint is in respect of an alleged sexual offence committed against the complainant;
  • the complaint of an allegation of an sexual offence has previously been made to the police;
  • a decision to take no further action was taken by the police or by the CPS;
  • the complainant has asked the police or the CPS to look again at that decision;
  • the alleged sexual offence was committed when the complainant was under 18 years of age; and
  • the alleged perpetrator/s may still pose a risk. (The threshold for risk is set very low and simply means that the perpetrator may currently or in the future have the opportunity to commit further offences)

Who sits on the panel?

The panel is made up of a Chief Crown Prosecutor, an ACPO rank police officer, a specialist prosecutor, an experienced child abuse police investigator, and an appropriate independent representative.

How can I refer a case to the panel?

Email or bring your complaint back to the attention of the relevant police force or CPS area, who will then refer the case to the review panel if it fits the above criteria. Complaints sent straight to the panel are also sent to the relevant police force or CPS area to first determine if the case meets the criteria.