Director of Public Prosecutions

Alison Saunders CB



Alison Saunders is a barrister and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Early career

Alison joined the CPS as a barrister in 1986 - the year it was formed. She spent her early CPS career prosecuting in the CPS London south sector.

In 1991 she moved to the CPS Policy Directorate where she became an expert in issues involving child victims and witnesses.

Alison rejoined CPS London in 1997 and was promoted to Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor in 1999.

Chief Crown Prosecutor

In 2001, Alison became Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for Sussex, where she oversaw the prosecution of Roy Whiting for the abduction and murder of 8-year-old Sarah Payne.

She served as Deputy Legal Advisor to the Attorney General from 2003 before rejoining the CPS 2 years later to set up and head the Organised Crime Division.

In December 2009, Alison was appointed CCP for CPS London. While at CPS London, Alison was heavily involved in high profile cases such as the retrial in Stephen Lawrence’s murder case and the London disorder cases.

On 1 November 2013, Alison was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). She is the first DPP to be appointed from within the CPS.


In the 2013 New Year’s Honours, she was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) “for services to law and order, especially after the 2011 London riots”.

Director of Public Prosecutions

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is the most senior public prosecutor in England and Wales and head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The DPP is appointed by and responsible to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).