§ The Attorney-General
The power to take over the conduct of criminal proceedings contained in section 6(2) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 extends only to the Director of Public Prosecutions but that power may be exercised by a Crown prosecutor acting under his direction. Prior to the implementation of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 the corresponding legislation was the Prosecution of Offences Act 1979 which conferred a similar power on the Director of Public Prosecutions. That power was exercisable by an assistant Director of Public Prosecutions. A similar power is conferred on the director of the Serious Fraud Office by section 1(5)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 but has not been exercised. On the establishment of the Serious Fraud Office the conduct of a number of current cases passed by agreement from the Crown prosecution service to the Serious Fraud Office. I shall write to the hon. Member listing those cases. It is to be noted that neither the Director of Public Prosecutions nor the director of the Serious Fraud Office is correctly described as a Government officer.