New Chief Prosecutor appointed for the West Midlands

Grace Ononiwu

Grace Ononiwu

Grace Ononiwu OBE has been appointed as the new Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the West Midlands following the retirement of Harry Ireland.

She becomes the first female Chief Crown Prosecutor, and the first from the black and ethnic minority community, for the Area.

Ms Ononiwu, who was the Chief for the East of England, which covers the counties of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, took up her new post on 23 June 2014.

On her appointment, Ms Ononiwu, said:

“I am pleased to have been provided this opportunity to head up the CPS in the West Midlands.

“Over the last few years, the Area and its staff have worked tirelessly to provide an excellent service, not only to our criminal justice partners, but also to the diverse communities that they serve. This has led to the CPS in the region performing a significant role in modernising the local criminal justice system and the creation of a new Victim Liaison Unit in Birmingham which aims to improve the service which we provide to victims and witnesses.

“It is my aim to build on the achievements so far by engaging in dialogue with our staff, partner agencies and local communities to examine new opportunities to ensure continuous improvements in the service we provide “

Ms Ononiwu also has a national role within the CPS organisation, which includes membership of strategic boards dealing with issues affecting the Service across the whole of England and Wales. She is also a member of the National People Strategy Board and the business lead for the CPS’ Management Development Programme to develop the capabilities of our staff.

Grace Ononiwu  qualified as a solicitor in 1991. She initially worked at a private firm of solicitors in High Wycombe practising criminal law, but joined the CPS in 1991 as a Crown Prosecutor. She has held a number of positions in the CPS, which led to her ultimate appointment as Chief Crown Prosecutor for Northamptonshire in April 2005, making her the first African Caribbean to be appointed to that position in the history of the CPS. She has made a significant contribution to the CPS Equality and Diversity agenda and was previously Chair of the National Black Crown Prosecution Association. In April 2009 Grace was appointed Legal Director for North Region, CPS London, before becoming Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for all the London Districts. She was appointed as Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East of England Area in August 2012 and she took up her post with CPS West Midlands on 23 June 2014.