THE chief prosecutor in the West Midlands has announced his retirement.

Harry Ireland, the chief crown prosecutor for the region's Crown Prosecution Service is stepping down from his post at the end of May after 28 years with the service.

His distinguished career in prosecution began in 1981 as an assistant prosecuting solicitor in South Yorkshire and Mr Ireland was appointed in his current role for the West Midlands, which incorporated West Mercia, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the metropolitan West Midlands, in 2009.

Mr Ireland said: “Throughout my career I have tried to champion an independent prosecution service and the work that its staff does, which is not always recognised and acknowledged.

“During my 28 years with the service, I have been fortunate to have worked with many talented members of staff within the CPS and in local criminal justice.

"They have worked tirelessly to serve the diverse public in the region despite the challenging circumstances which they have been faced with.

“Through their dedication and commitment, I believe that they have made the region a safer place to work, visit and live."

He added: “It has been a privilege to have led the CPS in the West Midlands over the last five years and I would like to thank all those members of staff who have supported and guided me over the years.

“Finally, I would like wish everyone in the criminal justice system, including my successor, all the success in the future.”