The Common Law right to bring a private prosecution is preserved by Section 6 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.
Private prosecution is often a quicker and cheaper alternative to civil litigation. Proceedings can be brought by either a private individual or a body and can be used to tackle economic crime such as internal/external counterfeiting or fraud, or to protect commercial rights.
A private prosecution allows the corporate or individual victim to retain control of the proceedings and can result in a criminal conviction, a custodial sentence and compensation being awarded to the victim. A confiscation order can also be obtained which is designed to deprive the offender of the financial benefit from his criminal conduct. These measures can act as a useful tool in protecting the interests of a business or individual and importantly can act as a powerful deterrent to criminals.