Patrick Stevens, International Director, Crown Prosecution Service

Patrick Stevens - International Director of the Crown Prosecution Service x 400 pixMoving to the Counter Terrorism Division just two weeks after September 11th, has been one of the many challenges faced by USW alum, Patrick Stevens. The LLB (Hons) Law graduate talked to us about his journey to becoming the International Director of the Crown Prosecution Service, and reflects on dealing with some of the most serious terrorism cases the World has ever seen.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

 My father never went to University or qualified, but went onto become one of the leading criminal defence representatives of the 60's 70's and 80's, representing many of the biggest clients of the time including Christine Keeler in the Profumo scandal in the year I was born. I wanted to be like him, so I came and studied a Law at The University of South Wales in 1985.

Describe a typical day in your current role?

 I am International Director for the Crown Prosecution Service.  I work at home and abroad with Government and law enforcement partners to address national security threats in source and transit countries worldwide. That can be working with our team of justice advisors, Whitehall partners at home and abroad. I also work with practitioners and policy makers around the world including ministers, to deliver improved criminal justice responses serious crime and terrorism that might impact the UK or UK citizens abroad.

 What have been the key achievements during your career?

 I was a leading counter terrorism prosecutor in the period post 9/11 when the volume and threat was far higher than the resource and capability, and we dealt with some of the biggest most challenging cases this country has had to deal with.

I also drafted the first international strategy for the Crown Prosecution Service, and built a team of worldwide criminal justice advisors to deliver that and become an important part of the UK national security response.  We placed our first advisor abroad in 2009. In 2016 we placed our 35th.

Do you have found memories of your time as a student?

I have some wonderful memories of my time at University.  I spent many a night at the Union bar, and I remember how it evolved from having two decks on a trestle table to having a DJ booth and a new bar. I spent almost every night there at one society's or others disco, dancing to the music of the day and making lifelong friends.

I was also the University football team centre forward, and in my last two years the club Chairman. I remain friends with a number of the football team and just last year - through the wonders of social media - we had our first reunion which was fantastic. We were always second fiddle to the much larger rugby club, but we had a very good team who could be a match for anyone.

I also met my wife at Freshers ball on day three, and are still together thirty four years later. My wife is Welsh, and her family are local farmers. Meeting her and her family, and so many welsh people at the University was a very different experience for a south London boy. I also became friends with the rugby player Nigel Davies who played for, then later managed Llanelli and Wales. I became a fan and followed them for years. I still visit wales very regularly and it is a huge part of my life.

 What would be your advice a USW student wishing to follow your career path?

 Think big. Create your own path. Do not underestimate what is possible.