Nazir Afzal OBE, is the Chief Crown Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for North West England. He is the first British Pakistani Muslim to be appointed to such a position and is Britain's most senior Muslim lawyer within the CPS. He has campaigned for women's rights and spoken out against forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour killings.
Afzal has a degree in law from the University of Birmingham. He worked as a solicitor in Birmingham from 1988 to 1991. In London, he became a Crown Prosecutor in 1991 and Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor in 2001. In 2011, he was appointed North West Chief Crown Prosecutor covering Greater Manchester, Cumbria and Lancashire. As one of the 13 chief crown prosecutors that cover England and Wales, he is responsible for over 100,000 prosecutions a year and manages 800 lawyers and paralegals. He was awarded an OBE in 2005.
Afzal's prosecutions include a 1996 stalker of Princess Diana and the honour killing of Samaira Nazir in 2005. One of his first decisions on becoming a Chief Crown Prosecutor was to initiate prosecutions in the case of the Rochdale sex trafficking gang, overturning an earlier decision by the CPS. He said "white professionals' over-sensitivity to political correctness and fear of appearing racist may well have contributed to justice being stalled." In May 2013, he was responsible for the prosecution of disgraced former BBCpresenter Stuart Hall.
Afzal's work against Muslim grooming gangs has led to criticism from other Muslims and from the far right. He has said “I do feel that there’s a deficit of leadership in some parts of the Muslim community. They could be much more challenging of certain behaviours”. Regarding far-right campaigns to deport Afzal, he reiterated “I was born inBirmingham. They can deport me to Birmingham if they want to” and said "I think if you are getting it from both sides, you are probably getting something right.”