Director of PPS Sir Alasdair Fraser to retire in autumn

Image caption, Sir Alasdair Fraser has been PPS director for 21 years

The Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, Sir Alasdair Fraser, has announced he is to retire in September.

Sir Alasdair has held the position for 21 years.

He joined the then newly established Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1973, became deputy director in 1988 and director in 1989.

He said it had been a "great privilege" to serve the community as director of the service.

"With the successful devolution of policing and justice and the roll-out of the Public Prosecution Service as a regional organisation, I consider now is the right time to pass the onerous responsibilities of director to my successor," he said.

"In my view, the rule of law has been well served both by the Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions and more recently by the Public Prosecution Service."

He added: "I am most grateful to all my colleagues for their courage and integrity in carrying out their duties in difficult and challenging circumstances over the last 21 years."

Sir Alasdair was born in Glasgow in 1946, before moving to Northern Ireland with his family inn 1950.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) was established on 13 June 2005 by the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002.

Regionally based, its four regions, Northern, Western and Southern, Belfast and Eastern are serviced by six regional offices.

Upon devolution of policing and justice on 12 April 2010, it became a non-ministerial department accountable to the Northern Ireland Assembly.