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Prosecutions (Northern Ireland)

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 8 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of cases brought for prosecution by the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland resulted in conviction in each of the last 10 years. (74424)

I have been asked to reply.

The Public Prosecution Service, which when fully rolled out will be responsible for all prosecutions arising from police investigations, only came into existence in June 2005. Prior to that date, the Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions was only responsible for the conduct of the more serious criminal cases and the bulk of prosecutions in the magistrates court were conducted by the police. The police continue to conduct prosecutions in the magistrates court in those areas not yet covered by the PPS. The figures provided in the tables reflect, therefore, only those cases conducted by the PPS or the old Department of the DPP.

Figures are only available for the past five years following the introduction of a Case Management System.

The figures for the magistrates court are:

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Convicted (on at least one count)

3,453

3,763

4,428

7,316

10,544

Acquitted (all counts)

249

227

237

391

317

Total

3,702

3,990

4,665

7,707

10,861

Percentage conviction rate

93.3

94.3

94.9

94.9

97.1

The figures for the Crown court are:

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Convicted (on at least one count)

794

1,125

1,257

1,398

1,307

Acquitted (all counts)

94

139

162

177

176

Total

888

1,264

1,419

1,575

1,483

Percentage conviction rate

89.4

89.0

88.6

88.8

88.1