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Young Offenders: Reoffenders

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many persistent young offenders were (a) arrested and (b) sentenced at (i) magistrates’ courts and (ii) the Crown Court in (A) Vale of York constituency and (B) England in each year since 1997. (253142)

Statistics on Persistent Young Offenders (PYOs) split by court type, as requested in the question, are only available from 1999 onward. The closest geographic level to the Vale of York for which robust numbers are available is the North Yorkshire police force area.

The PYO figures are designed to measure the speed and efficiency of the youth justice system, through monitoring the pledge to halve the average time from arrest to sentence for dealing with PYOs in England and Wales from 142 days in 1996 to 71 days. However, numbers of PYO cases are not a reliable measure of overall levels of youth crime, and will give a misleading view of the true trend if used for this purpose.

The following tables show the number of PYOs dealt with in England and Wales and for North Yorkshire. The breakdowns are based on whether the cases were heard in the magistrates courts or in the Crown court.

The number of persistent young offenders in England and Wales, by court jurisdiction

All courts

Magistrates courts

The Crown court

1997

9,868

1998

11,079

1999

12,014

9,815

2,160

2000

13,233

11,961

1,264

2001

13,854

12,889

961

2002

14,244

13,218

1,024

2003

14,244

13,297

941

2004

14,492

13,511

974

2005

14,827

13,894

924

2006

15,528

14,476

1,043

2007

16,512

15,414

1,095

The number of persistent young offenders in North Yorkshire, by court jurisdiction

All courts

Magistrates courts

The Crown court

1997

120

1998

126

1999

155

132

23

2000

184

169

15

2001

161

141

20

2002

158

151

7

2003

167

160

7

2004

188

181

6

2005

182

171

9

2006

203

191

12

2007

252

236

16

Notes:

The Police National Computer data can contain records where the type of court in which the case was heard was unknown. This missing information only impacts a very small minority of cases, and was more a feature of the data in the past than in the present. Thus, the sum of cases heard in magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court in each year is less than all cases heard in England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) publishes the data in the aforementioned table as National Statistics. Further information on persistent young offenders can be found on the dedicated page of the MOJ website:

www.justice.gov.uk/publications/averagetimearresttosentencepyo.htm

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of performance against the 71-day target for the average time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders. (253148)

Overall statistics on persistent young offenders (PYOs) are available from 1997 to 2007.

These figures are derived from police national computer data, and used to monitor the pledge to halve the average time from arrest to sentence for dealing with PYOs in England and Wales from 142 days in 1996 to 71 days.

The PYO figures are designed to measure the speed and efficiency of the youth justice system, through monitoring the pledge to halve the average time from arrest to sentence for dealing with PYOs in England and Wales from 142 days in 1996 to 71 days. However, numbers of PYO cases are not a reliable measure of overall levels of youth crime, and will give a misleading view of the true trend if used for this purpose.

The following table shows the number of PYO cases heard, and the average time interval (in days) from arrest to sentence for dealing with these juvenile offenders in England and Wales. It also provides a breakdown based on whether the cases were heard in the magistrates courts or in the Crown court.

Average time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders

All courts

Magistrates courts

The Crown court

Cases

Days

Cases

Days

Cases

Days

1997

16,010

141

1998

18,605

125

1999

21,151

108

18,851

96

2,271

212

2000

23,131

95

21,146

83

1,976

218

2001

25,393

76

23,752

68

1,632

196

2002

26,116

68

24,280

63

1,829

178

2003

26,086

66

24,481

58

1,590

188

2004

26,363

69

24,698

61

1,653

186

2005

27,037

68

25,498

61

1,526

192

2006

28,252

72

26,529

63

1,704

214

2007

30,683

65

28,904

57

1,769

206

Note:

The police national computer data can contain records where the type of court in which the case was heard was unknown. This missing information only affects a very small minority of cases, and was more a feature of the data in the past than in the present. Thus, the sum of cases heard in magistrates' courts and the Crown court in each year is less than all cases heard in England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) publishes the data in the above table as National Statistics. Further information on persistent young offenders can be found on the dedicated page of the MOJ website:

www.justice.gov.uk/publications/averagetimearresttosentencepyo.htm