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Public Opinion: Ministry of Justice

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he made of the level of public confidence in the criminal justice system in 2008. (279249)

Public confidence in the criminal justice system (CJS) is measured using the British crime survey (BCS). In the year to March 2008 44 per cent. of people were confident that the CJS is effective in bringing people who commit crimes to justice. This rose from 39 per cent. in 2003, and met the Government’s target for the period 2003—2008.

The BCS now includes measures of public confidence in both the fairness and the effectiveness of the CJS as a whole. During the period from October 2007 to March 2008, 56 per cent. of people were confident that the CJS as a whole is fair and 37 per cent. were confident that it is effective. From April to December 2008 the level of confidence in fairness increased to 58 per cent., while confidence in effectiveness has so far remained stable.