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Fraud: Forgery

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been (a) investigated, (b) cautioned, (c) tried and (d) convicted for offences relating to fraud and forgery in each year since 1997. (286981)

The number of persons cautioned, proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts, for offences relating to fraud and forgery, in England and Wales, 1997 to 2007 (latest available) is shown in the table.

The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time the principal offence is the more serious offence.

Proceeded against and found guilty data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Information on the number of people who have been investigated for offences relating to fraud and forgery is not held by my Department.

Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

The number of persons cautioned, proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts, for selected offences relating to fraud and forgery in England and Wales, 1997 to 20071,2,3,4,5,6

Cautioned

Proceeded against

Found guilty

1997

7,156

24,114

17,006

1998

7,401

27,418

19,753

1999

7,204

28,434

20,303

2000

6,180

26,881

19,222

2001

5,764

25,764

18,282

2002

5,335

25,014

18,141

2003

5,484

24,739

18,019

2004

6,033

23,552

18,140

2005

6,936

23,110

18,449

2006

8,024

22,705

18,186

2007

8,587

24,170

19,932

1 The offence group of Fraud and Forgery includes ‘Indictable only’ and ‘triable-either way offences’, it does not include summary offences. ‘Indictable only’ are the most serious breaches of the criminal law and must be dealt with at the Crown Court. ‘Triable-either-way offences’ may be tried at either the Crown Court or at magistrates courts.

2 From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and final warnings. These figures have been included in the totals.

3 The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time the principal offence is the more serious offence.

4 Fraud and Forgery includes the following offence classes:

Fraud by Company Director etc.

False Accounting

Other Fraud

Bankruptcy Offence

Forgery etc. of Drug Prescription

Other Forgery etc.

5 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

6 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces (police forces only for cautions though). As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

OCJR—E&A: Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Evidence and Analysis Unit, Ministry of Justice