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Police Cautions and Convictions

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people (a) were convicted and (b) received a caution for offences of (i) perverting the course of justice, (ii) attempting to pervert the course of justice and (iii) wasting police time in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years; and how many and what proportion in each such category were convicted or cautioned as a result of having been found to have made false complaints of rape or other sexual assault. (307767)

The number of persons found guilty at all courts in England and Wales for perjury, attempting to pervert the course of public justice, and wasting police time, from 1998 to 2007 (latest available) is given in Table 1. The number of cautions issued for these offences is given in Table 2.

Statistical information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the Cautions and Court Proceedings Database for England and Wales does not identify the circumstances of the offence. Therefore it is not possible to separately identify those cautions or convictions that have arisen from complaints of rape or other sexual assault.

Cautions and court proceedings data for 2008 are planned for publication on 28 January 2010.

Table 1: The number of persons found guilty at all courts of perjury, attempting to pervert the course of public justice, and wasting police time, England and Wales 1998 to 20071,2

Statute

Offence description

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Perjury Act 1911, s.1; Criminal Justice Act 1967, s.89; Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, s.106; Criminal Justice Act 1925, s.36; County Courts Act 1984, s.133; mental Health Act 1983, s. 126(4); Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969, s.12(2) (part); Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s.75.

Perjury and false statements (also false declarations and representations made punishable by any statute).

175

114

135

92

81

108

145

126

91

91

Common Law.

Attempting to pervert the course of public justice (fabrication of false evidence, causing person to be wrongly convicted, interference with witness)3

1,803

1,780

1,629

1,798

1,549

1,391

1,311

1,271

1,304

1,172

Criminal Law Act 1967, s.5(2).

Causing wasteful employment of the police etc.

57

53

81

72

62

66

111

133

160

225

Total

2,035

1,947

1,845

1,962

1,692

1,565

1,567

1,530

1,555

1,488

1 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.

2 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. 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.

3 Does not include: intimidating a juror or witness or person assisting in investigation of offence or harming or threatening to harm a witness, juror or person assisting in investigation.

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

Table 2: The number of persons cautioned'1 for perjury, attempting to pervert the course of public justice, and wasting police time, England and Wales 1998 to 20072

Statute

Offence description

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Perjury Act 1911, s.1; Criminal Justice Act 1967, s.89; Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, s.106; Criminal Justice Act 1925, s.36; County Courts Act 1984, s.133; mental Health Act1983, s. 126(4); Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act1969, s.12(2) (part); Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s.75.

Perjury and false statements (also false declarations and representations made punishable by any statute).

42

37

17

11

17

26

39

26

44

46

Common Law.

Attempting to pervert the course of public justice (fabrication of false evidence, causing person to be wrongly convicted, interference with witness)3

316

312

259

226

202

283

311

377

405

286

Criminal Law Act 1967, s.5(2).

Causing wasteful employment of the police etc.

117

108

96

78

98

110

166

202

288

371

Total

475

457

372

315

317

419

516

605

737

703

1 The 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. From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1988 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and warnings. These are included in the totals.

2 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 police forces. 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.

3 Does not include: intimidating a juror or witness or person assisting in investigation of offence or harming or threatening to harm a witness, juror or person assisting in investigation.

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice