Skip to main content

Crime: Northern Ireland

Volume 698: debated on Monday 21 January 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the year-on-year reduction in crime levels in Northern Ireland, whether there has been any comparable improvement in crime detection. [HL1119]

The following table shows the number of offences recorded and cleared by the PSNI.

% cleared

Year

Recorded

Sanction Clearance Rate

Non-sanction Clearance Rate

Total Clearance Rate

2002-03

142,496

13.0%

10.1%

23.0%

2003-04

127,953

14.5%

12.9%

27.4%

2004-05

118,124

15.8%

12.4%

28.2%

2005-06

123,194

17.4%

13.1%

30.60

2006-07

121,144

19.6%

4.0%

23.6%

Source: Central Statistics Unit, PSNI

In April 2006 PSNI adopted a higher evidential standard in respect of non-sanction clearances to bring these clearance types more closely in line with England and Wales. While this has had the effect of reducing the overall clearance rate, sanction clearances (those where a formal sanction is taken against an offender by means of charge, summons, caution or where the offence is taken into consideration at court) remain unaffected.

This year's policing plan includes a specific target to increase the sanction clearance rate by three percentage points by 31 March 2008. Progress against this target is being made by a range of actions, including improving volume crime investigation, developing public protection units within districts, improving working arrangements with the PPS, improving forensic conversion rates and seeking out best practice in other police services.