Following our recent consultation on ‘Court Statistics Quarterly’ the release has been into separate civil, family and criminal publications. As a result this publication provides information specifically related to criminal courts only. There is no loss of information resulting from the separation.
These statistics focus on key trends in case volume and progression through the criminal court system in England and Wales. Additional content published alongside the bulletin includes information on the imposition and payment of fines by offence in 2012, and a separate consultation concerning the criminal court timeliness methodology.
Key findings from July to September 2014:
The number of outstanding cases in the Crown Courts has continued to rise across 2013 and 2014. Triable-either-way and indictable only cases rose by 70% and 16% respectively in Q3 2014 when compared with the first quarter of 2013. This increase was in part driven by the rise in the magistrates’ courts workload, which saw a 26% increase in Q4 2013 in the receipt of triable-either-way cases when compared with Q1 2013.
For cases completing at the Crown Court during Q3 2014, the number of days from offence to completion increased from 293 to 312 days when compared with the same quarter in the previous year. However, over the same period time spent in the magistrates’ courts decreased. When comparing Q3 2014 with Q3 2013, the time spent at the magistrates’ courts between first hearing and being sent to the Crown Court fell from 18 to 5 days, whereas the time spent at the Crown Court increased from 134 to 166 days. The decrease seen in the time spent in the magistrates’ courts was driven in part by the national abolition of committal hearings.
The average waiting time between the date of sending a case to the Crown Court and the start of the substantive hearing has increased for both trial and non-trial cases. “For trial” cases have seen an increase of 6 weeks in average waiting times when comparing Q3 2014 with Q1 2013; non-trial cases have seen a one week increase over the same period. The increase seen in average waiting time was in part driven by the increase seen in the Crown Court workload.
In addition to Ministry of Justice professional and production staff, pre-release access to the quarterly statistics of up to 24 hours is granted to the following postholders:
Ministry of Justice:
Secretary of State, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Minister of State (The Courts and Legal Aid), Minister of State (Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims), Permanent Secretary, Director General of Finance and Public Services, Director General of Criminal Justice, Director of Victim and Criminal Proceedings, Head of Analytical Services, Chief Statistician, Policy Advisor (Criminal Justice), five Press Officers and Relevant Special Advisers.
Her Majesty’s Court Service:
Chief Executive, Director of Crime, Head of Crown Court Improvement Branch, Head of Criminal Enforcement, and Head of Performance, Analysis and Reporting.
Link to earlier editions:
The information contained within this bulletin was previously published as part of ‘Court statistics quarterly’ and ‘Judicial and court statistics’. Earlier editions of these publications can be found at the links given below:
Court Statistics Quarterly
Judicial and court statistics