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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 221192, tabled on 19 January 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) number of convictions, (b) conviction rate as a percentage of prosecutions brought and (c) rate of convictions as a percentage of crimes reported was for (i) murder, (ii) grievous bodily harm, (iii) sexual offences, (iv) burglary, (v) robbery, (vi) theft, (vii) criminal damage, (viii) public order offences, (ix) drug offences, (x) driving offences and (xi) all offences in (A) Elmbridge, (B) Surrey, (C) the South East of England and (D) England in each of the last five years.

Answered on

10 February 2015

Crime is falling and is at its lowest level since records began in 1981, as per the Crime Survey in England and Wales. Since 2010 those who do offend are more likely to go to prison and for longer than ever before. For the first time in ten years, an immediate prison sentence is the most common disposal for indictable offences.

This follows a series of measures by the Government to toughen up sentencing and make sure those who commit these crimes face a significant term in prison, including an automatic life sentence for a second serious sexual or violent offence.

There are also several measures to strengthen sentencing in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which has completed its passage through Parliament and awaits Royal Assent. These include ensuring that all dangerous offenders who receive the tough Extended Determinate Sentence (EDS) are no longer automatically released two-thirds of the way through their custodial term. The Government has also banned the use of simple cautions for serious offences.

We are also determined that our justice system delivers the right outcomes for victims of crime and the public as a whole, and we have made great strides in recent years – not least through smarter use of technology, and joined-up working.

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates’ courts and found guilty, along with conviction ratio at all courts of the offences specified in the question from 2009 to 2013 can be viewed in the tables as detailed below:-

Figures for Surrey can be viewed in Table 1
Figures for the South East of England can be viewed in Table 2
Figures for England as a whole can be viewed in Table 3

There are no courts in the Borough of Elmbridge; hence the figure for that portion of the question is zero. The Ministry of Justice court proceedings database cannot specifically identify the exact location of offences. These figures are based on the location of the court hearing the case.

Conviction ratio is provided in place of conviction rate as a case can be commenced in one year and concluded in a subsequent year.

A defendant may be convicted in a different year to that in which they were proceeded against. Variation in the conviction ratio can be caused either by a change in the percentage of cases that end in conviction or by a change in the percentage of cases that end in a conviction in the same year as the original proceeding. Therefore fluctuations in data, particularly in the last year for which figures are available can be misleading.

Rates of convictions as a percentage of reported crime cannot be provided. The Home Office collects data on the number of notifiable offences recorded by the police. Of these, some crimes may be subsequently ‘no crimed’ (for example if it is believed a crime did not actually take place or was incorrectly recorded as a crime).

Therefore, conviction rates as a percentage of recorded crime could therefore present a misleading picture.

Court proceedings data for 2014 are planned for publication in Spring 2015.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.