Joint Enterprise: Cost of Judicial Processes

Justice – in the House of Commons at on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Kim Johnson Kim Johnson Labour, Liverpool, Riverside

If he will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of judicial processes under joint enterprise relating to violent crimes in each year since 2014.

Photo of Gareth Bacon Gareth Bacon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Although the Ministry of Justice collates statistics nationally on the principal criminal offence for which a perpetrator is prosecuted, convicted or sentenced, including data on their ethnicity, it does not collate data on whether the crime that they committed was part of joint enterprise, so unfortunately I am unable to provide the information that the hon. Lady requests. However, we are considering whether such data could be collected as part of the common platform programme, which aims to provide a single case management system that would enable the sharing of such evidence and case information across the criminal justice system.

Photo of Kim Johnson Kim Johnson Labour, Liverpool, Riverside

I welcome that response, but the Minister will know that Manchester Metropolitan University has recently carried out some research into the cost of prosecuting under joint enterprise. Some £250 million is spent processing joint enterprises cases, and an extra £1.2 billion is spent incarcerating the just over 1,000 people who are convicted. Those are eye-watering amounts of money, so does the Minister agree that we need to review the doctrine of joint enterprise to ensure that only those who are responsible for significant contribution to a crime are punished for it?

Photo of Gareth Bacon Gareth Bacon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

There is a cost to justice. People who are found guilty of crime based on the evidence presented to a court of law have been sentenced, and there is a cost to their incarceration. Simply put, the cost of incarcerating people is not a reason to review the law.