Sentencing: Young Offenders

Justice written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average number of days was between arrest and sentence of persistent young offenders in England and Wales by (a) magistrate courts and (b) Crown courts in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Overall statistics on Persistent Young Offenders (PYOs) are available from 1997 to 2007. However, figures split by court type, as requested in the question, are only available from 1999 onward.

These figures are derived from Police National Computer data, and used to monitor the pledge to halve the average time from arrest to sentence for dealing with PYOs in England and Wales from 142 days in 1996 to 71 days.

The following table shows the number of PYO cases heard, and the average time interval (in days) from arrest to sentence for dealing with these juvenile offenders in England and Wales. It also provides a breakdown based on whether the cases were heard in the magistrates courts or in the Crown court.

Average time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders
All c ourts Magistrates courts The Crown court
Cases Days Cases Days Cases Days
1997 16,010 141
1998 18,605 125
1999 21,151 108 18,851 96 2,271 212
2000 23,130 93 21,145 82 1,976 218
2001 25,393 76 23,752 68 1,632 196
2002 26,116 68 24,280 61 1,829 174
2003 26,083 66 24,480 58 1,588 187
2004 26,363 69 24,698 61 1,653 186
2005 27,037 68 25,498 60 1,526 191
2006 28,252 72 26,529 63 1,704 214
2007 30,683 65 28,904 57 1,769 206

The Police National Computer data can contain records where the type of court in which the case was heard was unknown. This missing information only impacts a very small minority of cases, and was more a feature of the data in the past than in the present. Thus, the sum of cases heard in magistrates courts and the Crown court in each year is less than all cases heard in England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) publishes the data in the above table as National Statistics. Further information on persistent young offenders can be found on the dedicated page of the MOJ website:

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