Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 1 June 2023.

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Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of cases in which the time taken between the commission of the alleged offence and the complaint leading to trial has taken (a) 12 to 23, (b) 24 to 35, (c) 36 to 47, (d) 48 to 59, (e) 60 to 71 and (f) 72 months and over in each year since 2010.

Photo of Mike Freer Mike Freer Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

We have interpreted your request as being the duration of time from offence to main hearing for cases that go to trial at the Crown Court.

The number of defendants dealt with at the Crown Court grouped by duration from offence to main hearing from 2014 to 2022 can be found in the attached table. Information on the time from offence to main hearing are not available prior to 2014.

Timeliness from offence to main hearing are taken from the point of offence committal through to the main hearing at the Crown Court and so are not necessarily a reflection of court or system performance. These are impacted by the reporting of non-recent and historic offences; offences reported several years after the incident can have a large impact on offence to main hearing timeliness measures.

The outstanding caseload at the Crown Court, which rose during the pandemic and Criminal Bar Association action, is falling as a result of our commitment to ensuring swift and timely access to justice. We have opened extra courtrooms, lifted the cap on sitting days, and continued remote hearings, alongside quadrupling funding for victims’ services so victims get the support they need throughout the process.

Number of defendants dealt with at the Crown Court (xlsx, 18.7KB)

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