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CPS case outcomes by principal offence


Introduction

This report contains a monthly analysis of the outcome of CPS proceedings in magistrates' courts and in the Crown Court. Outcomes are broken down into two categories: convictions and unsuccessful outcomes. The report shows the number and the proportion of defendants falling into each category.

Convictions comprise guilty pleas, convictions after trial and cases proved in the absence of the defendant. Unsuccessful outcomes represent all outcomes other than a conviction, comprising discontinuances and withdrawals, discharged committals, dismissals and acquittals, and administrative finalisations.

Administrative finalisations are recorded where a case cannot proceed because a warrant for the arrest of the defendant remains unexecuted, or where the defendant cannot be traced by the police for a summons to be served, or the defendant has died or been found unfit to plead.

Outcomes are shown separately according to the principal offence category. The Principal Offence Category indicates the most serious offence with which the defendant is charged at the time of finalisation. Where the nature of the charges alters during the life of a case, the Principal Offence at the time of finalisation may be different than would have seemed appropriate at an earlier stage of proceedings. In all such cases the Principal Offence category to be recorded is that which applies at finalisation,, regardless of whether this is more serious, or less serious, than would have applied earlier in the life of the case.

Offences are divided into: homicide, offences against the person, sexual offences, burglary, robbery, theft and handling, fraud and forgery, criminal damage, drugs offences, public order, motoring, and all other offences excluding motoring.

CPS records do not identify the principal offence for cases resulting in an administrative finalisation, which are shown in the present report as a separate category.

CPS outcomes are recorded on a defendant basis. In some cases, a number of defendants may be prosecuted together. All defendants may be convicted; all may be acquitted; or some may be convicted and others acquitted. Because cases often involve a number of defendants who are tried together, defendant based data can be distorted as a result. Over time this effect will be evened out, but it should be borne in mind that figures for a single month may represent the outcome of only a small number of separate cases.

CPS data are available through its Case Management System (CMS) and associated Management Information System (MIS). The CPS collects data to assist in the effective management of its prosecution functions. The CPS does not collect data which constitutes official statistics as defined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. These data have been drawn from the CPS's administrative IT system, which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures shown in this report are provisional and subject to change as more information is recorded by the CPS.

The official statistics relating to crime and policing are maintained by the Home Office and the official statistics relating to sentencing, criminal court proceedings, offenders brought to justice, the courts and the judiciary are maintained by the Ministry of Justice.

Any enquiries may be directed to: Enquiries@cps.gsi.gov.uk. National media enquiries should be directed to CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Local media enquiries may be directed to Area Communication Managers in individual CPS Areas.

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