First quarterly CPS prosecution data published

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UPDATED prosecution data has been released by the Crown Prosecution Service today (30 January).

A quarterly bulletin has been published for the first time as part of the CPS’s ongoing commitment to transparency on prosecution performance. The data tables, and a summary of main trends, can be accessed here.

The bulletin contains performance information relating to overall prosecution figures and police referrals as well as charging rates in a range of offence types including domestic abuse, rape flagged offences, hate crime and child sexual abuse.

It shows figures from the first two quarters of the financial year 2019-20 which update information published in the CPS Annual Report, and the last annual CPS Violence Against Women and Girls and Hate Crime reports.

Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions said: “Performance across the criminal justice system is rightly under the spotlight and this move to quarterly reporting demonstrates our commitment to transparency and accountability to help inform public debate.

“This data highlights several notable long-term trends that impact on the work of CPS. Our cases are growing in complexity, requiring more early engagement with investigators, which means charging decisions are taking longer. Overall, we continue to see a reduction in police referrals and fewer cases are coming to court. I welcome the Government’s focus on a fair justice system that keeps people safe, and will continue to work with our partners to understand and address these issues.”

Rape prosecution rates

There is an ongoing cross-sector, end-to-end review into how rape and sexual violence cases are handled across the criminal justice system. Today’s bulletin includes the latest CPS data on rape-flagged cases.

Max Hill QC said: “Rape is a devastating crime and our specialist prosecutors will charge whenever the legal test is met. They are highly trained in the challenges of these offences, including rape myths and stereotypes, the impact of the trauma, and how to support vulnerable victims and witnesses.

“I share the deep public concern over the growing gap between the number of rapes being reported, and the number of criminals being convicted of this sickening offence. The CPS is playing an active role in the cross-Government review which is looking right across the system to understand the reasons for this. There is a clear need for end-to-end action to provide better support for victims of this devastating crime, and to bring more offenders to justice.

“In partnership with the police, we have already started work on an ambitious plan to deal with the growing complexity of rape prosecutions and to bring about the improvements we all want to see.”

Notes to editors

The quarterly data can be viewed on the CPS website.

Further reading