Only one in 15 crimes end up going to court, new data reveals

Only one in 15 crimes end up going to court as figure slumps to a record low, new data reveals

  • New statistics show number of crimes ending up in court slumped to record low
  • Proportion of reported crimes that led to charge or summons fell to 6.5 per cent
  • This marks the first time ever that this figure has dipped below 7 per cent
  • By comparison, levels stood at more than 15 per cent in 2015 – just under one in seven 

The number of crimes that end up in court has slumped to a record low of just one in 15, figures revealed yesterday.

Official data showed the proportion of recorded crimes which led to a charge or summons fell to just 6.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the number of rapes reported to police in England and Wales soared 10 per cent year-on-year to record levels of more than 61,000 in the 12 months to June. But the number of those reports which led to a suspect being taken to court fell to an all-time low.

The number of crimes that end up in court has slumped to a record low of just one in 15, figures revealed yesterday (stock image)

It was the first time the percentage of overall crimes to have led to a charge has dipped below 7 per cent. By comparison, levels stood at more than 15 per cent in 2015 – or just under one in seven.

Just 297,000 suspects were taken to court in the year to June, down from 352,000 the previous year.

There was an 8 per cent surge in sex crimes to just under 165,000 reported in the year. It included a record 48,553 recorded in the three months from April to June, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. It was up 15 per cent on the same quarter in 2019.

The ONS said the increase in reports could be partly due to result of ‘recent high-profile events’. The period covered by the data included the rape and murder of Sarah Everard, 33, by serving Met officer Wayne Couzens.

Just 297,000 suspects were taken to court in the year to June, down from 352,000 the previous year. Pictured: Lady Justice statue at the Old Bailey in London

But just 1.4 per cent of rapes reported led to a suspect being charged or summoned – a record low. The decline will be hugely embarrassing for Home Secretary Priti Patel who, earlier this year, admitted her ‘deep shame’ at how rape victims were being failed. In June, she pledged a long-awaited initiative to restore rape charges to the level seen five years ago – but yesterday’s data showed they are still in reverse.

Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird said the decline in the number of overall crimes brought to justice was ‘nothing short of appalling’. And David Spencer, of the Centre for Crime Prevention, added: ‘This should be a source of major embarrassment to police forces and the Home Office.’

  • Fraud has rocketed by more than a third in just 12 months. The ONS said there was a 43 per cent increase in the year to June. It included a 32 per cent jump in ‘real-world’ fraud to 5,035,000 incidents and an 85 per cent rise in computer fraud to 1,772,000. 

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