Government statistics error reveals lowest convictions rate in a decade

Mirror logo Mirror 14/01/2021 21:00:00 Lizzy Buchan

A mistake in Government data has concealed the extent of a large drop in convictions for all offences amid warnings the justice system is "on the brink". 

Ministry of Justice statistics released on November 12 said there had been 414,862 convictions in the year up to June 2020. 

But corrected statistics quietly released on January 11 put the total number at 356,651 - a difference of 58,211 convictions.

The true figures are by far the lowest this decade.

Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy, who uncovered the error, questioned whether the Government had "something to hide" and warned that victims were being let down.

David Lammy wearing a suit and tie: Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy warned the justice system was 'on the brink' © Getty ImagesShadow Justice Secretary David Lammy warned the justice system was 'on the brink'

He said: "After a decade of cuts, court closures and dithering over the pandemic, the justice system is on the brink.

"The Government's failure to achieve convictions is letting victims down and letting criminals off the hook.

"The fact these shocking figures were buried in an update to statistics released last year raises questions over whether the government knew they had something to hide." 

Convictions had been on a downwards trajectory since 2010, when 578,528 were recorded for indictable offences such as violence against the person and robbery.

There were 412,323 in 2019, plummeting to 356,651 in June last year as the pandemic took hold.

It comes amid major coronavirus pressures on the courts system, with a backlog of more than 50,000 cases in the Crown Court alone. 

The bottleneck means families of victims face long waits to get justice, while innocent people could be left behind bars without trial or with the case hanging over their heads.

Max Hill, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said last year that long waits were "corrosive" for victims.

The Ministry of Justice has been contacted for comment.

14. tammikuuta 2021 23:00:00 Categories: Mirror

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