criminal justice

Chart: In serious cases, justice is often slow

Some serious crime investigations are surprisingly quick: half of murder prosecutions involve a suspect being charged in five days or fewer. But for many serious crimes, justice is often slow: half of fraud prosecutions don’t conclude until almost two years after the crime occurred.

Chart: Some police forces are much more likely to prosecute violence

Once police have enough evidence to prosecute an offender, they or prosecutors must decide whether to send the case to court or deal with it informally. For violent crimes, the likelihood of a case going to court varies substantially across police forces, with some prosecuting over 80% of cases and others diverting two thirds to other resolutions such as paying compensation.

Chart: No big changes in sentences after new police-assaults law

The government recently doubled the maximum sentence for assaulting a police officer to 12 months in prison, introducing a new offence of assaulting an emergency worker. So far, this change is associated with only small increases in sentences handed down in court.

Chart: Police crackdowns catch few drink drivers

Police routinely breathalyse drivers they suspect have been drinking, but also carry out an annual Christmas crackdown, breath-testing more than three times as many drivers in December as in other months.

Chart: 10 times more people die in police collisions than in shootings

About 100 people a year die following contact with police in England and Wales. Public debate has often focused on deaths in custody or police shootings, but people are much more likely to die in collisions with police vehicles or in suicides following release from custody.

Chart: What offences are people most often prosecuted for?

About 1.4 million criminal cases were prosecuted in England and Wales last year. Motoring offences and minor non-violent offences such as TV licence evasion are the most commonly prosecuted, with many more cases in those categories dealt with by fixed penalties or other out-of-court disposals.

Chart: What offences are people most often prosecuted for?

About 1.4 million criminal cases were prosecuted in England and Wales last year. Motoring offences and minor non-violent offences such as TV licence evasion are the most commonly prosecuted, with many more cases in those categories dealt with by fixed penalties or other out-of-court disposals.

Chart: One in ten of us is on the National DNA Database

About 5.3 million people in England and Wales (about 10% of the population aged 10 or over) have their DNA stored on the National DNA Database, one of the largest DNA databases in the world.

Chart: More than 1,400 football arrests each season

Over the past five years, more than 1,400 people have been arrested on average each season for football-related offences across the top five English divisions, with incidents reported at over 1,000 different matches.

Chart: When police use force, they rarely cause injury

Police reported using force on over 300,000 occasions last year, or about 850 each day, with most incidents involving either handcuffing or other restraint. Almost all force used by police resulted in no injury to the person force was used against.