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CPS case outcomes by principal offence


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 & 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 is the most serious offence with which a defendant is charged in a set of proceedings, regardless of how that offence is finalised. Offences are divided into: homicide, offences against the person, sexual offences, burglary, robbery, theft & handling, fraud & 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.

Figures shown in this report are provisional, and may be subject to revision.

Any enquiries may be directed to: National media enquiries should be directed to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8127. Local media enquiries may be directed to Communications Officers in individual CPS Areas.

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