§ Lord Beaumont of Whitley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are the most recent figures (total and percentage) for the number of cases in the London magistrates' courts and London youth courts in which no evidence had been offered by the Crown Prosecution Service; and how many and what percentage of those are cases in which no evidence has been offered after an adjournment has been refused. [HL3533]
§ The Attorney-General
Proceedings were discontinued in respect of 15,514 defendants in London magistrates' courts and youth courts during the period 1 April to 31 December 2001, representing 12.7 per cent of completed cases; 12,227 of these were dropped at court before evidence was heard (10 per cent of completed cases) and 3,287 (2.7 per cent) were discontinued in advance of the hearing. These figures represent cases referred to the CPS following charges made by the police.
The 12,227 cases dropped in court included 372 cases where the defence produced documents showing the defendant's innocence at court. In these cases, the prosecution had no opportunity of discontinuing proceedings before the hearing.
Information on those cases discontinued at court due to no evidence being offered or as a result of an adjournment being refused is not collated centrally. This information could only be captured by inspection of the actual case files, which would incur disproportionate costs.