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Facts and figures

In numbers

  • 7 HMCS regions containing 18 areas
  • 77 Crown Court centres across England and Wales 
  • 330 magistrates’ courts in England and Wales
  • 134  prison establishments
  • 108 High Court Judges
  • 137 District Judges (magistrates’ court)
  • 665 Circuit Judges
  • 1,221 Recorders
  • 29,270 magistrates in England and Wales
  • 102,200 defendants sentenced at the Crown Court in 2011
  • 1,559,000 defendants proceeded against in the magistrates’ court in 2011
  • 1,219,000 defendants found guilty in magistrates' courts in 2011
  • 1,299,250 offenders sentenced in 2011 (all offences) of which:
      • 119,800 for theft and handling stolen goods offences
      • 60,100 for drug offences
      • 42,000 for violence against the person offences and
      • 24,900 for burglary offences

Facts

Sentencing has got tougher – across the criminal court system, the average sentence length for those sentenced to immediate custody for indictable offences has increased from 15 months in 2001 to 17 months in 2011. In the Crown Court, this has increased from 25 months in 2001 to 26 months in 2011.

Conviction rates at the Crown Court have risen – overall 83 per cent of defendants tried in 2011 were convicted.

The use of fines for indictable offences decreased from 24 per cent in 2001 to 17 per cent in 2011.

The use of suspended sentences for indictable offences increased from 0.7 per cent in 2001 to 10 per cent in 2011.

The immediate custody rate* for indictable offences has increased from 24.9 per cent in 2001 to 25.3 per cent in 2011.

Community sentences are the most common disposal for indictable offences, accounting for approximately a third of sentences.


* The percentage of persons sentenced who received an immediate custodial sentence