Police are taking longer to charge suspects, survey finds

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23rd September 2015 13:54 - Public Consultation

According to recent crime figures from the Ministry of Justice, police are taking nearly 10 per cent longer to charge suspects after Police are taking longer to charge suspects, survey findsinvestigating a case, despite a 28 per cent decrease in the amount of recorded crime.

The data indicated that across England and Wales, the time it took for police to investigate a case and charge a suspect was 94 days during the first quarter of 2015, a figure which is 10 per cent higher than that of four years ago.

The Police Federation believe that these figures reflect the cuts to police resources.

Further data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales suggests that there was a 28 per cent decrease between 2011 and 2015, from 9.5 million recorded crimes, to 6.8 million.

When looking at which county takes the longest time to charge a suspect, Essex came out at the longest, taking 121 days on average, which is nearly double the length of time it takes to charge a suspect in Cleveland.

Chairman of Essex Police Federation, Mark Smith, said of the figures:

"We've got fewer resources on the street now, so the officers that are on the streets are also the officers investigating the crimes that they've been given. So if they are picking up more and more jobs each day they may not be getting the time to go and investigate those that are waiting for them in their tray. Officers are being asked for a lot more paperwork before a decision is made on somebody being charged.

"We want to get the work done, we want to get the evidence and get criminals in court as quickly as possible. It is frustrating,"

 

Police charging times (Source: BBC)

Justice area

Time to charge in days (first quarter 2015)

2014

2013

Essex

121

82.5

83

Dyfed Powys

114

104

108

Lincolnshire

110

86

99

Nottinghamshire

110

106

107

South West London

106

118

113

Cheshire

104

89

86

Surrey

104

102

101

Warwickshire

103

98

99

Humberside

103

83

87

Hertfordshire

103

80

89

Cambridgeshire

102

93

102

Staffordshire

101

51

55

Thames Valley

100

104

103

Devon and Cornwall

100

84

86

Leicestershire

99

105

99

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