UK Liberty

This will do wonders for deterrence

Posted in law and order by ukliberty on January 21, 2009

The Telegraph:

Almost a third of suspected crimes fail to reach court, Jacqui Smith admits

Almost a third of criminal suspects arrested in the past year were not charged, government figures have shown.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, told MPs at a select committee hearing that out of 550,000 cases leading to arrests last year, 160,000 were dropped.

It is eight times more than the number originally predicted by the Home Office when a new system was introduced, in which police handed to prosecutors the power of charging serious offences to help save time and money, and increase conviction rates at court. …

In November a report into the process revealed that some criminal suspects remained on bail for weeks or even months before being charged because of complex, inefficient and inconsistent charging practices. In one case, the time from arrest to charge was 369, although the average was 41.3 days, and suspects were regularly “rebailed”.

The first review of the scheme found that present processes were “inconsistent, overly complex, inefficient and lacking in pragmatism, often leading to avoidable delays and frustration”. …

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