Attorney-General Questions: Crimes of Violence

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General how many prosecutions the Crown Prosecution Service has carried out for (a) actual bodily harm and (b) grievous bodily harm in each of the last five years; and what the conviction rates were for each in each such year.

The Solicitor-General: The records held by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) identify the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced and reached a first hearing in magistrates courts, rather than the number of defendants prosecuted. The following table, therefore, shows in each of the last five years the number of offences charged under section 47 (Assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm), section 20 (Unlawful Wounding) and section 18 (Grievous Bodily Harm) of the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

 Offences Against the Person Act 1861, section 47Offences Against the Person Act 1861, section 20Offences Against the Person Act 1861, section 18

2007-08

34,882

5,754

7,825

2008-09

31,566

5,552

7,759

2009-10

33,129

5,834

7,930

2010-11

34,737

6,195

8,424

2011-12

26,713

5,466

7,748

There is no indication of the final prosecution outcome, or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is also often the case that an individual defendant is charged with more than one offence against the same victim. To obtain the volume and rate of convictions it would be necessary to review individual case files which would incur a disproportionate cost.