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PPS taking longer to decide on Crown Court proceedings

New statistics have revealed that there has been a marked increase in the amount of time taken by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to decide whether or not Crown Court proceedings should proceed.

The increase, more than 21% compared to the previous year, means that the PPS now take an extra 43 days to make its decision, setting the total time spent deliberating at 244 days.

In a statement, the PPS highlighted stretched resources and increasing demands as the main reasons for the delay. It also singled out the growing amount of digital evidence which need to be considered in criminal proceedings as being particularly time and resource consuming.

Other statistics published in the PPS report include:

> Decisions on Magistrates’ or Youth Court cases now take 28 days, down from 33 the previous year

> The rate of conviction in Youth and Magistrates’ Courts saw a slight year on year increase, rising 1% to 81% against the previous year

> The Crown Court conviction rate, conversely, saw a slight decrease from 84.8% to 84.4%

> The number of defendants heard by Crown Courts dropped to 1,458, compared to 1,510 the previous year, a decrease of over 3%

If you require legal advice or solicitor representation in the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court, call one of the criminal law solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt on 0800 840 0549 or click this link.

Wilson Nesbitt also provides a 24 hour police station call-out service to all police stations in Northern Ireland.

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