Data Insight: The outcomes of serious and organised crime cases appearing before the criminal courts in England and Wales

This Data Insight presents further findings from an exploratory study undertaken as part of an inaugural Data First Research Fellowship.1 Drawing on over 12.6 million linked records from the criminal courts and prison system over an eight-year period (2013-2020), it overviews the main findings and implications of a unique study examining the extent, nature and outcomes of serious and organised crime (SOC)-related appearances and cases heard before the Crown Court in England and Wales.

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What we found

Findings indicate that:

  • SOC defendants are predominantly men and White
  • On average, SOC appearances generated higher levels of crime-related ‘harm’
  • SOC appearances were concentrated in certain locations
  • Compared to other Crown Court appearances, SOC was typically linked to more affluent areas
  • SOC appearances were more likely to involve a guilty plea, result in a conviction, and their trials were longer
  • Those SOC appearances heard before a jury were more likely to result in a discontinuation, dismissal, or acquittal
  • Fewer SOC defendants reappeared in court for further offences within two years.

Why it matters

The findings from the project provide new insights into the extent and nature of SOC heard before the Crown Court in England and Wales, and the outcomes associated with them. This evidence contributes towards informing a key Ministry of Justice priority: the effective and efficient delivery of justice and promoting confidence in the justice system and the rule of law. Developing a better understanding of the threat posed by those involved in SOC is also one of the priority areas identified for research to support the effective implementation of HM Government’s 2018 serious and organised crime strategy.

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