Thousands of criminal cases in Dorset fail to reach court

A RECORD number of criminal offenses closed in Dorset last year were not taken to court after alleged victims withdrew their support for their case, figures show.

Campaigners say victims of crime in England and Wales are being left behind by the justice system due to growing delays and a lack of support.

Home Office data shows that of 51,837 offenses closed by Dorset Police last year, 15,438 failed after the alleged victim failed to support further action.

At 29.8%, this was the highest rate of cases that collapsed for this reason since comparable figures were first published in 2015, when only 7.8% of offenses had results that year ended with this result.

It was also slightly above 28.2% in 2019.

In England and Wales, 27.4% of criminal cases closed last year collapsed after alleged victims withdrew their support for other measures, up from 25.1% in 2019 and the highest rate. high since 2015, when 12.8% were closed for this reason.

Figures do not include Greater Manchester Police as they did not submit full data.

Rachel Almeida, deputy director of Victim Support, said the trend in both countries was a “great cause for concern”.

“The criminal justice process relies on victims to report crimes, assist with investigations and testify in court,” she said.

“The significant increase in the number of victims who do not support the action represents a very serious challenge for the whole system. ”

Ms Almeida said the factors behind the increase were complex and could include concerns about long waits for a trial or a lack of confidence in the justice system in general.

She added: “What is clear is that too often victim care has been seen as a ‘good to have’ rather than an essential part of the process. This must change.

“The government must make the fight against victim attrition a priority by improving the treatment of victims and their confidence in the justice process. ”

Of the cases dropped in Dorset last year after a victim failed to support further action, one suspect has been identified in 11,116 – around 72%, compared to 82% in England and Wales.

The government is failing in its duty to protect victims and ensure public safety, he added.

A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to supporting all victims of crime. That is why we will introduce a new law on victims to protect them, recruit an additional 20,000 police officers and increase funding for support services in order to build confidence in the justice system.

He added that £ 450million invested to speed up the justice system was already having an impact, with pending magistrates’ cases declining by around 80,000 since last summer and cases in Crown courts at pre-existing levels. Covid.

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