Monday 29 March 2021 / 12:30 PM David Lammy / Justice

Labour calls for emergency action as Crown Court delays spike while robbery, theft, criminal damage and arson, drug offences and fraud convictions hit a 10-year low

New analysis by Labour reveals convictions for robbery, theft, criminal damage and arson, drug offences and fraud have fallen to a 10-year low.

The total number of convictions plummeted by more than a half (53%) for robbery, by 55% for theft, by 78% for criminal damage and arson, by 65% for fraud and by 23% for drug offences, over the past decade.

The total number of convictions overall has also fallen to a decade-low – from 586,890 in 2010 when Labour left office to 338,557 in 2020.

The analysis comes as new data shows that 18 per cent of cases had been outstanding for a year or more in the three months to December last year – up from 6% in the previous year. Timeliness in the Crown Court has fallen by 7% for all cases – and by 41% for cases where a not guilty plea was entered, from 229 days to 323 days.

Labour is calling on the government to introduce its package of measures to reduce the all-time high Crown Court backlog of 56,875 cases, including: 120,000 sitting court days for 2021-22 (an increase of 33,000 from the current year), the rapid extension of Nightingale Courts, war juries of six in most cases until restrictions are lifted and the immediate roll-out of mass testing in courts.

The government has so far ignored each of Labour’s proposals.


David Lammy MP, Labour’s  Shadow  Justice Secretary, said:

“These damning figures show that crime does pay under the Conservatives.

“A decade of court closures, as well as cuts to all parts of the justice system, has resulted in record delays and decade-low numbers of convictions for robbery, theft, criminal damage and arson, drug offences and fraud.

“Enough is enough. The government must now act to support victims and reduce the backlog by finally introducing the policies Labour has been shouting about for months.”