Courts data

Criminal courts

Virtually all criminal court cases in England and Wales start in a magistrates' court. The less serious offences (summary and some triable either-way) are handled entirely in magistrates' courts.

More serious offences (triable either-way or indictable only) are passed via the magistrates' court on to the Crown Court, either for sentencing after the defendant has been found guilty or for a trial with a judge and jury. The Crown Court also receives appeals against decisions of the magistrates' courts.

The magistrates' court is the first tier of criminal courts in England and Wales and is presided over by three ‘Justices of the Peace’ (known as lay magistrates) or by a district judge.

The Crown Court is a single entity that sits at various court centres across England and Wales, it predominately deals with serious criminal cases. Unlike the magistrates' court, trials in the Crown Court have a jury to determine the guilt of defendants and a judge which can impose tougher sentences.

See criminal court statistics at MOJ for further information.


Magistrates' courts receipts

A count of the number of cases where the case has been entered on the court administrative system (following a process) within the reporting period.

Period Magistrates' courts receipts
Jan - Dec 2012 1,169,522
Jan - Dec 2013 1,537,272
Jan - Dec 2014 1,607,163
Jan - Dec 2015 1,591,592
Jan - Dec 2016 1,529,018
Jan - Dec 2017 1,515,548
Jan - Dec 2018 1,451,020
Jan - Dec 2019 1,443,215
Jan - Dec 2020 1,125,546
Jan - Dec 2021 1,150,520
Jan - Dec 2022 1,252,145
Jan - Dec 2023 1,365,934

Jan - Dec 2023

1,365,934

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Magistrates' courts disposals

A count of the number of cases only when all the offences have been completed (following a validation process) in the reporting period. Disposals figures in this report may change if the case results are entered after the first collation of the data.

Period Magistrates' courts disposals
Jan - Dec 2012 1,179,639
Jan - Dec 2013 1,556,261
Jan - Dec 2014 1,570,660
Jan - Dec 2015 1,594,051
Jan - Dec 2016 1,566,357
Jan - Dec 2017 1,509,022
Jan - Dec 2018 1,456,735
Jan - Dec 2019 1,441,903
Jan - Dec 2020 1,041,013
Jan - Dec 2021 1,174,297
Jan - Dec 2022 1,266,305
Jan - Dec 2023 1,338,015

Jan - Dec 2023

1,338,015

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Magistrates' courts outstanding

A count of all cases where one or more offence remains incomplete. The data is a snapshot based on outstanding cases on the final day of the reporting period. This is a count of live cases on the system and is not a calculation based on receipts and disposals.

Period Magistrates' courts outstanding
31 Dec 2012 307,803
31 Dec 2013 288,946
31 Dec 2014 326,437
31 Dec 2015 327,228
31 Dec 2016 291,025
31 Dec 2017 297,593
31 Dec 2018 289,664
31 Dec 2019 299,831
31 Dec 2020 383,068
31 Dec 2021 357,993
31 Dec 2022 343,034
31 Dec 2023 370,731

31 Dec 2023

370,731

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Magistrates' courts total number of trials

A trial in the magistrates' court or Crown Court is a hearing at which the prosecution produces evidence to prove the case against the defendant.

Trials in the magistrates' court are heard by two or three magistrates or by one district judge.

Period Magistrates' courts total number of trials
Jan - Dec 2003 177,485
Jan - Dec 2004 193,608
Jan - Dec 2005 182,500
Jan - Dec 2006 180,950
Jan - Dec 2007 189,830
Jan - Dec 2008 183,511
Jan - Dec 2009 179,858
Jan - Dec 2010 179,794
Jan - Dec 2011 166,808
Jan - Dec 2012 156,671
Jan - Dec 2013 155,087
Jan - Dec 2014 158,984
Jan - Dec 2015 162,668
Jan - Dec 2016 149,423
Jan - Dec 2017 136,962
Jan - Dec 2018 123,023
Jan - Dec 2019 109,396
Jan - Dec 2020 57,600
Jan - Dec 2021 93,322
Jan - Dec 2022 88,804
Jan - Dec 2023 82,877

Jan - Dec 2023

82,877

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Magistrates' courts effective trials

Effective trials as a percentage of total trials.

Period Magistrates' courts effective trials
Jan - Dec 2003 33%
Jan - Dec 2004 37%
Jan - Dec 2005 41%
Jan - Dec 2006 44%
Jan - Dec 2007 43%
Jan - Dec 2008 43%
Jan - Dec 2009 43%
Jan - Dec 2010 43%
Jan - Dec 2011 43%
Jan - Dec 2012 44%
Jan - Dec 2013 45%
Jan - Dec 2014 45%
Jan - Dec 2015 48%
Jan - Dec 2016 47%
Jan - Dec 2017 47%
Jan - Dec 2018 46%
Jan - Dec 2019 46%
Jan - Dec 2020 44%
Jan - Dec 2021 42%
Jan - Dec 2022 40%
Jan - Dec 2023 41%

Jan - Dec 2023

41%

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Magistrates' courts cracked trials

Cracked trials as a percentage of total trials.

Period Magistrates' courts cracked trials
Jan - Dec 2003 38%
Jan - Dec 2004 37%
Jan - Dec 2005 37%
Jan - Dec 2006 37%
Jan - Dec 2007 38%
Jan - Dec 2008 38%
Jan - Dec 2009 38%
Jan - Dec 2010 39%
Jan - Dec 2011 39%
Jan - Dec 2012 39%
Jan - Dec 2013 38%
Jan - Dec 2014 37%
Jan - Dec 2015 37%
Jan - Dec 2016 38%
Jan - Dec 2017 38%
Jan - Dec 2018 39%
Jan - Dec 2019 39%
Jan - Dec 2020 36%
Jan - Dec 2021 36%
Jan - Dec 2022 38%
Jan - Dec 2023 37%

Jan - Dec 2023

37%

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Magistrates' courts ineffective trials

Ineffective trials as a percentage of total trials.

Period Magistrates' courts ineffective trials
Jan - Dec 2003 29%
Jan - Dec 2004 26%
Jan - Dec 2005 22%
Jan - Dec 2006 19%
Jan - Dec 2007 19%
Jan - Dec 2008 18%
Jan - Dec 2009 19%
Jan - Dec 2010 18%
Jan - Dec 2011 18%
Jan - Dec 2012 17%
Jan - Dec 2013 18%
Jan - Dec 2014 18%
Jan - Dec 2015 15%
Jan - Dec 2016 15%
Jan - Dec 2017 15%
Jan - Dec 2018 16%
Jan - Dec 2019 15%
Jan - Dec 2020 20%
Jan - Dec 2021 22%
Jan - Dec 2022 22%
Jan - Dec 2023 22%

Jan - Dec 2023

22%

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Crown court receipts

A count of the number of cases where the case has been entered on the court administrative system (following a validation process) within the reporting period.

Period Crown court receipts
Jan - Dec 2014 135,540
Jan - Dec 2015 126,728
Jan - Dec 2016 114,805
Jan - Dec 2017 111,797
Jan - Dec 2018 99,997
Jan - Dec 2019 104,578
Jan - Dec 2020 97,017
Jan - Dec 2021 97,859
Jan - Dec 2022 96,551
Jan - Dec 2023 105,464

Jan - Dec 2023

105,464

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Crown court disposals

A count of the number of cases only when all the offences have been completed (following a validation process) in the reporting period. Disposals figures in this report may change if the case results are entered after the first collation of the data.

Period Crown court disposals
Jan - Dec 2014 129,007
Jan - Dec 2015 130,756
Jan - Dec 2016 123,214
Jan - Dec 2017 115,701
Jan - Dec 2018 105,743
Jan - Dec 2019 99,627
Jan - Dec 2020 78,205
Jan - Dec 2021 95,772
Jan - Dec 2022 91,734
Jan - Dec 2023 99,304

Jan - Dec 2023

99,304

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Crown court outstanding

A count of all cases where one or more offence remains incomplete. The data is a snapshot based on outstanding cases on the final day of the reporting period. This is a count of live cases on the system and is not a calculation based on receipts and disposals. Transferred cases may be double counted for a period while they show in both sending and receiving courts; offences subsequently entered in error may change the categorisation of the case.

Period Crown court outstanding
31 Dec 2014 55,923
31 Dec 2015 51,585
31 Dec 2016 42,942
31 Dec 2017 38,841
31 Dec 2018 32,936
31 Dec 2019 38,030
31 Dec 2020 56,993
31 Dec 2021 58,503
31 Dec 2022 62,628
31 Dec 2023 67,573

31 Dec 2023

67,573

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Crown court total number of trials

A trial in the magistrates' court or Crown Court is a hearing at which the prosecution produces evidence to prove the case against the defendant.

Trials in the Crown Court are typically heard before a judge and jury.

Period Crown court total number of trials
Jan - Dec 2007 37,285
Jan - Dec 2008 35,985
Jan - Dec 2009 39,262
Jan - Dec 2010 43,259
Jan - Dec 2011 41,703
Jan - Dec 2012 38,432
Jan - Dec 2013 33,669
Jan - Dec 2014 35,971
Jan - Dec 2015 39,035
Jan - Dec 2016 37,339
Jan - Dec 2017 34,579
Jan - Dec 2018 29,583
Jan - Dec 2019 24,276
Jan - Dec 2020 10,652
Jan - Dec 2021 21,903
Jan - Dec 2022 26,301
Jan - Dec 2023 28,992

Jan - Dec 2023

28,992

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Crown courts effective trials

Effective trials as a percentage of total trials.

Period Crown courts effective trials
Jan - Dec 2007 46%
Jan - Dec 2008 47%
Jan - Dec 20 46%
Jan - Dec 2010 44%
Jan - Dec 2011 46%
Jan - Dec 2012 49%
Jan - Dec 2013 51%
Jan - Dec 2014 50%
Jan - Dec 2015 50%
Jan - Dec 2016 51%
Jan - Dec 2017 51%
Jan - Dec 2018 51%
Jan - Dec 2019 50%
Jan - Dec 2020 50%
Jan - Dec 2021 48%
Jan - Dec 2022 37%
Jan - Dec 2023 41%

Jan - Dec 2023

41%

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Crown courts cracked trials

Cracked trials as a percentage of total trials.

Period Crown courts cracked trials
Jan - Dec 2007 42%
Jan - Dec 2008 41%
Jan - Dec 2009 42%
Jan - Dec 2010 43%
Jan - Dec 2011 40%
Jan - Dec 2012 37%
Jan - Dec 2013 35%
Jan - Dec 2014 35%
Jan - Dec 2015 35%
Jan - Dec 2016 34%
Jan - Dec 2017 34%
Jan - Dec 2018 35%
Jan - Dec 2019 34%
Jan - Dec 2020 28%
Jan - Dec 2021 29%
Jan - Dec 2022 26%
Jan - Dec 2023 31%

Jan - Dec 2023

31%

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.


Crown courts ineffective trials

Ineffective trials as a percentage of total trials.

Period Crown courts ineffective trials
Jan - Dec 2007 12%
Jan - Dec 2008 12%
Jan - Dec 2009 13%
Jan - Dec 2010 14%
Jan - Dec 2011 14%
Jan - Dec 2012 14%
Jan - Dec 2013 14%
Jan - Dec 2014 15%
Jan - Dec 2015 15%
Jan - Dec 2016 15%
Jan - Dec 2017 15%
Jan - Dec 2018 14%
Jan - Dec 2019 16%
Jan - Dec 2020 21%
Jan - Dec 2021 23%
Jan - Dec 2022 37%
Jan - Dec 2023 27%

Jan - Dec 2023

27%

Data source

The data source for this measure and more detailed information can be found in the Criminal court statistics quarterly publication.

Publication date

Published: 28 March 2024. Next publication: 26 September 2024 9:30am.