Date published: 14 February 2019

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) today published its Statistical Bulletin Quarters 1-3 2018/19, which presents key statistics on the activity of the PPS including files received, caseloads and prosecutorial decisions. It also covers decision types, including reasons for no prosecution, and the outcomes of prosecutions at court.

The statistics relate to Quarters 1-3 2018/19 financial year (i.e. 1 April 2018 to 31 December 2018) and includes comparisons with the equivalent period of Quarters 1-3 2017/18 financial year.

Key findings

During the first three quarters of 2018/19:

  • The PPS received a total of 32,017 files, an increase of 2.1% on the corresponding period of 2017/18 (31,365). Of these 32,017 files, 31,293 were received from Police.
  • The majority of files received from Police were within two offence classifications: 29.7% related to ‘motoring offences’ (9,282) and 27.9% related to ‘violence against the person’ offences (8,716). There was a rise of 10.7% in the number of files received involving drugs offences, up from 2,268 in Quarters 1-3 2017/18 to 2,511.
  • In addition to the files received from the PSNI, 724 files were submitted to PPS by government departments and agencies. Of these, 48.2% were received from the Driver and Vehicle Agency and 22.2% from the Department for Communities.
  • A total of 36,369 prosecutorial decisions were issued by the PPS. The Test for Prosecution was met for 68.5% of cases which included 22,226 decisions for prosecution and 2,692 for diversion from the courts.
  • Of the 11,451 decisions for no prosecution, the vast majority (97.0%) did not pass the evidential test. The remaining 3.0% did not pass the public interest test.
  • On average it took 244 calendar days for the issue of indictable prosecution decisions (prosecution in the Crown Court) which is 55 days more than in Quarters 1-3 2017/18 (189 days). Summary prosecutions decisions (prosecution in the Magistrates’ or Youth Court) required on average 26 days, a small decrease on the previous period (27 days).
  • There were 1,010 defendants dealt with in the Crown Court. This was a decrease of 10.5% on the previous financial year (1,128). The overall conviction rate in the Crown Court was 83.9% compared with 85.6% in Quarters 1-3 2017/18.
  • A total of 21,994 defendants were dealt with in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts, an increase of 5.5% on Quarters 1-3 2017/18 (20,841). The conviction rate in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts was 81.3%, an improvement on Quarters 1-3 2017/18 (79.7%).

The Bulletin can be found on the PPS website:



Share this page