PPS Statistical Bulletin 2022-23


This bulletin 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 the 2022/23 financial year (i.e. 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023) and includes comparisons with previous years.

Key findings

During 2022/23:

  • The PPS received a total of 44,687 files, an increase of 11% on 2021/22 (40,168). Of these, 44,130 were received from Police.
  • The majority of files received from Police were within two offence classifications: 31% related to ‘motoring offences’ (13,648) and 30% related to ‘violence against the person’ (13,413). The classification ‘public order’ saw the biggest relative decrease with a fall of 9% on the previous year.
  • In addition to the files received from the PSNI, 557 files were submitted to PPS by government departments and agencies. Of these, 34% were received from the Driver and Vehicle Agency and 19% from the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.
  • A total of 49,367 prosecutorial decisions were issued by the PPS. The Test for Prosecution was met was met in the majority of cases considered by public prosecutors during the current period. Of the 49,367 decisions issued, 67% were for prosecution (30,193) or for diversion (3,046) from the courts.
  • Of the 16,128 decisions for no prosecution, the vast majority (97%) did not pass the evidential test. The remaining 3% did not pass the public interest test.
  • Median calendar days required for the issue of an indictable prosecution decision (prosecution in the Crown Court) was 193 days, lower than 2021/22 (209 days). Summary prosecution decisions (prosecution in the Magistrates’ or Youth Court) required a median of 6 days, which is higher than the previous financial year (4 days).
  • There were 1,759 defendants dealt with in the Crown Court. This was an increase of 9% on the previous financial year (1,608). The overall conviction rate in the Crown Court was 87% compared with 88% in 2021/22.
  • A total of 30,352 defendants were dealt with in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts, an increase of 6% on 2021/22 (28,740). The conviction rate in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts was 79%, similar to 2021/22 (80%).

Further information

This summary should be read in conjunction with the explanatory notes and user information provided (see pages 13 - 15 of the Statistical Bulletin).

These are ‘Official Statistics’ as defined in Section 6 of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007. Statisticians from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency are seconded to the PPS and are responsible for ensuring that the statistics produced comply with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.