PPS Statistical Bulletin 2023-24


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 2023/24 financial year (i.e. 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024) and includes comparisons with previous years.

Key findings

During 2023/24:

  • The PPS received a total of 43,977 files, a decrease of 1.6% on 2022/23 (44,687). Of these 43,977 files, 43,363 were received from Police.
  • The majority of files received from Police were within two offence classifications: 32.1% related to ‘motoring offences’ offences (13,917) and 27.5% related to ‘violence against the person’ (11,922). The classification ‘sexual offences’ saw the biggest decrease with a fall of 12.8% on the previous year.
  • In addition to the files received from the PSNI, 614 files were submitted to PPS by government departments and agencies. Of these, 26.1% were received from Companies House, 19.4% were received from the Driver and Vehicle Agency and 16.4% were received from the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.
  • A total of 48,665 prosecutorial decisions were issued by the PPS. The Test for Prosecution was met for 70.2% of cases which included 31,144 decisions for prosecution and 2,999 for diversion from the courts.
  • Of the 14,522 decisions for no prosecution, the vast majority (97.3%) did not pass the evidential test. The remaining 2.7% did not pass the public interest test.
  • Median calendar days required for the issue of an indictable prosecution decision (prosecution in the Crown Court) increased during the current period to 204 days, up from 193 days during 2022/23. Summary prosecution decisions (prosecution in the Magistrates’ or Youth Court) required a median of 12 days, which is higher than the previous financial year (6 days).
  • There were 1,645 defendants dealt with in the Crown Court. This was a decrease of 6.5% on the previous financial year (1,759). The overall conviction rate in the Crown Court was 87.0% compared with 86.6% in 2022/23. 
  • A total of 30,219 defendants were dealt with in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts, a decrease of 0.4% on 2022/23 (30,352). The conviction rate in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts was 79.1%, similar to 2022/23 (78.8%).

Further information

This summary should be read in conjunction with the explanatory notes and user information provided (see pages 14 - 19 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.