First time Entrants to the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland 2014/15’ published today

The Department of Justice (DOJ) today published Research and Statistical Bulletin 18/2016 ‘‘First Time Entrants to the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland 2014/15’. It is an Official Statistics Publication.

The bulletin presents information on first time entrants (or, disposals relating to first offences) to the criminal justice system disaggregated by age, gender, offence category and disposal type for 2014/15.  The key findings were as follows:

Key findings

  • In 2014/15, a total of 9,601 first offences and 21,999 further offences were recorded as dealt with by conviction or diversion in the justice system in Northern Ireland.  First offences constituted 30.4% of all offences in 2014/15.  Of all first offences, 36.8% (3,537) were dealt with by way of diversionary disposal, compared to 63.2% (6,064) which were dealt with by conviction.
  • Of the 9,601 first time entrants to the criminal justice system in 2014/15, 9.7% (930) were in the 10 – 17 year old age group.  First offences accounted for 35.7% of all instances where a conviction or diversion was issued to that age group (930 out of 2,608).
  • Similarly, 28.8% (2,763) of the first time entrants were by those in the 18 – 24 year old age group.  First offences accounted for 31.5% of all instances where a conviction or diversion was issued to that age group (2,763 out of 8,769).
  • First offences accounted for 58.4% (3,537) of all instances where a diversionary disposal was issued in 2014/15.  People in the 10 – 17 year old age group were most likely (91.1%, 847) to receive a diversion for a first offence.
  • Of all offences dealt with by conviction or diversion, 26.2% (6,773) by males[1] were first offences, compared to 49.0% (2,828) by females.  Of all first offences dealt with by diversion or conviction, 70.5% were by males, compared to 29.5% by females.
  • 52.7% (5,060) of all first offences in 2014/15 were for Motoring offences.  Of all instances where a conviction or diversion was issued for offences in that category in 2014/15, 41.4% were for first offences.
  • Monetary disposals made up 49.8% (4,779) of all disposals for first offences in 2014/15. First offences accounted for 34.5% of all instances where a monetary penalty was imposed in relation to a conviction or diversion.  However, of all instances where imprisonment was imposed as a penalty in 2014/15, first offences accounted for only 6.3% (207 out of 3,284).

Of first offences dealt with by diversion, 79.5% (2,813) were dealt with by way of caution. However, while 59.0% of all cautions were for first offences, 90.6% (470) of all informed warnings were for first offences.

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