Northern Ireland courts saw activity return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021
Activity in the Northern Ireland courts returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, according to new figures.
The latest statistical bulletin from the Department of Justice shows that the number of prosecutions disposed at Crown Court in 2021 was 1,598, a 37.4 per cent increase from 2020, while prosecutions at magistrates’ courts rose to 28,269, an increase of 40.7 per cent.
In 2021, 83.1 per cent of prosecutions in all courts resulted in a conviction, down from 85.3 per cent in 2020.
Motoring offences made up the largest proportion of prosecutions (42.4 per cent) at all courts and drug offences had the highest conviction rate (94 per cent).
Meanwhile, the number of out of court disposals increased from 2020, due to Covid-19 offences being dealt with by way of penalty notice.
A total of 5,662 penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) were issued in 2021, of which 4,850 (85.7 per cent) were for offences under Covid-19 regulations.
The number of out of court, diversionary disposals recorded against individuals’ criminal records in 2021 was 3,898, a rise of 20.6 per cent from 2020. Cautions made up 74 per cent of them.