LATEST FIGURES FOR LEGAL AID CRIME SPEND SHOW MASSIVE SAVINGS TO TAXPAYER

Written 3rd April 2012 by Olliers Solicitors

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has published its Volume and Value figures Report for Crime Higher and Crime Lower. The link to the figures can be found at the bottom of the page. Savings to the taxpayer in respect of both Crime Higher (Crown Court) and Crime Lower (Police Station Investigations and Magistrates Courts) are enormous.

Investigations

2010/11 Investigations, volume is at its lowest level for 10 years.

2010/11 Investigations, expenditure is lower than 2003/4 levels (staggering when figures take no account of inflation).

2011/12 Investigations, figures to December 2011 seem to suggest a further reduction in both volume and expenditure of around 10% on the previous year.

Proceedings

2010/11 Proceedings, volume is at an all time low.

2010/11 Proceedings, value of claims is £227 million compared with the sum of £322 million in 2002/3. The 2003 figure would be substantially higher if adjusted to reflect inflation / changes to the cost of living.

2011/12 Proceedings, figures to December 2011 suggest a further reduction in the volume of cases before the Magistrates Court of 10% with an even greater amount saved.

Total Crime Lower

Total Crime Lower spend in 2010/11 is £431 million and this is over £70 million less than the spend in 2002/3. SMP’s for Crime Lower in the current year are in the region of £284 million for the first 10 months. This can be extrapolated to about £350 million for the year. SMP’S for the year 2009/10 were £460 million.

Total Crime Higher

Crime Higher figures are not dealt with in great detail in the report. Figures to December 2011 are available, i.e. the first three quarters of the financial year 2011/12. Crime Higher in the year 2009/10 stood at £733 million; for 2010/11 it had reduced to £702 million.

For the year 2011/12 at the three quarter point, it stood at £489 million which can be extrapolated to approximately £650 million; a saving of £50 million on last year in cash terms and an even bigger saving in real terms.

It needs to be stressed that the savings that have been made are as a result of reduced volumes and cuts imposed by the Ministry of Justice under Jack Straw. The additional cuts imposed by the Coalition under Ken Clarke have yet to take effect.

View the full report here: http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/docs/cds_main/Crime.pdf

Matthew Claughton

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