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Written Question
Criminal Investigation
Tuesday 24th January 2023

Asked by: Lord Heseltine (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government how many current criminal investigations by the police and HMRC began (1) more than four, and (2) more than two years ago; and of these cases how many are waiting for a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Answered by Lord Sharpe of Epsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The Home Office collects and publishes information on the outcomes of crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, including those yet to be assigned an outcome and still under investigation, on a quarterly basis. These data do not show which cases still under investigation are awaiting a CPS decision.

These can be accessed here:

The Home Office is working with partners across the Criminal Justice System to increase the number of cases being charged and prosecuted, and reduce the time taken to reach this point.

As of 10 January 2023, HMRC’s data shows that a total of 178 individuals across 47 criminal investigation cases opened more than two (but less than four) years ago are awaiting a charging decision from a Prosecutor (CPS in England & Wales, Crown Office Procurator Fiscal in Scotland or Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland). HMRC’s data shows that a total of 261 individuals across 51 criminal investigation cases opened over four years ago are awaiting a charging decision from a Prosecutor. HMRC figures reflect only cases that have been referred to a prosecutor and are not the sum total of all criminal investigations that were opened within the requested timescales.