Hundreds of court cases failing

Figures show that almost 200 court cases in London are dropped or delayed every week because of prosecution failings.

Live updates

Met Police improving 'quality and rigour' of investigations

The MPS is concentrating on improving the quality and rigour of initial investigations in order to improve the service to victims by reducing the need for follow up visits.

In addition, the MPS has reviewed its telephone investigation service and committed to offering a personal visit to any victim of crime who requests it.

This has resulted in an additional 50,000 victims of crime being visited by an initial investigator since April 2012.

– Metropolitan Police statement


CPS needs to 'get the basics right' says report author

These enormous sums mask the even greater emotional cost to victims and witnesses, who may become so disillusioned with the courts that they will not use the justice system again, and, worse still not even bother to report crime. Only by getting the basics right will the CPS reduce the number of dropped and delayed cases and bring villains to justice swiftly.

Witnesses and victims need to know the exact time, day and place to attend, prosecution barristers should be able to see case papers in advance, not at 9am for a 10am start, and the CPS, police and prosecution barristers should directly communicate before the trial to make sure it is ready."

– Tony Arbour, Conservative London Assembly Member and author of 'Justice Postponed'

Report reveals why London court cases are delayed

Today's report shows that cases failed in court because of the prosecution not being ready, the absence of prosecution witnesses or failings in court administration.


  • The prosecution not being ready (1,068 cases)
  • Prosecution failing to disclose unused evidence (403)
  • Absent witnesses on the prosecution side such as police and professional experts (1,552)
  • Prosecution advocates failing to attend or engaged in another trial (89)
  • No interpreter available (286)
  • Courtroom equipment failure (127)


Back to top