DPP asked for reason in 638 decisions not to prosecute

04 Oct 2018 / DPP Print

DPP asked for reason in 638 decisions not to prosecute

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last year handled 638 requests to give the reason for a decision not to prosecute, its annual report reveals.

A full 40 per cent of these requests relate to sexual offence complaints.

In 219 cases, a review of the decision not to prosecute was sought leading to a reversal of the initial decision in eight instances. The DPP upheld 190 and overturned eight with 19 deemed invalid and two still pending.

Ninety of those cases, or 41 per cent, involved sexual offences.

Last year under the Mutual Legal Assistance programme, the DPP dealt with double the number of requests from abroad for evidence or help on extradition matters.

A total of 133 of these requests were from EU member states with 203 from the US.

The Prosecution Service cost just under €41 million to run in 2017, up from €38.6 million in 2016. Salaries and wages accounted for €12,602,745. 

The State Solicitor service cost €6,561,453, or 16 per cent of the total budget, compared with 40 per cent to counsel, the largest area of expenditure at €16.4 million. 

Barrister payments were up by €1.5 million on 2016.

Payments to solicitors in 2016 totalled €6,547,058.

With six judges now sitting in the Central Criminal Court and an increasing volume of trials, the DPP Claire Loftus anticipates a rise in such fees to counsel, the report shows.

The 195 staff working in the Office of the DPP dealt with 13,666 prosecution files in 2017, compared with 15,446 in 2007.

A decision was reached within four weeks on two-thirds of cases while a 94 per cent overall conviction rate was maintained.

Freezing orders

A total of €988,297 in criminal assets were subject to freezing orders following a DPP application to the High Court.

The solicitors’ division dealt with 1,009 District Court prosecution files. Circuit Court appeals from the District Court amounted to 2,228 or 47 per cent of the total caseload.

High Court bail applications dealt with by solicitors numbered 1,360 while judicial review applications amounted to 192 cases.

A total of 8,877 files were received for a decision last year with no prosecution in 39 per cent of cases or 4,494.

Insufficient evidence was the reason not to prosecute in 80 per cent or 3,579 cases.

The 2016 figures show a total of 932 finalised prosecutions in the Circuit Criminal Court for offences against property. There were 137 sexual offences prosecuted that year with 37 for child pornography.

The DPP led appeals to the Court of Appeal in 49 cases in 2017, on grounds including undue leniency, acquittal and fitness to plead.

The DPP dealt with 62 European Arrest Warrants received from the gardaí in 2017, with 30 surrenders.

The DPP’s office dealt with 26 freedom of information requests  with 17 refusals and eight granted in whole or part. Nine journalists, one interest group and 16 members of the public were refused. One request was withdrawn.

The 2016 figures show a total of 932 finalised prosecutions in the Circuit Criminal Court for offences against property. There were 137 sexual offences prosecuted that year with 37 for child pornography.

The DPP led appeals to the Court of Appeal in 49 cases in 2017, on grounds including undue leniency, acquittal and fitness to plead.

The DPP dealt with 62 European Arrest Warrants received from the gardai in 2017, with 30 surrenders.

The DPP’s office dealt with 26 freedom of information requests  with 17 refusals and eight granted in whole or part. Nine journalists, one interest group and 16 members of the public were refused. One request was withdrawn.

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