You are here

First Time Offences (FTOs)

This dataset presents data on first time entrants to the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland

It aims to provide an overview of the structure of the known offending population, with information on the breakdown of offences committed by new offenders (age, gender and offence category) and the disposals received.

The data were first published on Friday, 19 December 2014 by the Department of Justice.

Data Source

Department of Justice, Research and Statistical Bulletin 20/2014 ‘First Time Entrants to the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland 2012/13

The data is also presented as a report (pdf), including further analysis.

Data description 

  • First time entrants to the criminal justice system are those who are recorded by the criminal justice system as having committed a proven first offence, whether it was dealt with by way of diversionary disposal or by conviction.
  • The term ‘first time entrants’ equates directly to that of ‘first offence’.
  • Statistical coverage is restricted to those criminal prosecutions or diversions in which the PSNI was involved breaches of community orders.
  • Prosecutions brought by government departments, public bodies and private individuals are not included.


  • The offence counted and recorded in the tables is the one on which the court took its final decision or for which a diversionary disposal was issued and recorded, as completed with the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). This is not necessarily the same as that for which the defendant was initially proceeded against.
  • For convictions, the decision recorded is that reached by the court and takes no account of any subsequent appeal to a higher court.
  • Where an offender has had a diversion imposed, been warned, cautioned or convicted of several offences on the same occasion, only one offence, the principal offence, is counted.
  • The basis for selection of the principal offence is laid down in rules issued by the Home Office.
  • The principal offence is usually taken as that for which the greatest penalty was imposed.

Data and Resources

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
Department of Justice
Modified Date
Release Date
Licence Not Specified
Open Definition
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area (WKT)
POLYGON ((-8.23975 55.3479, -5.42725 55.3479, -5.42725 54.0336, -8.23975 54.0336, -8.23975 55.3479))
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Northern Ireland
Contact Name
Department of Justice Analytical Services Group (ASG)
Contact Email