The Spectator

How many criminal convictions are overturned? 


Power play

The former energy minister Chris Skidmore resigned in protest at a bill to issue more licences for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea. What are other countries doing?

– US oil production hit a record 13.3m barrels a day last month, up from 10.8m five years ago.

– Qatar is investing $150 billion to
increase oil production by 50% to 5m barrels per day by 2027.

– Brazil plans to increase oil production from 3.1m barrels per day in 2022 to
5.4m barrels per day by 2029.

– Canada increased oil production by 375,000 barrels per day between 2021 and last year.

Judgment call

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has called the Post Office scandal the ‘most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history’. How many criminal convictions are overturned?

– In 2022/23 the CCRC received 1,424 applications for criminal convictions to be reviewed, 70% of which were from prisoners currently serving sentences.

1,275 cases were completed.

675 were passed for ‘substantial review’.

25 were referred to the appeal court.

17 were overturned. 

Flood risks 

How many homes in England are in danger of being flooded?

– According to the Environment Agency’s modelling, there are 5.7m homes at risk.

1.2m of them are likely to be flooded at least once every 200 years.

500,000 are likely to be flooded at least once every 75 years.

– The Fenland District of Cambridgeshire, 

Hull and South Holland and Boston in Lincolnshire are the most flood-prone areas, with more than half their area having a one in 1,000-year risk of flooding.

Trade blows

The country often seems paralysed by strikes, floods, shortages and other things. How bad are conditions for doing business?

12% of businesses (employing ten or more people) reported trouble getting materials, goods or services from UK suppliers in November 2023.

5% said they were suffering from global supply chain problems.

9% were dealing with worker shortages.

7% had to pay higher wages last November, compared with October, to attract and retain staff.

4% suffered from industrial action.

Source: Office for National Statistics