Victims of crime have been warned “things are only getting worse” with figures showing hundreds of people facing long waits for their cases.

According to the Ministry of Justice, 441 criminal cases across Greater Manchester have been unresolved for two years or more as of March this year.

In Bolton, home of one of the region’s three crown court, this is particularly concerning with similar figures having shown earlier this year that nearly half of all the borough’s trial have been delayed.

Yasmin Qureshi MP said: “I raised Bolton’s court backlogs directly to the Minister last year in Parliament.

“He assured me that the Government has put a ‘catalogue of measures’ in place to fix it.

The Bolton News: Nearly half of all trials at Bolton Crown Court have been hit by delaysNearly half of all trials at Bolton Crown Court have been hit by delays (Image: Newsquest)

“The latest figures show that things are only getting worse under the Tories and they have no idea how to fix it.”

Criminal courts all over the country have been under huge pressure in recent months after trials were put on hold at various points during the pandemic, while the Ministry of Justice has also had to cope with cuts of up to 25 per cent in recent years.

In a historic first last Autumn, criminal barristers launched an all out strike in protest against low pay for those starting out in the profession and cuts to legal aid budgets.

In Greater Manchester, the 441 unresolved cases is a significant jump from the 227 cases that had been outstanding for two years or longer at the same point in 2022 and a bigger leap still from just 64 cases in 2019.

At Bolton Crown Court of the 60 trials, encompassing the most serious crimes including murder, rape, assault and more, meant to take place between July and September last year, 29 were delayed.

At the end of June last year there were 528 cases waiting to be heard at Bolton Crown Court, up from 476 that March.

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This included some of the most serious cases including assaults, robbery, arson and even rape.

Ms Qureshi said: “As a former criminal barrister, this is the worst I have ever seen it and I know how damaging these delays will be for victims waiting for justice.”

But the government has insisted that measures are coming into force to help sure up the system.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We are doing all we can to reduce the outstanding caseload in the Crown Court, including lifting the cap on the number of days courts can sit and recruiting more judges to help restore the swift access to justice victims deserve."