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Volume 975: debated on Wednesday 5 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of offences against the person and the number of offences of vandalism involving aerosols and the cost involved during 1979 to the most recent practicable date.

Information is not available centrally on the number of offences involving aerosols. There is no legally defined offence of vandalism; such acts are likely to be classified as offences of criminal damage. The total numbers of offences of violence against the person and of criminal damage recorded by the police in England and Wales in the first three quarters of 1979 will be published on 6 December in Home Office "Statistical Bulletin 11/79", a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation making it an offence to carry aerosol containers in a public place without sealed packaging.

No. I have no evidence to suggest that the provisions of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 and section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968 are inadequate to deal with the use of aerosols as offensive weapons.