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Prisoners (Statistics)

Volume 984: debated on Monday 12 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of people held in Her Majesty's prisons had been convicted of crimes of violence in the years 1975 to 1979, respectively, in Northern Ireland.

This information is readily available only in relation to receptions of sentenced prisoners. It is as follows:

Total receptionsThose whose main offence was a crime of violence
19752,1151,034 (49 per cent.)
19762,0841,020 (49 per cent.)
19772,3771,306 (55 per cent.)
19782,012924 (46 per cent.)
19791,9931,006 (50 per cent.)
Crimes of violence are defined as murder, manslaughter and so on, wounding, assaults, causing explosions, possessing firearms, rape, aggravated burglary, robbery, arson and malicious damage.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the average length of time spent in custody of (a) drunks, (b) mentally sub-normals, (c) prostitutes and (d) defaulters, in Northern Ireland.

I take it that the question refers to time spent in prison. Drunkenness as such is not an imprisonable offence; prisoners are not classified according to their mental condition in the way implied; there are very few prisoners committed to prison in Northern Ireland for offences associated with prostitution; and the periods served by fine defaulters vary from as little as one day—where the sum Qwing is quickly paid—to six months. For these reasons it is not possible to give a meaningful answer to the question.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are currently serving prison sentences for robbery in Northern Ireland.