asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if he will discuss with the judiciary in Scotland prosecution and sentencing policy in relation to solvent abuse.
Solvent abuse is not an offence by itself. However, I can assure the hon. Member that where solvent abuse may be of relevance in the circumstances of an offence before the court, procurators fiscal bring that matter to the attention of the court.
Have the Government made any further progress in taking positive action to tackle the serious problem of solvent abuse? If so, what other measures does the hon. and learned Gentleman have in mind?
This matter was debated in the Scottish Grand Committee, when the Government said that a consultative memorandum had been issued and views had been sought from interested bodies, not only on whether solvent abuse should be a matter for criminal prosecution, but whether other approaches might be adopted, particularly in relation to the children's panel system. A number of representations have been received and it is hoped that, following that consultative memorandum, the Government will be in a position to issue their views on the matter.