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Volume 170: debated on Wednesday 28 March 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many intravenous drug users in Her Majesty's prisons were HIV sero-positive in each of the last five years.

Because HIV antibody tests are carried out only with informed consent, the antibody status of intravenous drug users identified while in prison custody will not always be known. Since June 1987 prison medical officers have reported the risk category or categories of identified HIV-infected prisoners. In the last seven months of that year, 41 of the cases were reported to be in the intravenous drug user category. The corresponding figures for the full calendar years 1988 and 1989 were 60 and 44 respectively.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the breakdown of known drug users on the Home Office notification index by enumeration districts of the small area statistics of the 1981 census in the last year for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available. The tables on addicts notified to the Home Office in 1989 published in "Statistics of the Misuse of Drugs: addicts notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom, 1989 Area tables", a copy of which is in the Library, break down some information by police force and local authority areas. Figures for district health authorities are also available on request, for England, from the Department of Health.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of (a) black or other ethnic minority and (b) white drug possession offenders were (i) cautioned and (ii) charged for each police force in 1989.

Information on the ethnic background of drug possession offenders is not held centrally.