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Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the average number of days spent on remand by those remanded in custody for terrorist-type offences in 1989, with regard to cases now completed in England and Wales and the number of bail applications refused;(2) how many persons were remanded in custody before trial for terrorist-type offences in 1989.

The only relevant information which is readily available relates to prisoners who are now in prison custody in category A and does not cover prisoners who have been released or downgraded.Three such prisoners were first received in custody in 1989. The case of one of them has now been completed. This prisoner spent a total of 479 days on remand, and, according to our records, no applications for bail were made.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons in England and Wales were charged with terrorist-type offences relating to Northern Ireland in 1989; how many of those charged were released on bail; and what was the average period between remand and trial for prisoners refused bail relating to such charges in Britain in 1989.

The criminal statistics do not distinguish between terrorist-related and other offences. However, information about the number of people charged with criminal offences following detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act is published quarterly for Great Britain in statistical bulletins which are placed in the Library. The latest issue, 15/90, gives in table 1 the number charged in 1989 after detention in connection with Northern Ireland terrorism. Of the 12 people who were so charged in England and Wales in 1989, eight were charged with relatively minor offences; six of these were dealt with at court on the same day or the next day, and two were released on bail. Of the four who were remanded in custody, one person who had been charged in February 1989 was brought to trial in April 1990, and a second, who had been charged in October 1989, was released in January 1990 after the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to offer no evidence against him. The two others, who were charged in December 1989, are currently in custody awaiting trial.

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National Total186,925287,815388,378556,135