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Criminal Offences

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 8 April 2003, Official Report, column 206W, on criminal offences, how many individuals have been convicted under each of the new offences cited. [109561]

The available information is contained in a table which has been placed in the Library and relates to defendants convicted under each of the new offences cited in the answer given by the former Under-Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, Central (Hilary Benn) on 8 April 2003, Official Report, column 206W, on criminal offences, where these can be separately identified on the Home Office Court Proceedings database.Statistics on defendants convicted under the statutes coming into force from 1 January 2002 will be in the autumn.The Government are focusing on what matters to the public such as driving down burglary and robbery rates, tackling racist crime and anti-social behaviour, providing record police numbers and reforming the criminal justice system.Many offences are designed to act as a deterrent and send a clear signal that such behaviour will not be tolerated. It is therefore too simplistic to draw conclusions about the success or otherwise of offences purely on conviction rates.

Furthermore, the impact of the offences covered in this answer cannot be accurately gauged given that conviction rates are shown up until 2001 but many of the offences listed did not come into force until 2001 or 2002.