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Crime Statistics

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many arrests have been made of (a) drug pushers, (b) drug users, (c) prostitutes and (d) child abusers in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. (78496)

The number of persons arrested for the trafficking of controlled drugs (all classes) is contained in the following table:

Number of persons arrested for the trafficking1 of controlled drugs (all classes)

Number

2003-04

392

2004-05

333

2005-06

336

1 Includes importing, supplying, cultivating, producing and possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.

The number of persons arrested for possession of a class A or class B drug is detailed in the following table:

Number

2003-041

1,288

2004-05

328

2005-06

306

1 As cannabis was reclassified from class B to class C on 29 January 2004, 2003-04 totals are not directly comparable with 2004-05 and 2005-06.

There is no specific offence of prostitution. Various local council powers exist in relation to soliciting but no records of enforcement are retained centrally by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Child abuse can cover a wide range of offences. To attempt to provide the information based on the umbrella of child abuse would incur disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were questioned in connection with possession of indecent photographs of children in each year since 1998; how many received a police caution; and how many were convicted. (78755)

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is not in a position to provide details of the number of persons questioned in connection with possession of indecent photographs of children as this information is not recorded. However they have confirmed that since 1998, two persons received a caution (one in 2000 and the other in 2005) for offences relating to the possession of indecent photographs of children.

The number of convictions for possession of indecent photographs of child/children is detailed in the following table:

Number of convictions

1998

1

1999

1

2000

1

2001

1

2002

0

2003

3

Note:

Figures cover the calendar years 1998 to 2003, the latter being the most up-to-date available at present. Data are collated on the principal offence rule, thus only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.