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Animal Welfare

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) incidents of animal cruelty have been reported and (b) people have been charged with offences of animal cruelty in (i) England, (ii) the North East, (iii) the Tees Valley and (iv) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last 10 years. (254890)

The number of people proceeded against at magistrates courts for animal cruelty in (a) England, (b) the north-east, and (c) Cleveland police force area for the years 1998 to 2007 (latest available) can be viewed in the table.

Charging data are not held by Ministry of Justice, therefore data on cases proceeded against have been provided in lieu.

Crimes relating to cruelty to animals are summary offences and thus reported cases of animal cruelty are not included in the police recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office.

Court data are not collected centrally at constituency level; thus Cleveland police force area data have been provided in lieu of (c) Tees Valley, and (d) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for animal cruelty in Cleveland police force area, north-east region, and England for the years 1998 to 20071, 2, 3, 4, 5

Proceeded against

Force/Area

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Cleveland

22

26

20

43

26

33

24

33

41

51

North-east

96

93

76

105

89

102

100

106

97

140

England

1,168

1,081

1,110

1,026

1,022

1,005

1,013

1,104

1,048

1,079

1 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. 2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. 3 Staffordshire police force were able to submit sample data only for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table. 4 The north-east region comprises the following police force areas: Northumbria Durham Cleveland. 5 Crimes relating to cruelty to animals are summary offences and are therefore not included within the police recorded crime series. Police recorded crime covers crimes which are recorded by the police and which are notified to the Home Office. All indictable or triable-either-way offences are included together with certain closely associated summary offences.