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Obscene Publications

Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many prosecutions there have been in the past 10 years under (a) the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955, and (b) the Obscene Publication Acts 1959 and 1964; how many of these were successful; and what penalties were imposed. [HL1721]

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) captures some information on the volume of prosecution of specific offences in its Offence Based Universe of the Compass Management Information System. These records have existed only since April 2004, following the full implementation of the Compass system.

The records show that there have been no offences contrary to the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 recorded since April 2004. The number of offences contrary to the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964 recorded between 1 April 2004 and 1 February 2008 are as follows:

Obscene Publications Act 1959 {2(l)}


Obscene Publications Act 1964 {2}


While the Offence Based Universe shows the nature of the offence at the outset of proceedings in magistrates' courts it provides no information on any subsequent modification to charges, nor does it provide any information on the outcome of proceedings.