HC Deb 15 April 1965 vol 710 cc1657-8
56. Mr. Grant

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions for cruelty to children there were in the years 1960 to 1964, respectively.

The Minister of State, Home Department (Miss Alice Bacon)

The numbers of persons convicted at magistrates' courts of cruelty to children under Section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, were 510 in 1960, 610 in 1961, 653 in 1962 and 469 in 1963. The numbers of persons convicted at the higher courts for this offence are not known exactly but they were small. The figures for 1964 are not yet available.

Mr. Grant

Will the hon. Lady not agree that these figures are a disgrace to a civilised community? Is she satisfied that the present law is adequate to deal with this problem?

Miss Bacon

I think that the present law is adequate but what is needed is more people to be vigilant in reporting cases of cruelty which they know to be taking place.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Would the hon. Lady look into the fact that the figures which are not yet available are those for 1964 and we are now in April, 1965? The House is asking for figures which should be readily available to the hon. Lady.

Miss Bacon

I will certainly see that they are made available as soon as I get them.

Mr. Rose

Can my hon. Friend give a breakdown of cases of physical cruelty and those only of neglect?

Miss Bacon

Not without notice.