HC Deb 27 January 1972 vol 829 c1593
6. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of persons placed on suspended sentence and probation, respectively, over the last comparable period.

Mr. Carlisle

In 1970 in England and Wales 33,909 persons aged 17 and over were given a suspended sentence of imprisonment and 30,030 were placed on probation.

Mr. Spearing

I thank the hon. and learned Gentleman for those figures, but does he not agree that the supervision of persons who have been given suspended sentences savours of the custodial whereas the probation officer's rôle is more fraternal? In looking to any extension of either system is it not important to see that one function does not interfere with the other?

Mr. Carlisle

At the moment there is no way by which a supervision order can be attached to a suspended sentence, which is merely a sentence of imprisonment suspended. In Committee on the Criminal Justice Bill we have been debating the proposal to allow for a suspended sentence supervision order.