HC Deb 10 April 1975 vol 889 cc1397-8
11. Mr. David Watkins

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been brought during the last 12 months period for which figures are available, arising from threats and disturbances connected with indoor public meetings.

Dr. Summerskill

I regret that this information is not available, because criminal statistics are not collected in such a way as to identify the figures requested.

Mr. Watkins

I appreciate my hon. Friend's difficulties. Is she aware of the existence of an extreme Zionist group which has assaulted people and made threats at at least three recent meetings in London? Is any action being contemplated to contain the activities of the group?

Dr. Summerskill

On 19th March two arrests were made, but the cases have not yet been dealt with by the courts and, therefore, are sub judice.

Mr. Rose

Is my hon. Friend aware that after the last election I submitted to her Department a list of 30 constituencies where violent incidents had taken place, committed by the National Front and other similar extreme Right-wing organisations? Those incidents range from criminal damage to the use of firearms. Can my hon. Friend provide the House on a future occasion with the number of convictions and the number of cases that are pending?

Dr. Summerskill

I can only confirm what I said in my first answer, that figures relating to particular types of meetings are not collected. I remind the House, and the courts will be aware, that extremely severe maximum penalties are available for the kind of offences which arise in demonstrations.