HC Deb 11 February 1981 vol 998 cc858-9
37. Mr. Lang

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland to what extent the increase in police strength has affected the reporting of crime to Procurators Fiscal.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

In 1979,288,203 cases were reported by the police to procurators fiscal. In 1980, this figure rose to 327,204. This was undoubtedly due in part to the increase in police strength.

Mr. Lang

I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that answer. Does he not agree that as a result of the implementation of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act as it affects sports grounds, there has been less crime to report, as evidenced by last Saturday's events at Murrayfield? Does not my hon. and learned Friend agree that that was the second most satisfactory outcome of those events last week?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I am delighted to say that last Saturday was a great event, not only at Murrayfield but in Dundee. There were three reports from Murrayfield, one of an attempt to get drink into the ground and two of breach of the peace, which is the lowest that there have been for a long time. There was no trouble at Dundee and no missiles were taken into the ground.

Mr. Maxton

Will the Solicitor-General explain why the designated area did not include the car park at Murrayfield, when assurances were given by his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind), the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, during the Committee proceedings on the Bill that it would be so designated?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland: I know that the hon. Gentleman is always anxious to ensure that car parks are properly policed. However, that car park does not happen to be part of Murrayfield. Therefore, it was not relevant that it should have been so designated.

Mr. Bill Walker

I am delighted with the results in Dundee, where there was peace on the day. Does not my hon. and learned Friend agree that the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act can be effective only if we have adequate policing, which means police on the beat?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland: I agree. Nothing is more effective than the policeman on the beat, who knows local people and local conditions.

Mr. Michael Martin

Is the Solicitor-General aware that a constituent of mine was detained by the Strathclyde police for three days before he stood trial and was refused bail? If I submit the details of my constituent's problems to him, will he be prepared to investigate the matter?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I would be delighted to investigate the matter. It is not competent for someone to he detained for three days.