HC Deb 13 May 1981 vol 4 cc763-4
29. Mr. Ancram

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many prosecutions have been taken since the passing of the Bail Etc. (Scotland) Act against people reoffending while on bail; and what proportion that is of those on bail during this period.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland (Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn)

I regret that no separate records are kept of persons who reoffend whilst on bail and this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Ancram

Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that it is a matter of concern that his office has not seen fit to try to establish those figures, in the light of the concern which has been shown by people and the police about the effect of the Bail Etc. (Scotland) Act? Will he assure us that that will be rectified in the near future?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I can give my hon. Friend some reassurance. A statistical survey covering 45 per cent. of sheriff court cases has been carried out by the Scottish Office for the period from eight weeks before the Act came into force to a year thereafter. The Act came into force on 1 April last year. The Crown Office has also instructed that a survey be carried out over a three-week period in November to December 1980. I would have been able to give my hon. Friend the figures which he wanted but for the industrial action of the court staff.