HC Deb 24 February 1982 vol 18 cc858-9
30. Mr. Henderson

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many prosecutions for trading standards offences were mounted by the Crown Office for the most recent convenient period.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland:

There were 484 prosecutions in 1980 for consumer protection offences and for contraventions of the Food and Drugs(Scotland) Acts that can be said to fall into the category of trading standing offences.

Mr. Henderson

In taking up his office, on which all my hon. Friends join me in congratulating him, has my hon. Friend noticed that the Director General of Fair Trading has drawn attention to the fact that the fines for such offences in Scotland are less than half those in England? Does he agree that that is typified by the case in Fife recently when a licensee was fined only £5 for seeking to pass off a whisky of unknown origin as being a famous brand, which would certainly raise the spirits of the Scottish Bar?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

My hon. Friend is correct to point to the report from the Director General of Fair Trading, which established that fines in Scotland were lower than those south of the border. However, the Government's responsibility is not to see what fines are imposed, but to ensure that the statutory penalties are kept under review. The Criminal Justice Bill allows for increases in the statutory penalties. I can understand that the character of the particular case that my hon. Friend referred to outrages him, but I should point out that it was only a single whisky.

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