§ Mr. Carson
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total number of persons at present on probation in Northern Ireland; and whether he is satisfied that the Northern Ireland probation service is adequate to deal with this number.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
At 31st December 1973 there were 864 people on probation in Northern Ireland and I am satisfied that the service is capable of supervising those currently on probation. But it is under strength and there is a limit to what it can do in adult work and after-care. A substantial programme of recruitment and training is, therefore, being undertaken to strengthen the service.