HC Deb 22 April 1975 vol 890 cc285-6W
Miss Richardson

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many complaints were recorded and investigated against (i) the Royal Ulster Constabulary and (ii) the Army, from 9th August 1971 to the present; how many complaints were withdrawn; how many were substantiated; how many were unsubstantiated; how many are under investigation; and of the substantiated complaints, how many resulted in criminal prosecutions and what was the outcome of those prosecutions.

Mr. Moyle

On the latest information available, since 9th August 1971 there have been 2,940 complaints recorded against the RUC and 7,017 against the Army. These totals are made up as follows:

RUC Army
1. Complaints made but subsequently withdrawn 603 30
2. Under investigation 311 472
3. Substantiated as to fact 160 934
4. Cases unsubstantiated 1,866 4,248
5. Not fully substantiated 1,333
Total 2,940 7,017

Included in the total of 1,333 Army cases not fully substantiated as to fact are many cases of house searches where a damage claim form has been offered and signed by the householder in the normal way.

Since 9th August 1971 criminal proceedings arising from complaints have been instituted against 19 police officers in respect of 19 substantive complaints; as a result five officers were found guilty and 14 not guilty.

The Army does not keep separate records of complaints which lead to criminal prosecutions. However, between 30th March 1972 and 31st March 1975, 177 military personnel have been prosecuted for offences involving assault or the use of firearms. Proceedings against 26 are still in train; 88 were convicted; 48 were acquitted; and charges against 15 were withdrawn. However, not all of these cases of prosecution arose because of complaints from the public.