§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on (a) the number and ranks of police, and the number of vehicles engaged during the past 12 months or the longest convenient period of time in seizing magazines from newsagents and bookshops, (b) the number of raids and the number of books and magazines seized, (c) the estimated cost, (d) the areas in the Metropolitan Police district in which the raids took place, and (e) what action ensued since the raids.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
I understand from the Commissioner that between the beginning of 1977 and the end of May this year 611 searches were conducted throughout the Metropolitan Police District under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1969. On the basis of the reports so far received centrally, some 8,300 books and nearly 900,000 magazines were 41W seized. When property is seized under the authority of a warrant issued under the Act, consideration is given to the institution of proceedings; no material may be forfeited without a court order. I regret that the other information requested is not readily available.