§ Mr. Peter Robinson
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the percentage of those found guilty of membership of an illegal organisation that receives custodial sentences.
§ Mr. Alison
Where someone is convicted of more than one offence the statistics record only the most serious offence or that which has received the longest sentence. On this basis, 35 per cent. of those recorded as having been convicted of membership of a proscribed organisation in the period 1 January 1975 to 31 October 1980 received custodial sentences. A special study has shown that for the period 1 January to 31 October 1980, 54 per cent. of all those convicted of membership of a proscribed organisation received a custodial sentence; comparable information is not available, except at disproportionate cost, for the remainder of the period covered by this answer.