HL Deb 19 March 1981 vol 418 cc953-4WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many cases of suspected arson have been notified to the police forces in England, Scotland and Wales respectively, in each of the last four years; how many convictions have resulted and how many prosecutions have been made or re now pending.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Belstead)

Information on the number of offences of arson recorded by the police in England and Wales is published annually inCriminal Statistics, England and Wales (Table 32 of the volume for 1979, Cmnd. 8098). I understand from the Secretary of State for Scotland that in Scotland the crime is not known as arson but as either wilful fire-raising or culpable and reckless fire-raising. The number of crimes and offences reported to the police in Scotland is published annually in Criminal Statistics, Scotland; the latest year for which figures are published is 1978 (Cmnd. 7676). In 1979, 2,598 cases of wilful or culpable and reckless fire-raising were reported to the police in Scotland.

The latest information available on prosecutions and convictions in 1979 is given in the following table. Corresponding information for earlier years is pub lished for England and Wales combined and for Scotland in the publications already referred to: separate figures for England and Wales could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information on prosecutions pending is not collected centrally.

England, Wales, Scotland 1979 Number of persons
Country Proceeded against Found guilty or against whom the charge was proved
England 2,105 1,809
Wales 142 98
Scotland 118 100
(1) The offence may have been recorded by the police in a previous year.
(2) In Scotland, wilful fire-raising or culpable and reckless fire-raising.