§ Lord Campbell of Alloway
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will make a statement on the figures given during the Committee stage of the Criminal Justice Bill of the average times spent in custody by defendants awaiting trial for the last quarter of 1981 (Official Report, 2nd July, col. 476).
§ Lord Elton
The figures for the last quarter of 1981 of the average time spent in custody by defendants awaiting trial are 102 days for London and about 69 days nationally—not, as I indicated during the Committee stage debate on the Bill on 2nd July, about 79 and 50 days respectively.
So far as the general picture is concerned, average waiting times in 1981, taking the year as a whole, still fell compared with earlier years and, at about 100 days for London and about 65 days nationally, represent reductions in average waiting times of about one-third and one-fifth approximately. Such further information as we have confirms that the downward trend can be expected to continue. The figures show that the measures being taken to reduce waiting times are having an impact on this important problem.