§ Lord Mottistone
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many prosecutions have been initiated since the coming into force of the relevant part of the Health and Social Security Act 1984, by trading standards officers against actions in contravention of subsection (3B) of Section 21 of the Opticians Act 1958; what view they take of contraventions of the above-mentioned subsections; and what action is intended to stop such contraventions.
§ Baroness Trumpington
The Office of Fair Trading inform us that they are unable to identify details of any prosecutions initiated by trading standards officers for optical appliances being provided without a written prescription since the relevant part of the Health and Social Security Act 1984 came into operation. It is open to anyone to lay information before a magistrate where he believes such an offence has been committed and it can incur a maximum fine of £1,000 on summary conviction. We see no case for further or special enforcement measures for this breach of the law and we have no evidence to suggest that breaches of this provision are widespread.