HC Deb 10 December 1986 vol 107 cc167-9W
Mr. Meacher

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list all the changes that have been made since 1979 in his Department in the presentation of statistical information; and what further changes are now planned.

Mr. Hurd

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given today to a question from the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould).

Changes now being considered or planned include: A survey of the ethnic origin of clients of the probation service on 31 March 1987; publication of regular statistics on the segregation of prisoners under Rule 43; alterations to the returns on experiments on animals to reflect the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act; revised returns on the operation of immigration control at the ports; and monitoring of the operation of new visa arrangements.

Mr. Gould

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in respect of the statistics kept and published by his Department, he will publish in the Official Report any changes since 1979 in (a) the statistical series which are published, including those which have been introduced and those which have been dropped, (b) the basis on which any elements in the statistics are estimated, calculated or presented, (c) the periods over which, and the dates on which the series are collected or published and (d) any other respects in the ways and if he will explain the reasons for any such changes.

Mr. Hurd

[pursuant to his reply, 3 December 1986, c. 633]: Changes in the basis of compilation, presentation and publication of statistical series are made from time to time in response to the Government's requirements for statistical information, changes in legislation and in the administrative systems on which some series are based, the development of new statistical techniques and technological developments affecting the compilation and dissemination of statistical data. When such changes are made they are fully documented in the relevant statistical publications.

The main changes which have been made since 1979 to the statistics regularly collected and published by the Home Office include the following:


  • Regular collection and publication of deaths in police custody.
  • Frequency of collection of statistics on liquor licensing changed from annual to triennial.
  • Compilation of statistics of passenger arrivals for EC nationals discontinued with the abolition of landing cards.


  • Collection of information on those arrested during incidents of public disorder; repeated in 1985.
  • Collection of more detailed information on immigration from the Indian subcontinent.
  • Discontinuation of collection of statistics of deaths from drownings.
  • Introduction of annual statistical bulletin on deaths reported to coroners.


  • Returns on domestic proceedings in magistrates' courts dropped.
  • First British Crime Survey carried out; repeated in 1984.
  • Publication of Bulletin in statistics of mentally disordered offenders; repeated in 1985.


  • Publication of ethnic crime statistics for the Metropolitan Police District; repeated in 1984.
  • Regular publication of statistics on deportations began.
  • Publication of new analyses on causes of accidental fires.


  • New returns on domestic proceedings in magistrates' courts.
  • Collection of information on the ethnic origin of prisoners established; first results published June 1985.
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  • Basis of collation of statistics on prison medicines changed from doses dispensed to number administered.
  • Publication of long-term projections of the prison population.
  • Publication of statistics on decisions on variation of leave and on appeals dealt with by immigration appellate authorities commenced in the Immigration and Nationality Department Report.


  • New returns on waiting times in magistrates' courts.
  • Analysis of reconvictions and recalls of life licensees.
  • Collection began of information on nationality of prisoners.
  • New returns on special service calls to fire brigades and incidents involving dangerous substances.
  • Prison medical statistics improved and extended.