§ Mr. McGuire
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many members of the armed forces convicted of crimes committed in Northern Ireland are presently serving their sentences there; how many have been transferred to serve their sentences in prisons in Great Britain; and what were the reasons for allowing them to transfer.
§ Mr. Scott
The information requested in the first part of the question is not available. During the 10 years ending 31 December 1985, 34 persons convicted of crimes committed when they were serving members of the armed forces were transferred to Great Britain to serve their sentences.
Any convicted prisoner in Northern Ireland can apply to serve his sentence in another part of the United Kingdom. Each application is considered on its own merits, in consultation with the prison authorities in the receiving country. Various factors are taken into account in reaching a decision, including where the prisoner normally resides, his family circumstances, his background, his behaviour in prison and his personal safety. These criteria apply to all applications.