§ Mr. Thornton
asked the Attorney-General if he will ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute proceedings against the Northern Association of Sporting and Charitable Organisations (NASCO) for breaches of the law relating to lotteries and the circumstance of the use for non-charitable purposes of the name of a well-known charity in the Merseyside area.
§ The Solicitor-General
The investigation of alleged criminal offences and the institution of proceedings is a matter for the police service which may seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions in appropriate cases. The power conferred by section 3(2)(b) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 on the director to institute proceedings himself is a reserve power which he may use in circumstances where the ordinary enforcement machinery appears to have failed or there are otherwise special circumstances why the proceedings should be instituted in his name. I am not aware of any circumstances which would justify the director doing so in the present case. I understand that the matters to which my hon. Friend refers are the subject of an investigation by the Merseyside police, and the decision whether to prosecute will be taken at the conclusion of the investigation, in accordance with the ordinary procedures.