HC Deb 21 October 1987 vol 120 c778W
Mr. Maginnis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many search warrants were granted in Northern Ireland in each year since 1957, up to 11 February, permitting the National Television Licence Records Office inquiry officers to gain access to private premises for the purpose of examining television receiving equipment;

(2) how many prosecutions for failure to hold a valid television licence were successfully brought in Northern Ireland using evidence provided by detector vans, in each year since 1957;

(3) what information he has as to how many television detector vans are presently stationed in Northern Ireland and as to the approximate value of (a) these vehicles and (b) the electronic equipment contained in them; what has been the cost of replacement and maintenance of these vehicles since 1 January 1980; how many permanent staff are employed to operate these vehicles; and what has been the cost of staffing them since 1 January 1980.

Mr. Renton

Prior to December 1986, when the reorganisation of the Television Licensing Organisation in Northern Ireland was completed, search warrants were not sought in Northern Ireland in connection with suspected television licence evasion. Between then and 11 February, three search warrants were sought and granted. Detector van equipment has not been used in Northern Ireland and no detector vans are presently stationed there. Two vans previously used for transporting inquiry officers were removed in June 1987.