HC Deb 05 April 1995 vol 257 c1237W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what factors underlie the recent rise in the number of women prisoners; and what types of crimes these women have committed. [18215]

Mr. Michael Forsyth

Both the male and female prison populations have risen since 1993 and the same broad factors have contributed to the increased numbers of both men and women in prison. These factors are a rise in the numbers sentenced to custody by the Crown court; a rise in the numbers sentenced to custody by magistrates courts; and a rise in the remand population. In part, the increase in the numbers of offenders sentenced to custody can be attributed to the implementation of the provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 1993 in August 1993 which amended the sentencing framework established by the Criminal Justice Act 1991.

The table sets out details of the sentenced female prison population by broad category of offence for 30 June 1993 and 28 February 1995:

Type of offence 30 June 1993 28 February 1995
Violence against the person 216 270
Sexual 15 10
Burglary 39 50
Robbery 77 90
Theft and handling 207 250
Fraud and forgery 64 90
Drugs 308 330
Other 125 130
Offence not recorded 74 160
Total 1,125 1,380

In addition, on 28 February there were 10 females in prison for fine default, 26 in prison for non-criminal offences and 511 on remand. This compares with 24 fine defaulters, 29 non-criminal prisoners and 402 remand prisoners on 30 June 1993.