§ Mr. Beggs
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many assaults and robberies on the homes and businesses of(a) ethnic minority families and (b) Northern Ireland business men have been reported during the last 12 months; and how many of these have resulted in the apprehension and prosecution of those responsible. 
§ Sir John Wheeler
(a) The numbers of reported offences against ethnic minority families in the last 12 months are:
- 1 armed robbery
- 11 robberies including one which resulted in murder
- 10 aggravated burglaries
- 14 burglaries
- 7 attempted burglaries
Extensive inquiries have been continuing into all of these offences. A number of persons have been arrested and interviewed. To date four persons have been charged in connection with these offences.
On the directions of the then Deputy Chief Constable (Operations) a special team of CID officers, under the command of the serious crime squad, was set up in May of this year. It was formed to conduct investigations into offences at the homes of Chinese business people.
On 28 May Mr. Flanagan, together with representatives from community affairs, crime prevention and the serious crime squad, attended a Chinese crime conference in Belfast. The fullest co-operation of those attending the conference was sought, to assist in bringing those responsible to justice.
(b) The current recording of crime does not permit the RUC to distinguish between attacks on business persons and other members of the general population.
The information given at (a) is available only because the special team was set up .