§ Mr. Beith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 9 November 1998,Official Report, column 41, if the figures for the total number of offences referred to the police for prosecution by prison governors in each year contained in table 2 are directly comparable; for what reason no figures are available for 1993; what assessment he has made of the increase in the number of offences in prison; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. George Howarth
The figures quoted in my response of 9 November are not directly comparable, as information for 1992–95 relates to cases referred by prison governors to the police which resulted in a prosecution, while figures for 1996 and 1997 relate to the number of cases referred to the police for prosecution but where the outcome is not known.
Comparable, revised figures regarding the number of cases referred to the police by prison governors but where it is not known if a prosecution resulted are given in the table.
Estimated number of offences referred to the police for prosecution by prison governors Year Amount 1992 580 1993 780 1994 910 1995 1,240 1996 1,600 1997 1,500