§ Mr. Forth
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many assaults have been committed in each of the past five years by(a) white individuals against black individuals and vice versa, (b) white individuals against Asian individuals and vice versa and (c) Asian individuals against black individuals and vice versa; 
(2) what categories of recorded crime were most frequently committed by each of the following ethnic groups (a) white, (b) black, (c) Asian and (d) others, in each of the last five years; 
(3) how many street robberies were carried out (a) in total and (b) by each ethnic group in each of the last five years; 
(4) for each of the past five years, how many and what proportion of crimes were committed by offenders who were (a) white, (b) black, (c) Asian and (d) other. 
§ Mr. Straw
Data on ethnicity are currently collected by the police, prison and probation services, but not as yet by the courts. The only data on crimes committed by ethnic group would come from court convictions. It follows, therefore, that there are at present no national data on the ethnicity of offenders as a whole.
The Home Office regularly summarises the available information on ethnicity and the criminal justice system in statistical reports published under section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. The latest of these was published on 8 December 1998 and is available in the Library and on the Internet at: http:www.home office. gov uk/rds/index .htm
It is likely that a number of the crime and disorder audits carried out by local authorities under the provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 may in appropriate cases include local data of the kind which the hon. Member seeks. One such is that recently published by the London Borough of Lambeth and the relevant Divisions to the Metropolitan Police Service. I have arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library.
§ Mr. Straw
All police forces collect information on racial incidents, based on the Association of Chief Police Officers definition ofAny incident in which it appears to the reporting or investigating officer that the complaint involves an element of racial motivation; or any incident which includes an allegation of racial motivation made by any person".Incidents included here are wider than the normal definition of a crime in the crime statistics and include general threatening behaviour. These statistics are regularly published under section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991.
The Home Office, police and Crown Prosecution Service monitor the provisions covering racially aggravated offences established by sections 28–32 and 82 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. These findings will first be published under section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 in January 2000.
Given the widespread concern about racially motivated crimes, and the recent approval of Parliament for specific racially aggravated offences in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 it is essential that such data should be collected. The benefits are clear.