HC Deb 14 February 2002 vol 380 c621W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many shopkeepers have been prosecuted for selling tobacco to under-aged children in each of the last three years. [34035]

Mr. Denham

166 defendants were proceeded against in England and Wales in 1998 for selling tobacco, etc. to persons under 16. Figures for 1999 and 20001 were 127 and 161 respectively. Figures for 2001 will be available in the autumn. 1The 2000 figure excludes cases in Staffordshire as Staffordshire police force were only able to supply a sample of data for magistrates courts proceedings covering one full week in each quarter for 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust at a detailed level and so are excluded from the total.