§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what statistics have been collected by the National Statistician to determine the rate of self-inflicted death and suicide among(a) members of HM armed forces, (b) police officers and staff, (c) prison officers and staff, (d) firefighting officers and staff and (e) ambulance service staff; 
(2) what statistics have been collected by the National Statistician to determine the rate of self-inflicted death or suicide, broken down by (a) sex, (b) ethnic origin, (c) occupation, (d) age and (e) religion. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Kevin McNamara, dated 19 June 2002:As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your questions (62652 and 62672) on what statistics have been collected to determine the rate of self-inflicted death or suicide, (1) broken down by (a) sex, (b) ethnic origin, (c) occupation, (d) age, and (e) religion, and (2) among (a) members of HM Armed Forces, (b) police officers and staff, (c) prison officers and staff. (d) firefighting officers and staff, and (e) ambulance service staff. (62652, 62672)Numbers of deaths from self-inflicted death or suicide are collected through the registration of deaths. Information recorded at registration includes the cause of death, sex, occupation and age of the deceased. Neither ethnic origin nor religion is recorded at registration. In reporting on these statistics, suicides are routinely defined as deaths from suicide and deaths from 'injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted'. It is likely that most of these latter deaths are cases where the harm is self-inflicted but there was insufficient evidence to prove that the deceased deliberately intended to kill themselves.To determine death rates, the number of persons at risk of dying in each relevant category is also required. Annual population estimates, calculated by the Office for National Statistics, are used to provide this information in respect of age and sex. Comparable information about the population in terms of ethnic origin and occupation is available from the Census. Information on religion was collected for the first time in the 2001 Census, the results of which are not yet available.Using the information collected, statistics on death rates from suicide broken down by sex and age are published annually1. Statistics on death rates from suicide by occupation are routinely published every ten years in decennial supplements. The latest publication2 includes separate figures for all the occupations listed in the question except for prison officers and staff, who are included within a broader category of 'security workers'. Statistics on death rates by ethnic origin and religion are not yet available.393W1 Office for National Statistics (2001) "Mortality statistics: cause. Review of the Register General on deaths by cause, sex and age, in England and Wales, 2000". Series DH2 no. 27. Office for National Statistics: London.1 Drever F (ed.) (1995) "Occupational Health Decennial Supplement". Series DS no. 10. HMSO: London.Copies of the above named publications are available in the House of Commons Library.