HC Deb 07 October 2003 vol 411 c45W
Mr. Rosindell:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the level of jury intimidation in the United Kingdom. [128681]

Paul Goggins:

The Crown Prosecution Service and Court Service do not maintain records of the numbers of cases in which jury interference occurs. However, each year there are instances of actual or feared jury interference which necessitate both a range of jury protection measures and the termination of trials before the jury has been able to reach a verdict. In a small number of cases which present a very serious risk of intimidation, the court will order 24-hour police protection for the jury. In 2000, the cost to the Metropolitan Police of such protection was £4.3 million; in 2001, £5.1 million.

The Government have included proposals in the Criminal Justice Bill currently before Parliament for a trial on indictment in the Crown Court to be conducted without a jury where there is a danger of jury tampering, or continued without a jury where the jury has been discharged because of jury tampering. The Government believe that these measures will provide a strong and effective disincentive to jury tampering.

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