§ Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:
§ Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 13 November (WA 216) and in light of recent correspondence with Home On Ministers, how many officers of the Metropolitan Police are engaged in the investigation of offences under Section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988; 42WA how many alleged offences have been investigated since the Act came into force; and in respect of how many alleged offences files have been sent to the Attorney-General, either to request him to exercise his power under Section 135 of the Act, or as a preparatory act with a view to a possible subsequent request. [HL3373]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): In correspondence (copies of which have been placed in the Library), I have acknowledged that the response given on 13 November 2003 was incorrect. The correct Answer should be:
I have been informed by the Commissioner of Police for Metropolis that there is one detective superintendent in charge of a team of on average five people who are currently engaged in the investigation of offences under Section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
There have been approximately eight alleged offences investigated since the Act came into force. An exact figure could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Information concerning the number of files that have been sent to the Attorney-General—either to request him to exercise his powers under Section 135 of the Act or as a preparatory act with a view to a possible subsequent request—could be obtained only at disproportionate cost".
§ I am sorry that an incorrect Answer was originally given, the reason for which has been explained in my letter of 18 March.