Further supplementary memorandum submitted
by the Northern Ireland Office
You recently requested further statistical information
I understand that the Home Office has already
replied to you separately on this matter in response to the Committee's
request (referred to in paragraph 435 of the relevant transcript)
and supplied you with figures for convictions in Northern Ireland
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide more
up to date statistics, as our source of information is the same
(the NIO Statistics and Research Branch) and the figures for 1998
are the most recent reliable information that they have.
The reason the figures are so out of date is
that PSNI, upon whom the NIO Statistics and Research Branch depends
for information on court activity, began storing court activity
data on a new computer system on 1 January 2000. NIO Statistics
and Research Branch are currently developing a new database to
store this new-format information, but sadly, this has proved
to be a very complex undertaking. I have been informed that the
data for 2000 and beyond will be available on this new system
"sometime by late summer 2002".
Seeking to provide a more satisfactory response
to your enquiry the Branch also made contact with the NI Court
Service to see if they could provide the information. Again, sadly,
we are advised that their systems are not designed to report activity
by individual offence, such as robbery, blackmail etc, or by length
of immediate custody.
I regret that it looks as though we shall not
be able to chase down the information that you require until late
summer and I suspect that will be too late to be of use to the
Committee's current enquiry.
26 April 2002