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3 Feb 2010 : Column 397W—continued

Political Parties: Finance

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he plans to make an order under section 76A of the Representation of the People Act 1983 to vary the maximum amount of candidates' election expenses. [314942]

Mr. Wills: The Government do not intend to vary the maximum amount of candidates' election expenses under section 76 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 before the next parliamentary general election. In reaching
3 Feb 2010 : Column 398W
this view I have consulted the Electoral Commission, who agree that an increase in spending limits is not necessary at this point. I will be placing copies of both letters in the Library.

Prosecutions: Television

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people in (a) each region of England and (b) Wales were (i) fined and (ii) prosecuted for non-payment of television licence fees in each of the last three years. [314487]

Claire Ward: The requested information is shown in the following tables.

Total fines for TV licence in each region, 2006-08

2006 2007 2008

North East

8,640

7,814

10,107

North West

25,079

24,839

23,578

Yorkshire and Humberside

12,663

13,561

8,254

East Midlands

8,126

9,477

10,566

West Midlands

12,666

13,751

15,698

East of England

8,280

7,976

7,363

London

14,845

17,860

15,642

South East

7,459

8,423

10,117

South West

6,627

7,100

7,465

Wales

9,600

9,313

8,332

Notes:
1. The TV licensing provisions of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 were replaced by new provisions in the Communications Act 2003 which came into effect on 1 April 2004.
2. These are the numbers fined against for all offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act which mainly but not exclusively covers TV licensing offences.
3. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
Source:
Justice Statistics Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice


3 Feb 2010 : Column 399W
Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for television licence evasion, by Government office region, England and Wales, 2006 - 08( 1, 2)

2006( 3) 2007( 4) 2008( 4)

North East

9,407

8,456

10,342

North West

27,153

26,657

25,536

Yorkshire and Humberside

14,283

14,820

13,080

East Midlands

9,221

10,534

11,111

West Midlands

14,234

15,147

17,425

East of England

9,642

9,145

8,458

London

19,308

22,791

19,583

South East

8,805

9,786

11,780

South West

7,616

8,139

8,165

Total England

119,669

125,475

125,480

Wales

10,461

10,073

9,064

Total Wales

10,461

10,073

9,064

Total England and Wales

130,130

135,548

134,544

(1) The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(3) As well as television licence evasion, these data include proceedings for summary offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 to 1967.
(4) These figures relate to the offence of television licence evasion under the Communications Act 2003.
Source:
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.

These data are presented on the principal offence basis: where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence, the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed; where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences, the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people in Northern Ireland were (a) prosecuted and (b) fined for non-payment of the television licence fee (i) in total, (ii) by local authority area and (iii) by constituency in each of the last three years. [314674]

Bridget Prentice: In 2008, 5,272 people in Northern Ireland were prosecuted for non-payment of the television licence fee and 4,118 fines imposed.

In 2007, 5901 people were prosecuted and 4,464 fines imposed.

Corresponding information for 2006 is not available.

Information is not collected by local authority area or by constituency. However, the following table shows information for 2007 and 2008 for magistrates courts across Northern Ireland:


3 Feb 2010 : Column 400W
Defendants prosecuted for no TV licence-2007
Magistrates court office Number of defendants Number of fines

Belfast

1,573

1,204

Newtownards

188

154

Downpatrick

136

110

Craigavon

330

264

Armagh

181

127

Banbridge

52

37

Omagh

149

103

Strabane

91

69

Antrim

221

172

Londonderry

694

493

Enniskillen

114

89

Coleraine

305

233

Newry

362

245

Limavady

252

198

Magherafelt

94

74

Ballymena

262

186

Bangor

147

115

Larne

93

62

Lisburn

387

308

Dungannon

270

221

Total

5,901

4,464


Defendants prosecuted for no TV Licence-2008
Magistrates court office Number of defendants Number of fines

Belfast

1,620

1,334

Newtownards

264

212

Downpatrick

116

97

Craigavon

330

255

Armagh

231

171

Banbridge

76

53

Omagh

154

98

Strabane

75

51

Antrim

105

75

Londonderry

384

313

Enniskillen

125

87

Coleraine

277

213

Newry

319

223

Limavady

102

72

Magherafelt

81

64

Ballymena

168

134

Bangor

150

100

Larne

67

53

Lisburn

345

279

Dungannon

283

234

Total

5,272

4,118


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