§ Mr. Dell
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what are the areas referred to in paragraph 65 of the Home Office's explanatory memorandum on the Criminal Justice Act 1972; what are the practical problems he acknowledges; what action he is taking to deal with these problems; and by what date he expects them to be eliminated; and
(2) what consultations he has had with representatives of magistrates and the probation and after-care service on the implications of the November 1970 sur- 166W vey into the working of Home Office circulars 188 and 189/1968; what conclusions he has arrived at as to the reasons for widespread non-compliance with the circulars; what action he now proposes to take to secure compliance; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Carlisle
We are about to send to the secretaries of a number of probation and after-care committees a consultative document which seeks information, and the views of local magistrates and probation officers, about the extent to which social inquiry reports are obtained and the obstacles, if any, to the wider use of such reports in their areas. I hope that the replies will give a clearer picture of the problems referred to in the right hon. Member's Questions. There can be little doubt that the other heavy demands on probation service resources are a constraint on the provision of social inquiry reports; the strengthening of the service to enable it to meet these demands continues.