§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in the light of the fact that there were only 22 prosecutions in 1977 for breaching the regulations prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to children in England and Wales, if he is satisfied that the law is being adequately enforced; and if he will take further steps to improve its enforcement.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The offence of selling tobacco to people under the age of 16 is not easy for the police to detect—partly because both parties acquiesce to the transaction—without a disproportionate concentration of police resources. The deployment of his resources is, of course, entirely a matter for the chief officer of any particular force. I am sure that chief officers do, and will continue to, bring prosecutions where offences come, or are brought, to their attention.