§ Dr. Mawhinney
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pieces of pornographic and obscene literature were seized by the Metropolitan Police in 1975, 1977 and 1979, respectively; and what happened to this literature.
§ Mr. Brittan
I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the available information is as follows:
ARTICLES SEIZED BY THE METROPOLITAN POLICE UNDER THE OBSCENE PUBLICATIONS ACT 1959 Number of articles Year Total Books, magazines and typescripts 1975 202,242 59,888 1977 375,484 346,878 1979 1,170,752 1,156,027
Articles ordered by the courts to be forfeited are destroyed; the rest are returned to their owners. The considerable increase in articles seized in 1979 reflects a policy decision by the Commissioner in 1978, taken in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, to extend operations to British-produced magazines.