§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what statistical evidence is available to his Department regarding the incidence of suicide following decisions to prosecute for minor offences, including shoplifting.
§ Mr. Brittan
The only information available to the Home Office relates to court proceedings discontinued because the defendant committed suicide. Information is not collected centrally on suicides before court proceedings begin or after the court has made its decision. Of the four cases shown in table 1(a)(i) of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1978" (Cmnd 7670, page 212) in which proceedings at magistrates' courts in England and Wales were discontinued in 211W 1978 because of the suicide of the defendant, one had been proceeded against for murder, one for an offence of shoplifting, one for an offence against police regulations, and one for speeding. Information for 1979 is not yet available.