Convictions: Badgers

Justice written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Martin Horwood Martin Horwood Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how many people have received custodial sentences which have not been suspended for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 in each year since 2007; what the length of each such sentence was; on what dates such sentences were handed down; and how much has been received in fine payments for offences under the Act in each year since it came into effect;

(2) how many people have been (a) proceeded against and (b) convicted of offences under the provisions of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 in each year since 2007.

Photo of Claire Ward Claire Ward Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice

The available information is provided in the following tables.

Data for 2009 will be available when Sentencing Statistics 2009 is published later this year.

The specific date when a sentence was passed cannot be provided as this would allow an individual to be easily identifiable which is contrary to the Ministry's data protection policy. Information has therefore been provided on the month sentence was passed. The total fine payment rate is not available for specific offences, but information has been provided on the number of fines and the total monetary value of fines imposed under the Protection of Badgers Act. The overall estimated fine payment rate for all financial penalties by financial year is shown in the following table:

Financial year Payment rate-England and Wales (percentage)
2003-04 74
2004-05 80
2005-06 83
2006-07 92
2007-08 95

Data on payment rates prior to April 2003 is not calculated in a comparable manner.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty and sentenced to immediate custody at all courts for selected offences, England and Wales, 2007 and 2008( 1,2,3)
2007 2008( 3)
Statute Offence description Proceeded against Found guilty Immediate custody Proceeded against Found guilty Immediate custody
Badgers Act 1973 as amended by Criminal Justice Act 1991 S.26 and Badgers Act 1991 S.1 Offences of cruelty to badgers and special protection for badgers and their setts 20 6 (4)1 22 11 (5)2
Badgers (further protection) Act 1991 Failing to give up a dog for destruction or having custody of a dog while disqualified 10 5 0 14 11 0
(1) The figures given 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 it 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) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008.

(4) An immediate custodial sentence of four months passed in June.

(5) One sentence of six months passed in March, one sentence of one month passed in December.

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice

Number of fines and monetary value of fines imposed under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, 1992 to 2008
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Number of fines issued 31 23 15 18 8 6 10 14
Value of fines imposed (£)(1) 5,500 5,425 3,760 7,250 2,000 2,100 2,215 580
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Number of fines issued 14 31 22 13 9 9 4 4 13
Value of fines imposed (£)(1) 1,415 2,185 1,285 4,960 860 2,510 275 310 3,015
(1) Due to changes in the way these figures have been extracted they may show small differences to previously released figures.

Notes:

1. 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.

2. This data has been taken from the Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings database. This data is 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.

Source:

Justice Statistics-Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

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