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8 April 2014

Question Time - Justice 07 April 2014

Justice Minister David Ford was asked by Jim Wells about the proposals to decriminalise the non-payment of TV licences.

The minister said that in 2012 155 people were sent to prison for non-payment of TV licence fines.

"It is good to see the UK government is finally catching up with the proposal that we in Northern Ireland made two years ago," he said.

Sinn Fein's Sean Lynch asked asked about fears for the planned Police and Fire College at Desertcreat, County Tyrone, due to problems with the preferred bidder.

Mr Ford said the Department of Justice and its agencies "remain completely committed to ensuring that the college goes ahead at Desertcreat".

Mr Lynch said the plan had been for building to begin in 2014 and be completed in 27 months. He wanted to know is this was still possible.

The minister said the planned time frame for building the college was "not in fact now realistic".

During topical questions the Minister also provided answers to Members’ queries regarding Pensions: RUC Widows, Fuel Laundering Locations and Attacks on Officers in Carrickfergus.