Four hundred people (1) are being prosecuted for refusal to complete the 2011 census. Prosecutions are up ten times compared to 2001, when only 38 people were prosecuted.
The ten-fold increase in prosecutions is widely believed to be due to the census being run by Lockheed Martin UK, a subsidiary of the world?s largest arms manufacturer (2). Thousands of people deliberately did not complete the census due to the involvement of an arms company.
Around 120 have already been found guilty, with fines ranging from the hundreds to the maximum penalty of £1,000 already having been handed down.
Kat Hobbs from the census campaign group Count Me Out (3) said:
“Ten times more prosecutions than the last census shows that people are really angry about the involvement of an arms company. The Office of National Statistics can no longer deny that giving the census contract to Lockheed Martin was a mistake when so many people are being prosecuted as a result of it.”
John Voysey (4), an 82 year old Conscientious Objector from Herefordshire, who is facing prosecution said:
“The same reason why I registered as a Conscientious Objector in 1947 means that I cannot do the census if an arms company is involved. My objection to the arms trade is a deeply held religious belief and leaves me with no choice but the break the law. It is an outrage that Lockheed Martin was given the census contract and so many people were forced to choose between their conscience and breaking the law.”
Kat Hobbs added:
“It’s not just brave people like John who didn’t do the census – millions of people didn’t do it. A large proportion of the British public don’t want to have anything to do with Lockheed Martin and their dodgy arms deals. Their involvement has certainly made the census data less accurate.”
For further information and comment contact Count Me Out on 07858 998 508, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit “Press” at www.countmeout.me.uk
- Office of National Statistics Media Relations Office: Telephone: 0845 604 1858 (8:30am-5:30pm Weekdays), Emergency out of hours (limited service): 07867 906553, Email: email@example.com. For information on prosecutions and upcoming court dates: www.countmeout.me.uk
- Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest arms manufacturer, producing F-16 fighter jets, cluster munitions, and the Trident nuclear missile system. Lockheed Martin UK, the subsidiary responsible for “data capture and information processing” in the census, is also a producer of missiles and other weapons systems. http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/about/index.html
- Count Me Out brought together individuals and groups to take action against the 2011 census and protest Lockheed Martin UK’s involvement.