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Crown Prosecution Service

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General how many (a) inspections and (b) thematic reviews have

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been undertaken in each CPS area since the inception of the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate; and how long each took on average. [59348]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 12 June 2002]: Between May 2000 and May 2002 the Inspectorate inspected 37 of the 42 CPS areas. Gloucestershire was also the subject of a short follow-up inspection. Reports have been published on all these 38 inspections. West Midlands was also the subject of a follow-up inspection confined to a small aspect of its work, namely discharged committals. The inspection was extended to include scrutiny of police performance as well. The Inspectorate was assisted in the follow-up by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and HM Magistrates Courts Service Inspectorate. A report on this joint inspection is expected to be published in July 2002.

First inspections of the remaining five CPS areas are in progress and reports on all of them should be published by the end of September 2002.

The Inspectorate has carried out nine thematic reviews between January 1998 and May 2002. Each review involved visits to CPS branches or areas, varying in number between six and 16. Since April 1999 each of the 42 areas has featured in a thematic review on at least one occasion and several of them twice.

The length of an inspection of a CPS area will vary with the size of the area. The core inspection phases take 10 weeks for a smaller area and 20 weeks for a larger area, longer in the case of CPS London, the largest CPS area. Consultation with the area, agreeing the draft report and publishing the final version takes a further seven weeks or more after the completion of the field work.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General what action has been taken to reduce the number of (a) judge-ordered and (b) judge-directed acquittals since 1999. [60203]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 10 June 2002]: In 1999, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) introduced an adverse outcome analysis system. This provides CPS areas with a consistent means to identify reasons for adverse outcomes and also to allocate responsibility of any failure. This information is collated centrally.

For the last seven years, many areas of the CPS have had in place, with the police, a system of joint performance management that involves an appraisal of Crown Court acquittals, including those ordered and directed by the judge. This process provides areas with information showing particular trends and a means by which improvements can be made.

The Crown Prosecution Service produces quarterly summaries of unsuccessful case outcomes from information drawn from its various case tracking systems. This year the CPS and the police have begun to develop a joint case outcome analysis which builds on these two processes and will focus on avoidable case failure. Under this system, the reasons for judge ordered and judge directed acquittals in individual cases will be jointly assessed for individual training needs and other joint strategies for performance improvement.

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The process will be supported by more sophisticated management information following the introduction of the CPS' Compass Case Management System due to roll out between April and December 2003.

The figures in the table show a fall in judge directed acquittals from 1,777 in 1999 to 1,471 last year, a reduction of 17.2 per cent. Over the same period judge ordered acquittals rose from 9,616 to 11,825, an increase of 23 per cent. Much of this increase can be attributed to recent changes in procedures. Since January 2001, the prosecution, unlike before, have been able to discontinue cases in the Crown Court. Although this is a prosecution decision, the current system records these as judge ordered acquittals.

Judge ordered and judge directed acquittals, 1999–2002

Judge ordered acquittalsJudge directed acquittals
Number of acquittals9,6161,777
Percentage of completed cases11.12.0
Number of acquittals10,1451,755
Percentage of completed cases12.32.1
Number of acquittals11,8251,471
Percentage of completed cases14.01.7


Television (Subtitling)

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if it is her policy that the forthcoming communications legislation will have the power to ensure that video on demand and other forms of developing television are covered by the requirement to carry subtitles and other ancillary services. [66251]

Dr. Howells: No. The draft Communications Bill extends obligations for the provision of subtitling, sign language and audio-description services from terrestrial broadcasters to all licensed broadcasters. It is not proposed to extend them to other media unless such media were brought into the licensing regime by order, having met the criteria set out in the Bill for licensable television services. Under the Bill as drafted, true video on demand would not be licensable and, therefore, would not have legal obligations for subtitling any more than on-demand services provided over the internet. It would be for those who provide such services to decide whether to offer ancillary services for viewers with disabilities.

Football and Hockey

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many coaches Sport England funds for (a) football, (b) hockey, (c) men's football, (d) women's football, (e) men's hockey and (f) women's hockey. [66769]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 4 July 2002]: Sport England funds the Football Foundation who provide funding for grassroots football.

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Sport England does not directly fund any individuals except through the World Class programmes. Sport England put Exchequer funding into the coach education programme of hockey.

The figures for hockey are as follows:

No further breakdown can be provided.

Arts Council

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will provide a list of consultants and change managers employed by the Arts Council of England to assist the change process over the last 15 months; and if she will make a statement. [68346]

Dr. Howells: The following consultants and change managers were employed by the Arts Council of England to assist the change process over the last 15 months: Richard Pulford; Graham Devlin; Jeremy Brown; Carol Beckford Associates; People Initiatives; Thorpeworks Ltd; Lesley Payne; PwC; Anite Consulting; Network Marketing Group; Bacon Woodrow; Baker Tilley; Gregory Consulting Ltd; SGS Consulting; The Management Centre; Marketlink Research; Leonard Hull; The Change Partnership; Office for Public Management.

Historic Buildings (Public Access)

Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his answer of 3 July 2002, Official Report, column 314, if there is an automatic access requirement when historic buildings are grant- aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund. [68301]

Dr. Howells: As part of the condition of grant, the Heritage Lottery Fund requires that grantees ensure that the general public has appropriate access to properties and that no one is unreasonably denied access.

Tobacco Sponsorship

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact of the removal of tobacco sponsorship on the sport of darts; and if she will make a statement. [68469]

Mr. Caborn: I am aware of the extent to which the British Darts Organisation is reliant on tobacco sponsorship and of the difficulties it faces in finding replacement sponsorship. I can assure my hon. Friend that the Government have looked very carefully at how best to achieve an end to the advertising and promotion of tobacco at sports events in a way that will minimise any damage to the sports concerned.

My Department has maintained a constant dialogue with the British Darts Organisation, partly through the Tobacco Sponsorship Task Force, and I fully understand its concern about the impact of a ban on British darts. As it remains the Government's intention, subject to consultation, to end tobacco sponsorship for non-global sports by the end of July 2003, it is vital that the British Darts Organisation continue its efforts to find replacement sponsorship.

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I will, of course, continue my own efforts in helping the British Darts Organisation and all other sports that would be affected by the ban, to ensure that they do not suffer unduly during the transition away from tobacco sponsorship.

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the future of the Tobacco Sponsorship Task Force. [68468]

Mr. Caborn: The Sponsorship Tobacco Task Force last met in October 1999. Following that meeting it was agreed that the task force had completed its initial work of identifying the needs of sports affected by the ban on tobacco sponsorship. At that time these sports believed that it was too soon to be looking to replace existing contracts, and that the situation should be reviewed before the expiry of current contracts.

Following the introduction of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill, and the proposed consultation on draft regulations, I wrote to the seven sports represented on the Tobacco Task Force on 14 April to ask for their thoughts on whether this might be an appropriate time for it to resume its work. So far, I have only received a response from the British Darts Organisation. Should the other six members respond favourably, the Government would be happy to reconvene the Tobacco Sponsorship Task Force.

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