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4 Mar 2003 : Column 964W—continued

Hit-and-run Accidents

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the maximum fine is that can be levied on a hit-and-run driver without insurance. [98723]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Under section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 a driver is required to stop after an accident and provide his name and address. If for any reason the driver does not give his name and address, he is required to report the accident. Should the driver fail to do either of the above, the maximum fine available is £5,000 (level 5 on the standard scale). This is also the maximum fine for driving without insurance under section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Therefore, a driver convicted of both of these offences could be subjected to a maximum fine of £1,000.

If a driver fails to stop or report following a serious road traffic incident in respect of which there is evidence to support more serious charges, he may be prosecuted for those offences in addition to failing to stop or report.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for he Home Department how many (a) hit-and-run accidents, (b) hit-and-run accidents whose driver did not have insurance and (c) hit-and-run drivers taken to court and (i) fined, (ii) imprisoned and (iii) acquitted there were in each of the last five years; and what percentage of these fines remain unpaid. [98724]

Hilary Benn: Department for Transport figures are given in the following table for the number of hit-and-run accidents in England and Wales for the years 1997–2001.

It is not possible, in the statistics collected centrally, to distinguish offences relating to a "hit-and-run" accident from offences resulting from other kinds of accidents. Motorists charged following a "hit-and-run" will e charged with an offence appropriate to the circumstances. This may often be failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident, but more serious charges may be preferred in some cases depending on the circumstances.

Table B shows available data on motoring offences within England and Wales, as defined in section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, for failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident within 24 hours. The figures shown are the numbers of offences, rather than the numbers of offenders.

Data on the number of cases where drivers were convicted for insurance offences, (under section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, using motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks), as well as the offences of failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident within 24 hours are given in table C.

Information on fines unpaid by offence is not collected centrally.

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Table A—The number of hit-and-run accidents, England and Wales, 1997–2001


Table B—Proceedings at magistrates courts and outcome at all courts for the motoring offences of failing to stop after an accident, etc. and failing to report an accident within 24 hours—England and Wales
Number of offences

Year/offenceTotal proceedingsAcquittals(11)FineImmediate custody(12)
Failing to stop after accident, etc. (Road Traffic Act 1988 s170(4))
Failing to report accident within 24 hours (Road Traffic Act 1988 s170(4) and (7))

(11) Includes cases dismissed at the magistrates courts under the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 s9 and acquittals at the Crown Court.

(12) Includes unsuspended sentence of imprisonment, young offender institution, secure training order (1998–2000) and detention and training order (2000 onwards).

Table C—The number of convictions for insurance offences(13) where drivers were also convicted for failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident within 24 hours, England and Wales, 1997–2001

YearTotal number

(13) Section 143, Road Traffic Act 1988—using motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks.


Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what hospitality has been offered at public expense in the last 12 months, by each Minister in his Department to outside interest groups, broken down by (a) restaurant, (b) recipient and (c) cost in each case; [99583]

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Mr. Blunkett: All offers of hospitality are made in accordance with the published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in 'Government Accounting'. The giving and receiving of hospitality is conducted fully in accordance with the guidance set out in the 'Ministerial Code, and Guidance on Contacts with Outside Interest Groups including Lobbyists'. The detailed information requested is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Leave to Remain

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in each quarter since January 1997, (a) how many applications for leave to remain on the basis of marriage were received, (b) what the normal time taken to full initial screening and decisions on straightforward cases was, (c) what the time taken to deal with those applications not considered straightforward was and (d) how many staff were employed in the relevant departments of the IND dealing with these applications. [99779]

Beverley Hughes: The latest available statistics are given in the following table. The information relates to grants and refusals of extensions of leave to remain on the basis of marriage for each quarter 1997 to 2001. Data for 2002 will be published later this year. Information on the number of applications lodged is not currently available.

Grants and refusals of extensions of leave to remain on the basis of marriage in the United Kingdom, excluding EEA nationals, 1997 to 2001



Figures rounded to the nearest 5.

Data exclude unmarried partners and fiance(e)s.

Data exclude the outcome of appeals and withdrawn applications.

There are no published data on decision times for individual types of settlement applications. Our aim is to decide all straightforward applications within three weeks. At present some straightforward applications decided in initial consideration are taking about 10 weeks because of the exceptionally high intake of new applications received in the latter part of 2002. At present some applications that cannot be dealt with on initial consideration can take around 12 months to decide. Measures are being taken to reduce turnaround times.

The information on staff dealing with marriage applications is not available in the form requested as individual staff members do not take decisions solely on marriage applications.

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London Prisons

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women have been assessed for drug treatment in each London prison during the last 12 months. [99407]

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Hilary Benn: Prisoners may receive different types of assessment for drug treatment, depending on need and availability. All prisoners receive a health care assessment on reception into custody which will trigger a further assessment for detoxification if required. All prisoners referred to counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare (CARATs) receive an initial assessment of need.

Prior to acceptance on a rehabilitation programme, all prisoners will receive a detailed assessment. Figures showing the number of CARAT assessments are given in the following table. No figures are available centrally for the number of detoxification and rehabilitation assessments undertaken. Figures for the number of actual treatments, a proxy measure of assessments, are included in the table.

April 2002 to January 2003

CARATs(14) Detoxification(15) Rehabilitation(15)
Latchmere House000
Wormwood Scrubs1,09695046

(14) Initial assessments.

(15) Treatment episodes.

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