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Crime Figures

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) reported incidents and (b) judicial disposals of (i) violent crime, (ii) car crime, (iii) robbery and (iv) burglary there were in each of the last three years for each London borough; and what the percentage change in each case was in each year. [4776]

Hazel Blears: The available information relates to offences recorded and detected by each London borough. The statistics, including percentage changes, are available from the following web-links:

Departmental Relocation

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of his Department's posts (a) have been relocated and (b) are under consideration for relocation from London to the deprived areas of the South East. [6268]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Following the recommendations of the Lyons Review, the Home Office is developing plans to relocate up to 2,200 posts out of London and the South East by 2010. This will not exclude consideration of moving some posts to relatively deprived areas of the South East.

Prison Education

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for improving education services in prisons. [3709]

Fiona Mactaggart: The way in which education and training are delivered in prisons, and the content of the learning offered, are changing. From August 2005, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will in three regions (the North West, North East and South West) take responsibility for delivering an integrated learning and skills service for offenders both in custody and the community, linking it much more explicitly with mainstream provision for post-16 learners. A greater focus on skills will lead to greater employability on release, thereby making a significant contribution to reducing re-offending. The remaining six regions in England will follow in August 2006.

The new service has at its heart the principle that education and training for offenders should be more flexible and learner centred. Literacy, language and numeracy will rightly continue to be a high priority for offender learning, but the new service will for the first time bring together the Education Service with
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vocational training, in the context of a broader curriculum. The key change in the new arrangements is early, intense focus on assessing the offender learner's needs and preparing an individual learning plan that will set out learning needs—and achievements—as the individual moves through the criminal justice system, creating a seamless learning journey for offenders across prisons and probation and up to release.

The key features of the new learning and skills service are outlined in a document called the Offender's Learning Journey", available at (you have to select the initiatives hyperlink to view the new delivery section.) The Offender's Learning Journey" specifies the content of the learning and skills service to be supported by the LSC from August 2005.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of the (a) adult and (b) youth prison population were in education in each year between 1994 and 2004. [3247]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Prison Service do not collect centrally individual information on prisoners participating in learning and skills through its contracts with education providers.

However, the Youth Justice Board target is to provide all young people in young offender institutions with 25 hours per week of education, training and personal development.

For adults, a 2003 report published by the Learning and Skills Development Agency ('Education, Training, Assessment and Learner Support in HM Prisons and Young Offender Institutions'), found that 39 per cent. of prisoners were engaged in education and training.

Home Detention Curfew Scheme

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the Home Detention Curfew Scheme. [3977]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Government consider the Home Detention Curfew Scheme (HDC) is working well and has no proposals for change.

The HDC scheme enables prisoners, primarily those serving sentences of between three months and under four years, to return to the community up to 135 days earlier than their normal release date (half-way point of the sentence). Prisoners must have a suitable address and pass a risk assessment before release can be granted. If considered suitable, prisoners are released under licence and are subject to an electronically monitored curfew, normally for 12 hours a day, at an address within England and Wales. If they breach the licence conditions they are liable to be returned to prison to serve the remaining custodial portion of their sentence in custody.

Certain categories of prisoners are statutorily excluded from HDC, including prisoners subject to the registration requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and prisoners serving extended sentences. In addition, prisoners with any history of sexual offending or serving sentences for certain serious offences are presumed unsuitable for release on HDC unless there are exceptional reasons to grant release.
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Prisoners serving determinate sentences of four years or more whose offences were committed on or after 4 April 2005 are not statutorily excluded from HDC but they will be presumed unsuitable for release on HDC unless the governor considers there are exceptional circumstances.

Lost/Stolen Passports

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many passports have been recorded as (a) lost and (b) stolen since the introduction of secure delivery. [6375]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The secure delivery of passports commenced on 9 February 2004. Since that time, almost 8.25 million deliveries have been completed. Up to 31 March 2005 a total of 683 passports have been recorded as lost or stolen in the post and have not reached the intended customer. Of these, 217 have been confirmed as stolen, 77 passports have subsequently been recovered and the remaining 389 are considered lost, but remain under investigation by UKPS or SMS, as they are likely to have been misposted and may yet be returned. In comparison in the final year of the Royal Mail contract 3,593 passports were reported lost or stolen.

National Probation Directorate (Risk Assessment)

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the risk assessment commissioned by the National Probation Directorate in March. [4967]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Home Office published the National Probation Service (NPS) risk register, as agreed with the NPS Audit committee, identified as part of the 2005–06 Business Plan on the NPS website on 29 March. The summary of the risk was also published in the booklet that explains in detail the content of the 2005–06 Business Plan.

Victims of Crime (Online Information)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the project to make it possible for victims of crime to track the progress of their case online was initiated; what stage the project has reached; whether it is on schedule; and what the latest estimate of the cost of the project is. [4998]

Fiona Mactaggart: The facility for victims of crime to track the progress of their case online was a target for the CJS IT programme in the SR2002 period (commencing 2003–04).

The No Witness No Justice" (NWNJ) initiative is setting up witness care units that provides trained intermediaries, who understand the needs of victims and witnesses and will be more responsive to their individual requirements. The IT tool to support the witness case officers is being rolled out now, with the first release available from 20 June 2005. This offers officers access to existing case data stored on the Crown Prosecution Service's case management system plus the ability to search by witnesses. Enhancements will be available in November 2005 that will allow the officers to add/amend case details relating to victims and witnesses.
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This IT support is being funded from within the CJSIT ring-fence, with allocations of £1.2 million in 2004–05 and £6.5 million in 2005–06.

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