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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 11 July 2005


English Wine

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will ensure that English wine is made available at dinners, receptions and parties he hosts at which hospitality involving wine is appropriate (a) during the EU presidency and (b) generally; and if he will make a statement. [9164]

The Solicitor-General: I have no current plans to host any dinners, receptions or parties specifically for the EU presidency. Generally, all procurement is undertaken in line with the EC's procurement rules and must represent value for money. Wherever possible British products are used.

European Court of Justice

Mr. Amess: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will list each item of UK legislation which has been or is being subjected to legal challenge in the European Court of Justice (a) on the grounds of an alleged conflict with Article 30 of the Treaty of Rome, (b) on the grounds of an alleged conflict with another article of the treaty and (c) on other grounds, together with the date (i) on which each challenge was instituted and (ii) of the court decision. [10483]

The Solicitor-General: The information requested is extremely broad covering a period of over 30 years and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information about European Court of Justice cases is widely published, in particular on their website and in the European Court Reports.

Fraud Convictions (Essex)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Solicitor-General how many people have been convicted of fraud in (a) Southend and (b) Essex in each year since 1997. [10578]

The Solicitor-General: The following table shows the number of offenders convicted at all courts of fraud offences from 1997 to 2003, in the south-east Essex petty sessional area (which covers Southend and some parts of Rayleigh, Benfleet and Canvey) and the Essex police
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force area. The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
South-east Essex psaEssex police force area

Laptop Computers

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Solicitor-General how many laptop computers have been used by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials in the Law Officers' Departments in each year since 1995; how many have been (i) lost and (ii) stolen in that period; what the cost was of the use of laptops in that period; and if he will make a statement. [4111]

The Solicitor-General: Details on the use of laptop computers by the Law Officers' Departments between 1995–96 and 2004–05 are given, where available, in the following table. Details have not always been held centrally and would incur disproportionate cost to obtain for the periods not available.

Laptop computers have facilitated greater flexibility of working for all staff and are particularly useful for prosecutors working out of office at police stations and courts.
Law Officers' Department use of laptop computers

Attorney General's Office(1)
Treasury Solicitors
Lost and/or stolen(6)
04 stolen +2 lost since
in period2001–02

Crown Prosecution Service(3)
Revenue and Customs
Prosecutions Office(3)
Serious Fraud Office
Lost and/or stolen(6) in period 20 since 2002–03
0 since 2003–04
3 since 1999–2000

(1)There are no special advisers
(2)Figures for the CPS include HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate. The CPS does not own laptop computers; since 2002, it has had a Public Finance Initiative contract for IT equipment under which a monthly charge is made for laptops.
(3)RCPO was established in April 2005. Previously, as the Customs and Excise Prosecutions Office it owned the laptops identified in the table. It also had the use of some 17 laptops provided by HM Customs and Excise and the latter provision is included in the response for HM Revenue and Customs.
(4)Laptops not in use.
(5)RCPO and CEPO, its predecessor, not established
(6)Records do not differentiate between laptops which are lost or stolen, except where specified

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Serious Fraud Office

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2005, Official Report, column 600W, on the Serious Fraud Office, when he will place the guidance which governs implementation of the revised version of the Memorandum of Understanding in the Library. [9770]

The Solicitor-General: The answer of 16 June 2005 was partially in error. There is no current intention to issue separate guidance governing the implementation of the revised version of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is currently in the process of being revised and this is being co-ordinated by the Home Office. The MOU will be placed in the House of Commons Library after all parties to the MOU have agreed the revised version. The MOU will also be available upon request from any of the involved parties, including the Serious Fraud Office.

Police Officers (Speeding Prosecutions)

Lynne Jones: To ask the Solicitor-General how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful prosecutions of police officers for speeding there have been in each of the last three years. [10200]

Hazel Blears: I have been asked to reply.

The information is not collected centrally.

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