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The Solicitor-General: Of the 1,892 ASBOs issued in England and Wales up to December 2003, 793 or 42 per cent. Were breached. 1 The CPS does not have discrete data for the number of prosecutions for breaches of antisocial behaviour orders since their introduction in 1999.
1 Official Home Office statistics are based on data obtained from the courts proceedings database and compared to the database on number of ASBOs issued. Data is available up to December 2003. Breaches are counted on a person basis, i.e. multiple breaches (occurring at the same time), or where the order has been breached on more than one occasion, are all counted as one breach.
28. Ben Chapman: To ask the Solicitor-General how many prosecutions for breaches of antisocial behaviour orders the Crown Prosecution Service has brought in (a) Wirral South and (b) Merseyside. 
The Solicitor-General: Of the 71 ASBOs issued in Merseyside up to December 2003, 22 or 31 per cent. were breached. Statistics for Wirral South are not available. 1 The CPS does not have discrete data for the number of prosecutions for breaches of antisocial behaviour orders.
1 Official Home Office statistics are based on data obtained from the courts proceedings database and compared to the database on number of ASBOs issued. Breaches are counted on a person basis, i.e. multiple breaches (occurring at the same time), or where the order has been breached on more than one occasion, are all counted as one breach.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Solicitor-General what the timetable is for the Serious Fraud Office completing its investigations into the allegations of corruption with respect to the sale of Alvis vehicles to Indonesia in the 1990s; and if he will make a statement. 
The SFO cannot confirm or deny whether a specific matter has been referred to it or is under investigation until such a time as is considered appropriate.
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The SFO has been designated the lead authority for vetting allegations of overseas corruption by UK companies or individuals. Currently the SFO is vetting thirteen cases where such corruption offences have been alleged.
The Solicitor-General: Each case handled by the CPS is reviewed individually to make sure that both the evidence and the public interest support a prosecution, This process continues throughout the life of the case. Circumstances may change during the lifetime of a case, for example as new evidence emerges, and the prosecutor's decision must take account of these changing realities regardless of when they come to light.
The introduction of statutory charging has helped to expedite CPS decision making. By involving prosecutors earlier in the process, they are able to ensure that key decisions are taken as early in the life of a case as possible and, in particular, that cases which are not viable are identified at the very outset of the prosecution process. The establishment of CPS Direct means that the CPS is able to give advice and make immediate charging decisions 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Solicitor-General what percentage of cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service were not proceeded with because of the unwillingness of witnesses to give evidence in each of the last five years. 
The Solicitor-General: During the year ending March 2005, 1.7 per cent. of all CPS prosecutions resulted in an unsuccessful outcome through the unwillingness or non-attendance of witnesses. Comparable figures are not held for previous years.
Vera Baird: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will take steps to ensure that letters from the Crown Prosecution Service explaining the discontinuance of a criminal prosecution are written in clear non-technical language. 
The Solicitor-General: All crown prosecutors are required to attend a two day training course about writing letters to explain the reasons for their decisions. They are also provided with a comprehensive guidance manual which requires written communication to be clear, accurate, succinct, objective, human and to avoid jargon. Guidance also instructs crown prosecutors to use plain English.
Chief crown prosecutors have responsibility for ensuring that letters issued meet the appropriate standards of quality and timeliness. Area performance, including the direct communication with victims initiative, is reviewed at regular intervals with the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Business Development Directorate is currently conducting a review of the direct communication with victims initiative, and will assess whether any further measures are required to ensure the quality and timeliness of written communications.
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to the answer of 27 June, Official Report, column 1180W, on Iraq, whether the Government gave permission for the Butler Review to disclose that the Attorney General made an oral presentation to the Cabinet of his advice on the legality of the war in Iraq. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to his Answer of 7 June 2005, Official Report, column 456W, on theft, how many young people subject to the diversion scheme did not re-offend in each of the last three years. 
The information is not readily available in the form requested. Information on reconviction rates for juvenile offenders are published annually by both disposal and by offence, but not for combinations of these. The table shows the actual one year reconviction rates for those young offenders sentenced or released from custody in the first quarter of 2001, 2002, and 2003.
|Pre-court disposals||Theft and handling offences|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what breaches of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention have occurred since 1980; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Article VI of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) permits any State Party to the convention to lodge a complaint with the Security Council of the United Nations if they find that any other State Party is in breach of obligations deriving from the provisions of the convention. To date no complaints of breaches of the obligations of the convention have been submitted to the United Nations. As one of the Depositary Governments of the BTWC, the UK views the issue of compliance with the convention as being of central importance and routinely monitors the compliance of all States Parties to the convention.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment
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the Government have made of Burundi's and Rwanda's violations of their obligations under international conventions on refugees; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: We have received several reports that the actions of the Rwandan and Burundian Governments in returning Rwandans from Burundi may have contravened international law. The facts remain unclear.
We have been in touch with both countries' Governments and have reminded them of their international legal obligations under the 1951 refugee convention, to which both countries are signatories. We pressed them to consider fully individuals' right to asylum and to co-operate fully with staff of the UN High Commission for Refugees and other UN agencies.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports that large-scale arms deliveries from Eastern Europe and the Balkans continue to be made to the Great Lakes Region despite the UN Security Council mandatory embargo. 
Ian Pearson: Despite recent international efforts to strengthen and enforce the UN and EU arms embargoes, and the creation in 2004 of a UN group of experts to monitor implementation and examine reported breaches, there is some evidence that rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to receive supplies of arms and ammunition.
The UK takes the enforcement of these embargoes very seriously and will examine carefully the latest reports of breaches of the arms embargo before assessing what further action might be appropriate. Any information we receive relating to the potential involvement of UK entities in alleged sanctions-breaches is reported promptly to the relevant UK authorities for their investigation.
Ian Pearson: We were instrumental in securing the adoption of Security Council resolution 1596 on 18 April 2005 which, among other measures, extended the UN embargo to cover the whole of the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) territory and introduced a travel ban and assets freeze to be imposed on individuals violating the embargo.
We have repeatedly raised our concerns with the Governments of the DRC and its neighbours about illicit flows of arms, urging them to prevent arms transiting their territory and to tighten border security. We have been in touch with the Rwandan and Ugandan Governments most recently, on 30 June and 1 July respectively.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports that British-based firms have been involved in delivering arms to the Great Lakes Region. 
Ian Pearson: We take seriously any allegations that UK entities may have been involved in the illicit supply of arms to embargoed destinations. Any evidence we receive is passed promptly to the relevant UK authorities for their investigation. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs made inquiries into these allegations in 2003 but found no evidence of any offences.
All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Export or trade licences issued recently for military-listed equipment going from the UK to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been consistent with the exemptions to the UN and EU embargoes on the DRC, which allow the export of non-lethal equipment for humanitarian or protective use as well as equipment for the UN mission in the DRC and the integrated army and police of the DRC.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the operation of the arms embargo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Ian Pearson: The UK continues to observe and support strongly the UN and EU arms embargoes on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite international efforts to enforce the embargoes, and the creation of a UN group of experts to monitor implementation and examine reported breaches, there is some evidence that rebel groups operating in eastern DRC continue to receive supplies of arms and ammunition.
We continue to work to strengthen enforcement of the embargoes, and are working with Security Council partners to identify and impose assets freezes and travel bans on those who are found to have violated the UN embargo.
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