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John Hemming: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list the special advisers in post in her Department, broken down by pay band; and what the total budgeted cost to her Department of special advisers is for 200506. 
Bridget Prentice: Since 2003, the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each payband. For the most recent information I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on 21 July 2005, Official Report, columns 15862WS.
Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Lord Chancellor has continued to require the Teesside coroner to provide monthly reports since the end of June. 
Ms Harman: The coroner for Teesside has continued to provide monthly reports to the Lord Chancellor since the end of June. The last report was for September 2005 and the position with regard to outstanding inquests at that time was that a total of 193 inquest cases were outstanding with 44 of those over six months old.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average
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time was between arrest and sentence for convicted young offenders in Merseyside in 200405; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Harman: The Department does not collect this information centrally for all convicted young offenders but it does collect information for all offenders who are classified as Persistent Young Offenders.
The most recent figures available are for Persistent Young Offenders sentenced during August 2005. They indicate that the average time between arrest and sentence in Merseyside is 56 days compared to a target of 71 days. For the whole of 2005 to the end of August the figure is 58 days.
Vera Baird: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what monitoring is being carried out on the take-up and impact of special measures under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. 
Two major research studies on special measures were commissioned by the Home Office. The first assessed the satisfaction of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. The report 'Are special measures working? Evidence from surveys of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses' (Home Office Research Study 283, available at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs04/hors283.pdf) was published in June 2004. Key findings from the research were also published in Home Office Findings 240 and are available at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs04/r240.pdf.
Key points are that a third of witnesses using special measures would not have been willing and able to give evidence without the availability of these measures and that those who used the measures were significantly more likely to express satisfaction with the criminal justice system. The report of the second study evaluating the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in implementing the special measures is likely to be published in early 2006.
Under the mandatory programme, prisons are required, depending on population size to random test either five or 10 per cent. of their population each month. Targeted mandatory tests are also undertaken. Voluntary tests at a minimum of 18/yr are undertaken as part of a voluntary agreement or compact between a
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prison and prisoner. The number of compacts, details of which are held centrally, is an indirect measure of number of tests. The table sets out the percentage of tests in Welsh prisons in each of the last four years, along with the percentage of voluntary compacts.
Paul Goggins: We condemn outright the harassment and intimidation by animal rights extremists of those going about their lawful business. Our aim is to eradicate this despicable threat and ensure that life saving research and testing can continue freely in the UK. We have in place a tough interdepartmental strategy to do this. We will maintain pressure on animal rights extremists and, in co-operation with law enforcement agencies and industry, will continue to develop protective measures against the extremist threat.
Steps we have recently taken include: new legislation to protect animal research organisations which has led to the arrests of several individuals; additional resources for the police; and the appointment of a National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism with a central team to drive forward police action nationally. Several leading extremists have been convicted this year and others face charges.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many suspects have been (a) arrested for and (b) charged with smacking children under the Children Act 2004 since it came into force. 
Fiona Mactaggart: None. The Children Act 2004 simply removes the defence of 'reasonable punishment' in relation to certain criminal offences, such as assault causing grievous bodily harm. Charges against a person alleged to have assaulted a child would be brought under the relevant criminal legislation, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Information on arrests collected centrally is based on persons arrested for 'notifiable' offences by main offence group. It does not distinguish between specific offences. Information on the number of persons charged by offence is not collected centrally.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood of 19 September to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport regarding the domestic violence register on behalf of Debra Michele Powell which was forwarded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to his Department, DCMS reference CMS/23392. 
Fiona Mactaggart: A response to the letter from my right hon. Friend of 19 September to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport regarding the domestic violence register on behalf of Debra Michele Powell, which was forwarded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to the Home Office, DCMS reference CMS/23392, was sent by Baroness Scotland, on 18 November 2005.
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