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23 Nov 2005 : Column 2145W—continued

Criminal Cases Review Commission

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reasons were for the reduction in funding for the Criminal Cases Review Commission between 2003 and 2005; and if he will make a statement. [26633]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) received a total budget in 2004–05 of £8,462,000 compared with £8,080,000 in 2003–04. The CCRC received less grant in aid in 2004–05 because of the requirement to use cash reserves which they had accrued from previous years, in accordance with the rules of 'Government Accounting'. This is the Treasury guidance which specifies that grant in aid should not be issued in advance of need and that cash balances should be kept at a minimum.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the members of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board; what the qualifications are of each member; and how long each has served as a member of the Board. [29744]

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Fiona Mactaggart: The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board administered the non-statutory criminal injuries compensation scheme in force until 31 March 1996. The Board was wound up on 31 March 2000. The old scheme was superseded, from 1 April 1996 by a new, statutory, tariff based scheme. The tariff scheme is administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). CICA does not have a board of members. Claims are determined by 'claims officers', who are civil servants seconded to the Authority from the Home Office and the Scottish Executive. Appeals against decisions of CICA are considered by adjudicators in the independent Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP). Curriculum vitae of CICAP adjudicators are given in the Panel's annual reports and accounts, copies of which are placed in the Library.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 31 October 2005, Official Report, column 772W, what measures are being taken to decrease the length of time spent processing an application for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2001. [28426]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) are recruiting more staff to deal with claims. The statutory 'Code of Practice for Victims of Crime', published in October 2005, requires both CICA and the police to meet obligations set out in the code about dealing with applications for criminal injuries compensation. And CICA and the police have concluded a new protocol to ensure a more rapid turn-round by the police of CICA requests for information.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many awards were made for criminal injury compensation in each year from 2001 to 2005; what the (a) average and (b) maximum period of time taken to make the award was in each year; and if he will make a statement. [16933]

Fiona Mactaggart: The following information has been provided by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Financial year

Money awards made
Median time to make awards (months)

Some claims can take many years before final settlement is possible. For example, cases involving serious injuries to children, where the final prognosis and settlement may have to be deferred until the claimant reaches adulthood. Pending final settlement of cases like these, interim awards can be made.

Dental Treatment (Compensation)

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to ensure compensation awarded as a result of an assault covers costs incurred for dental treatment. [24829]

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Fiona Mactaggart: The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme pays compensation on the basis of a tariff (scale) of awards that groups together injuries of comparable severity and allocates a financial value to them. Awards for dental injuries range from a level 2 award of £1,250 to a level 8 award of £3,800.

Drug Abuse

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress in implementing the cross-departmental plan to tackle drug abuse among young people, with particular reference to the 30 high-focus areas referred to on page 103 of the 2005 Departmental Report. [26698]

Paul Goggins: Good progress is being made in implementing the cross departmental plan to tackle drug misuse among young people. The 2004–05 British Crime Survey shows that in the past year Class A drug use by 16 to 24-year-olds has been stable while the number using any drug has fallen. Closer links between drugs services and children's services are being developed; underpinned by joint Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and Home Office (HO) guidance issued as a part of the Every Child Matters Change for Children Programme. 30 High Focus Areas are leading the way in implementing this guidance through the delivery of effective prevention and early intervention services for young people most at risk from drugs.

Drug Smugglers

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug smugglers have been convicted in each year since 1998. [22956]

Paul Goggins: The available information relates to the unlawful importation or exportation of a drug controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The number of persons found guilty by the courts, cautioned by police or dealt with by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise compounding in England and Wales for these offences totalled 1,340 in 1998, 1,310 in 1999, 1,290 in 2000, 1,800 in 2001, 1,740 in 2002 and 1,170 in 2003. Data for 2004 are scheduled to be published in November 2005.

Drug Treatment

Mr. Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has commissioned on the effectiveness of drug treatment programmes in (a) HMP Wandsworth and (b) other prisons in England and Wales. [17658]

Fiona Mactaggart: Research into the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt) programme, currently running at Her Majesty's prison Wandsworth, has shown positive results—with 40 per cent. of graduates, rather than an expected 51 per cent. reoffending within two years.

Wider research also demonstrates the effectiveness of drug treatment programmes, which can achieve a reduction of up to 15 per cent. in the extent of reoffending.
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The research emphasises that such results can only be achieved where effective through-care arrangements are made and timely after-care services are available in the community.

Drug-related Crime

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the level of drug-related crime was in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997. [24287]

Paul Goggins: Recorded crime figures are used to measure the extent of crime in local areas. Although these include statistics on drugs offences, such as possession and supply, and acquisitive crimes which may be drug-related, such as burglary and shoplifting, they do not contain information on the offender's drug habits. It is therefore not possible to provide reliable estimates from these statistics of the numbers of crimes that are drug-related in different areas.

Forgery Act

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) males and (b) females have been (i) charged and (ii) convicted in England and Wales of offences under sections (A) 34 and (B) 36 of the Forgery Act 1861 in each year since 1984. [27144]

Fiona Mactaggart: Statistics on the number of persons charged with a crime are not centrally collected.

Data collected on the Home Office Court Proceedings database for offences under the Forgery Act 1861 are in paper format prior to 2003. As these records need to be manually analysed, sample years have be selected and are shown in the table. The number of convictions under S34 of the Forgery Act 1861 'Acknowledge bail in false name' is contained in the table for years 1992, 1997, 2002–04. There were no convictions under S36 of the Act 'Destroying, injuring, forging or falsifying registers of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths or burials or certified copies'.

Paper records prior to 1992 are no longer available.
Number of males and females convicted at all courts under S.34 Forgery Act 1861 in England and Wales, 1992, 1997, 2002–04(51)

Offence: Acknowledge bail in false name
Statute: Forgery Act 1861 S.34
Found guilty

(51) These data are on the principal offence basis

Court statistics for 2005 will be available in autumn 2006.

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