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Fiona Mactaggart: New contracts with two electronic monitoring service providers came into operation on one April 2005 covering England and Wales. Monthly auditing by Home Office officials indicates that the service providers' compliance with contractual obligations is generally satisfactory.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what monitoring is carried out of the length of time taken by medical practitioners contracted to visit prisoners to arrive at the holding cells where the prisoner is awaiting police questioning; 
Hazel Blears: Monitoring the length of time taken by medical practitioners to visit detainees at a police station awaiting questioning is a local matter for the individual police force concerned. To help minimise the impact of any potential delay and to help improve the response times for accessing healthcare treatment, the Code of Practice on Detention, Treatment and Questioning of Persons by Police Officers (Code C) issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 was amended in April 2003 to allow the use of a healthcare professional. This means the ability to use a clinically qualified person working within the scope of practice as determined by their relevant professional body.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) males and (b) females have been (i) charged with and (ii) convicted of offences under section 1 of the Horses (Protective Headgear for Young Riders) Act 1990 in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement on the operation of the Act. 
Data collected on the Home Office Court Proceedings database for offences under these sections of the Horses (Protective Headgear for Young Riders) Act 1990 form part of a miscellaneous group, which cannot be separately identified.
Hazel Blears: The Hunting Act 2004 came into force on 1 February 2005. The summary offences introduced under the Act are non-notifiable and as a result are not covered by the Home Office statistical collection on arrests for notifiable (recorded crime) offences.
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|Number of offences|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many complaints have been (a) made and (b) upheld against the Independent Police Complaints Commission since its inception; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how many (a) management, (b) administrative and support staff and (c) investigative and casework staff at the Independent Police Complaints Commission are (i) temporary, (ii) casual and (iii) agency; what percentage of the total number of staff each category represents; and if he will make a statement; 
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(4) how many permanent full-time equivalent staff (a) joined and (b) left the Independent Police Complaints Commission in each month since its inception; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what steps the Independent Police Complaints Commission has taken to ensure that future information requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are responded to within the required 20 days; and if he will make a statement. 
Hazel Blears: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is responsible for the management of the police complaints system. I will ensure that the Chairman receives copies of the questions and replies to you directly. Copies of the letters containing the IPCC's response will be placed in the House Libraries.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the number of non-recorded complaints against the police in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Hazel Blears: The non-recording of the complaints against the police is contained in the police complaints procedure for which the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have responsibility in their role as the guardians of the police complaints system. Non-recording of complaints is a matter for the appropriate authority and the IPCC and is not a matter on which I should make an assessment.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the National Criminal Justice Board in providing direction for the criminal justice system. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The National Criminal Justice Board (NCJB) provides effective, joint leadership for the Criminal Justice System. It has developed a vision and clear set of goals for Criminal Justice Reform and oversees delivery, primarily through the 42 local criminal justice boards. Under its leadership the Criminal Justice System is currently well on course to meet all its Public Service Agreement targets.
An Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)-led Programme Team has been established to deliver the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). Delivery of the programme is still in its early stages. The agency is scheduled to be fully operational from 1 April 2007 subject to legislation. Its purpose is to drive improvements in policing. I have yet to determine the exact staffing levels, but these will be considerably lower than the current functions it will replace. Similarly, I am considering the specific funding provision for the NPIA which will be within the current budgets of the existing organisations.
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