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6 Dec 2005 : Column 1111W—continued

Prisoner Rehabilitation

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent in 2004–05 on programmes to ensure that prisoners are released with employment or training arranged. [32637]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Prison Service's custody to work initiative provided £14.2 million to support prisoner resettlement in 2004–05. Of this funding, £5 million was used for supporting prisoners' future employment or training when released. A further
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£5.2 million was directed to supporting prisoners find accommodation on release, with a further £4 million split between the two. In addition, £4.2 million was invested through the Prison Service Plus initiative to support employment and training outcomes and Jobcentre Plus funded £4.5 million for employment and benefit surgeries.

Terrorist Suspects

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for theHome Department for what average number of daysterrorist suspects were held over the past two years prior to being (a) charged and (b) released without charge. [35139]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The maximum period of detention pre-charge was extended to 14 days with effect from 20 January 2004. Between that date and 4 September 2005, 357 people have been arrested of whom 36 have been held for in excess of seven days. A breakdown of these cases is in the table.
PeriodNumber held for this periodChargedReleased without charge
7–8 days312
8–9 days0
9–10 days1165
10–11 days101
11–12 days0
12–13 days0
13–14 days990
7–8 days110
8–9 days0
9–10 days541
10–11 days110
11–12 days110
12–13 days211
13–14 days220

Together We Can Conference

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action plan resulted from the Together We Can conference in December 2004; what plans there are to hold future conferences; and if he will make a statement. [33185]

Hazel Blears: Following the December 2004 Together We Can conference, the Home Office worked with Departments across Government to develop the Together We Can action plan, which was launched on 28 June 2005. This draws together community engagement initiatives from across 12 Government Departments around the themes of citizens and democracy; health and sustainability; regeneration and cohesion; and safety and justice. The plan is available on the Home Office website.

The Home Office leads on the Together We Can plan and the Department has held a series of Together We Can conferences. The next Together We Can conference is likely to take place in March 2006.
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Victim Support

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanisms are in place to support victims of crime and their families (a) before an offender is apprehended, (b) during the trial and (c) after the completion of the trial. [21549]

Fiona Mactaggart: The key elements of effective support for victims and witnesses of crime are receiving information, having a voice in the system and access to appropriate services.

The code of practice for Victims of Crime, which will come into force in April 2006, sets out in detail victims' rights to information from all key parts of the criminal justice system. The code covers all stages of the criminal justice process from the point at which an offence is reported to post-sentence. Copies of the code have been placed in the House Library.

The Victim Personal Statement, introduced in 2001, gives victims a voice by giving them the opportunity to explain how a crime has affected them. The statement forms part of the case papers and can be seen by everybody who makes decisions about the case as it progresses. Building on this, in September 2005, we published proposals for those bereaved through homicide to have their views heard in court. Assistance and support services for victims and witnesses of crime are available at all stages throughout the criminal justice process.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme provides financial help to blameless victims of violent crime. A national network of Witness Care Units is being implemented to provide a more customer focused service to witnesses, this includes the tailoring of services to help the witness attend court. The Home Office also provides £30 million to the charity Victim Support to provide support to those affected by crime, regardless of whether the crime has been reported.

Violent Offences (Licensed Premises)

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many violent offences were committed in connection with licensed premises in each year since 2002–03, broken down by (a) crime and disorder reduction partnership area and (b) basic command unit area. [33121]

Hazel Blears: Information on violent offences committed in connection with licensed premises by crime and disorder reduction partnerships is not collected centrally. Police forces returned data for basic command units but they were incomplete and of variable quality. These are given in the table and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Recording of such incidents will be dependent on levels of police activity and how police define such incidents locally. For example in certain areas where alcohol-related violence is particularly prevalent, local police are more likely to police city centres on Friday and Saturday nights thus recording more incidents of violent offences committed in connection with licensed premises.
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A5117 Improvements

10. Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the proposed improvements to the A5117 between Deeside Park and the M56 are expected (a) to start and (b) to be completed. [34469]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has scheduled the proposed improvements to the A5117 between Deeside Park and the M56 to start in the summer of 2006. Completion of the scheme is scheduled for summer 2008, subject to satisfactory completion of remaining statutory procedures.

Transport Access (Pensioners)

12. Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve pensioners' access to public transport. [34471]

Ms Buck: From 1 April 2006 people 60 or over will be entitled to free off-peak bus travel within their local authority boundary or passenger transport executive area.

We have also introduced regulations for trains and buses and coaches which require new vehicles to be accessible and so easier to use for older people

Street Lights (Bingley)

14. Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ensure that street lights in Bingley in West Yorkshire are improved and paid for by the Highways Agency. [34474]

Dr. Ladyman: Following completion of the A650 Bingley Relief Road the Highways Agency passed responsibility for the existing route through Bingley to the City of Bradford metropolitan district council in April 2004. Therefore any improvements to, and funding for, street lighting is a matter for the district council.

Road Congestion

15. Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to prevent congestion increasing on the road network. [34475]

Dr. Ladyman: We are tackling road congestion through targeted solutions developed with national and local agencies—investing more in the road network, including new capacity where it's justified, trialling innovative new traffic management systems, and exploring the benefits of new ways to manage demand for road space—including road pricing.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the timetable is for the Department's research programme into road congestion. [34070]

Dr. Ladyman: Tackling road congestion is informed by a wide range of research covering issues such as incident and demand management, as well as road capacity and the use of public transport. Congestion has implications also for the delivery of other objectives, for example relating to safety and the environment. The research on those objectives also contributes to the
6 Dec 2005 : Column 1115W
evidence base on congestion. Much of this is ongoing—though new research is commissioned to improve the evidence available and to address new issues.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is developing a new high-level Evidence and Research Strategy. It will include an overview of our evidence needs and how these will be met. It will be organised around the Department's strategic priorities and will therefore contain a section on congestion. The strategy is expected to be published on the DfT website within the next few weeks. More details of the individual units' and agencies' evidence and research activities will be published on the Departments website in 2006. Details of current research are available through the DfT and Highways Agency websites.

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