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19 Dec 2005 : Column 2365W—continued

Returned Detainees

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with foreign Governments on returning to secure detention in those countries of their nationals held in British prisons. [34105]

Fiona Mactaggart: The United Kingdom is a signatory to two multi-party prisoner transfer agreements: the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, and the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders. In addition, the Government have concluded bilateral prisoner transfer agreements with 18 countries. The UK has prisoner transfer agreements with a total of 97 countries and territories and is in regular contact with the Governments concerned about the transfer of individual prisoners.

Prisoner transfer under these agreements is voluntary; the consent of both states involved, and of the prisoner concerned, is required before repatriation can take place. In 2004, 107 prisoners were transferred from prisons in England and Wales to other countries to continue serving their sentences.
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Secure Establishments

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) assaults and (b) violent offences there have been in (i) home office youth establishments, (ii) local authority secure accommodation and (iii) secure training centres in each of the last three years. [33689]

Fiona Mactaggart: Full-year information is available only for the most recent year, 2004. The relevant data relates to incidents of assault. 'Violent offences' are not treated as a separate category. In Prison Service young offender institutions, 1,223 assaults were recorded in 2004 and in secure training centres 1,128 were recorded. Currently no information is collected centrally about assaults in local authority secure children's homes.

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how often the Home Office monitors review videos of (a) movement of children around and (b) restraint of children in secure training centres. [35059]

Fiona Mactaggart: The primary function of CCTV systems at secure training centres is to allow the operators to maintain the security of the premises, prevent crime and, if a crime were committed, to assist
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with the investigation of the crime . The systems are also designed to give confidence to trainees, staff and visitors that they are in a secure environment.

The systems are not intended as a means of assisting the Youth Justice Board's performance monitors to monitor the contractors' performance. However, the monitors do, on occasion, make use of the systems for that purpose. For example, if a monitor has concerns that an incident report is unclear, or if the report raises doubts whether the incident has been handled correctly, he or she may decide to view the footage of the incident. Or if a young person makes a complaint about an incident at the centre, the monitor may choose to view the relevant footage to enable him or her to consider the complaint.

Sentencing Policy

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he has put in place to monitor the effectiveness of sentencing policy. [36599]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Home Office routinely monitors the effectiveness of sentencing in reducing re-offending through examining reconviction data. Records from the Police National Computer are used to ascertain whether sampled cohorts of offenders have been convicted of further offences during the two year period (one year for juvenile offenders) either following the imposition of sentence (in the case of community sentences or fines) or following release from prison (in the case of custodial sentences).

For the purposes of measuring performance against Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets to reduce re-offending of adults and juveniles by 5 per cent. by 2006 from a 2000 baseline, the Home Office publishes annual statistics on reconviction rates (for adults and juveniles separately—see showing rates for a variety of sentences. The statistics show both actual reconviction rates and predicted reconviction rates.

Sex Offenders

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the performance indicators are for the monitoring of sex offenders for each police authority area in England and Wales. [36883]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) have been in place since 2001 and have already made a significant contribution to public protection. Under the MAPPA, the police, probation and prison services, supported by additional agencies including housing, health and social services, combine forces to manage the risk to the public posed by sexual and violent offenders. Those critical few" offenders that pose the highest risk are referred to a Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP), wheretheir cases are regularly scrutinised by senior representatives of local agencies.

From next year police and probation areas have been asked to produce business plans which will aid the monitoring and development of the MAPPA locally. Each area is already obliged to produce an annual report to highlight the work undertaken within the MAPPA to protect local communities. The annual
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reports published in October showed that only a very small proportion of offenders managed at the highest levels in the community were charged with a serious further offence (SFO), indicating a robust level of management.

The Association of Chief Police Officers are currently developing a public protection manual to provide central guidance to police forces in managing not only sex offenders in the community but covering all areas of public protection. This is due in 2006.

Skilled Migrants

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) teachers, (b) IT specialists and (c) engineers from (i) Sierra Leone, (ii) Malawi, (iii) Tanzania, (iv) Ghana, (v) Zambia, (vi) Africa, (vii) South Asia and (viii) other Asian countries have been admitted to the United Kingdom under the terms of (A) the work permits system and (B)the highly skilled migrants programme in each year since 1997; [36945]

(2) how many nurses from (a) Sierra Leone, (b) Malawi, (c) Tanzania, (d) Ghana, (e) Zambia and (f) Africa have been admitted to the United Kingdom under the terms of the work permit system in each year since 1997; [36946]

(3) how many general practitioners from (a) Sierra Leone, (b) Malawi, (c) Tanzania, (d) Ghana, (e) Zambia and (f) Africa were admitted to the United Kingdom under the terms of the (i) Highly Skilled Migrant Programme and (ii) Work Permit Scheme in each year since 2002. [36947]

Mr. McNulty: The requested information is not available.

Video Games

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of controls on the sale of violent video games; and what recent discussions he has had regarding (a) controls and (b) penalties for those who provide access to them for underage children. [37959]

James Purnell: I have been asked to reply.

The penalties for supplying a grossly violent video game to a child who does not meet the age requirement are up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5,000; these are among the toughest penalties in Europe. We have been working with industry trade associations to ensure that retail staff are aware of these penalties, and are continuing to explore with them ways of increasing parental awareness of the contents of video games and the classification system.

Women Prisoners

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the women who have taken their own lives in prisons since 1975 in cases where all proceedings are complete. [33100]

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Fiona Mactaggart: As publishing such details can cause distress to the families of those bereaved by a self-inflicted death in prison, I will write to the hon. Member with the information available.

Youth Crime

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Wales, (b) Secretary of State for Scotland, (c) Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, (d) First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales Government, (e) First Minister of the Scottish Executive and (f) Mayor of London on youth crime; and if he will make a statement. [32806]

Fiona Mactaggart: There are no records of recent meetings between the Secretary of State for the Home Department and any of the individuals listed in the question for the specific purpose of discussing youth crime.

Officials from the Home Office and the Youth Justice Board are in regular contact with the devolved and other administrations listed in the question on a range of issues, including youth crime and have recently had a number of meetings with them about youth justice legislation.

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