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Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice he has received on the restructuring of the probation service from (a) former employees of the probation service, (b) the author of Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime" and (c) advisers to the Government on crime. 
The Government's proposals for restructuring probation are based on Lord Carter's analysis of the correctional services as set out in the paper Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime". These proposals were set out in the consultation paper Restructuring Probation to reduce re-offending", published on 20 October 2005. We plan to publish a
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summary of responses to the consultationwhich included responses from some former employees of the probation servicewithin three months of its conclusion on 20 December.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many responses there have been to the consultation paper on restructuring probation to reduce re-offending; and how many of these supported the introduction of contestability into the national probation service. 
Fiona Mactaggart: We have received 748 responses to the consultation on restructuring probation to reduce re-offending. Work analysing the responses is not yet complete. We will publish a summary of responses and the key points raised within the three month timescale set out in the Cabinet Office guidelines on public consultations.
We will consider how best the probation service, as well as the wider criminal justice system, can take into account changes to police
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structures once final decisions on future police boundaries have been taken. Co-terminosity in the criminal justice system remains an important principle.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the role of the national probation service within the National Offender Management Service five year plan. 
Fiona Mactaggart: A five year strategy for reducing reoffending and the work of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will be published shortly. The strategy will provide a vision for the whole of NOMS and its constituent parts, including the national probation service.
Fiona Mactaggart: Data from the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform shows the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for aiding or abetting suicide under section 2 of the Suicide act 1961 in England and Wales from 1976 to 2004.
|Total proceeded against|
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of contested prosecutions for rape in the Avon and Somerset police force area have resulted in a conviction in the last five years. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Data held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the number of defendants pleading not guilty of rape and the number and percentage of these found guilty of rape at the Crown court in Avon and Somerset police force area, is provided in the attached table. Figures are presented for the years 200004.
|Not guilty pleas||Found guilty||Conviction rate (percentage)|
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Government have to implement the recommendation of his Department's publication Breaking the Circle: A Report of the Review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders", published in July 2002; and what assessment has been made of the impact of the decision to date not to implement these recommendations on the rehabilitation of offenders. 
We are also considering what might be necessary for the disclosure regime in the light of the Bichard report which dealt with criminal records in the context of the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
No assessment has been made regarding the impact of non-implementation. However, the Criminal Records Bureau's Code of Practice requires that employers receiving disclosure information do not unfairly discriminate against applicants on the basis of previous convictions.
The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) have full access to the Scottish Intelligence Database (SID) through their Scottish Regional Office. Protocols exist to disseminate
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intelligence through NCIS to forces in England and Wales. A memorandum of understanding is currently being developed that may be used to grant full access on a force-by-force basis in England and Wales.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to support the recovery of children and adults who have suffered childhood sexual abuse. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The Government are putting real investment into supporting victims of sexual violence, including childhood sexual abuse. Over the last two years £4 million from the Home Office Victims Fund has been used to strengthen specialist services. A further £1.25 million will be made available specifically for the development of voluntary sector sexual violence services in 200607.
A mapping exercise of service provision is currently being conducted. This will provide valuable information about the level and strength of specialist services available to victims of sexual violence in England and Wales.
Published information on police strength by police force area is available for rank, gender and ethnicity but not function. Figures on police strength are published in Home Office statistical bulletins, copies of which can be found in the library or on the internet site: www.homeoffice.gov.uk.
Mr. Charles Clarke: I have not received any representations. Each police force has its own special branch and the resource allocation, in terms of staffing and associated costs, to special branch is the responsibility of chief officers in each force.
The Government remains committed to ensuring that the police service has the necessary resources to meet its CT commitments. The additional police counter-terrorism funding announced on the 25 January will strengthen the police service's intelligence and investigative capability both in the capital and in local and regional policing.
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