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27 Mar 2006 : Column 744W—continued

Community Support Officers

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community support officers there are in Shropshire; and how many are dedicated to patrolling rural areas. [59327]

Hazel Blears: The Shropshire Basic Command Unit (BCU) had 14 Community Support Officers (CSOs) on 30 June 2005. Deployment of CSOs is an operational matter for the Chief Constable.

Complaints Agreement (MOD Police and Guarding Agency)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the Agreement between the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency and the Independent Police Complaints Commission under the Independent Police Complaints Commission (Forces Maintained otherwise than by Police Authorities) Order 2004; when that Agreement came into force; and if he will make a statement. [59880]

Hazel Blears [holding answer 20 March 2006]: The Agreement between the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, under the Independent Police Complaints Commission (Forces Maintained otherwise than by Police Authorities) Order 2004 has not been finalised.

Once it has been finalised, a copy will be placed in the Library.

Correspondence

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 23 January 2006 from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan regarding the free passport criteria. [60494]

Andy Burnham: The Chief Executive of the Passport Service wrote to the hon. Gentleman on 20 March 2006.

Criminal Justice System

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether an integrated technology system based upon a common language and common electronic case files has been introduced to the criminal justice system. [16467]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Criminal Justice System (CJS) Information Technology (CJS IT) Programme was set up in spring 2002, in response to the Justice for All" Government White Paper, with the following vision:

Considerable progress has been made in achieving this, with 100 per cent. of the underlying server hardware, computers and desktop applications is now in place across the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Magistrates' and Crown courts, prisons and
 
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probation. The CPS completed deployment of its case management system in 2003 and the case management systems for the police and Magistrates' Courts are expected to be substantially complete by March 2007. Key to achieving this joined-up vision is the CJS Exchange, which is part of the CJS IT Programme.

This will transport data between the various case management systems, transforming data as required. The CJS Exchange has been designed to cope with all languages. Already, the CJS Exchange is making the exchange of case file data between the police and the CPS possible in Humberside and a further link will enter full live operation in Avon and Somerset in March 2006.

The CJS Exchange is also providing a secure website that, by the end of March, will give all appropriate staff within a Crown Court's catchment area access to hearing information that was previously only available within the courthouse itself. In early March, connectivity between the probation service and prison services offender assessment systems across all 42 areas was completed; currently there are over 810,000 completed assessments on the probation system and over 62,000 completed assessments on the prison system.

If deployments go to plan, initial indications are that, by March 2007, 70 percent. of the CJS areas are expected to have connected their case management systems to the CJS Exchange.

The CJS Exchange is also to be used for the National Enforcement Service's pathfinder pilot in the North of England.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has he made of the Criminal Justice System Exchange live connections scheme; and if he will make a statement. [32786]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Criminal Justice System (CJS) Exchange programme has been reviewed by the Group Investment Board four times, most recently in June 2005. The Home Office Group Investment Board, a sub-committee of the Home Office Group Executive Board, is responsible for approving and monitoring all major projects across the Home Office. The CJS Exchange programme has been given the required approval at all reviews.

It was also agreed that CJS Exchange should report annually to the Group Investment Board after each Gateway 0 review; the next appearance before the GIB is scheduled for May 2006. The CJS Exchange programme is also subject to a monthly review of progress by the Permanent Secretary of the Home Office, and a further report is made to the Office of Government Commerce, as this programme has been identified as one of the Home Office key programmes. Expenditure and deliverables for the CJS Exchange programme is agreed as part of the CJS IT programme, which is approved annually by the Home Secretary, the Lord Chancellor, the Attorney-General, the Minister with responsibility for the CJS and the Director General of Criminal Justice IT.

Already, the CJS Exchange is making the exchange of case file data between the police and the CPS possible in Humberside and a further link will enter full live
 
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operation in Avon and Somerset in March 2006. The CJS Exchange is also providing a secure website that, by the end of March, will give all appropriate staff within a Crown Court's catchment area access to hearing information that was previously only available within the courthouse itself.

In early March, connectivity between the Probation Service and Prison Services Offender Assessment Systems across all 42 areas was completed; currently there are over 810,000 completed assessments on the probation system and over 62,000 completed assessments on the prison system. If deployments go to plan, initial indications are that, by March 2007, 70 per cent. of the CJS areas are expected to have connected their case management systems to the CJS Exchange.

The CJS Exchange is also to be used for the National Enforcement Service's pathfinder pilot in the North of England.

Criminal Records Checks

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is introducing a limit on the number of registered bodies which may make CRB checks. [60777]

Andy Burnham: The intention is to create a more compact Registered Body network, working in greater partnership with the CRB and composed of high-volume users. This will allow the CRB to focus its resources more effectively to improve compliance and support the evolving role of Registered Bodies. It will also give the CRB the ability to deregister those Registered Bodies that repeatedly fail to adhere to regulations. Overall, the reduction will enhance efficiency and improve standards within the Registered Body network, through the introduction of an annual threshold of applications per Registered Body. This is a key part of the CRB's strategy. The CRB is committed to ensuring that organisations wishing to access the CRB's service can continue to do so. Those that are selected for deregistration will not be deregistered until alternative access arrangements have been found.

Critical Infrastructure Protection

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library the Government's response to the EU paper on critical infrastructure protection. [58666]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Copies of the Government's response to the European Commission's Green Paper on Protection of Critical Infrastructure" have today been placed in the Library.

Public Order

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests have beenmade following the protests outside the Danish Embassy in London on 4 February. [59961]

Hazel Blears: The Commissioner of the Metropolitan police tells me that, on 15 March, five men were arrested in connection with offences believed to have been
 
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committed during a demonstration in central London on 3 February 2006. Three have been charged and two have been bailed pending further investigations.


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