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Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the probation facilities in Hertfordshire; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Details of the performance of the 42 probation areas in England and Wales against targets set for the National Probation Service for 2005-06 may be found in the National Probation Service performance report issue 20 which is posted on the NPS website at: http://www.probation.homeoffice. gov.uk/output/page34.asp.
Issue 20 showed Hertfordshire as the worst performing area in the weighted scorecard, which ranks probation areas according to their performance across the range of key indicators. The greatest areas of concern are with performance in relation to the two key targets on OASys risk assessments on (a) high risk offenders and (b) prolific and other priority offenders (PPOs). Performance on both these targets was 14 per cent. in 2005-06. The target for both high risk and PPOs is 90 per cent.
Hertfordshires performance on the enforcement target is the worst of all the probation areas at 80 per cent. The target is 90 per cent. and the aggregate of all areas in England and Wales was 91 per cent. Hertfordshire achieved 77 per cent. on compliance against a target of 85 per cent. and an England and Wales average of 81 per cent. Against a target of 645 completions of unpaid work orders, Hertfordshire achieved 464 (72 per cent.). 49 per cent. of victims were contacted within the timescale required by national standardsthe target is 85 per cent. and nationally the NPS is achieving 93 per cent. The remaining key performance indicators are at or around target with the exception of basic skills awards where double the awards target was achieved in 2005-06.
HM Inspectorate of Probation, as an independent inspectorate reporting to Ministers on the work of the National Probation Service, published an inspection report on Hertfordshire probation area in March 2004 under its effective supervision inspection programme. This showed poor performance, particularly in the assessment and supervision of offenders who posed a high risk of harm to others, and that the area needed to make significant improvements in its overall operation.
In view of the results of this inspection, HM Inspectorate of Probation undertook a follow-up inspection of Hertfordshire which was published in January 2005. This indicated considerable signs of improvement, but that further work was needed to improve the quality of effective supervision, and particularly of the management of risk of harm.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions (a) he and (b) his officials have met trade union representatives to discuss improvements to the probation service in the last 12 months. 
(b) My officials have met union representatives on a regular basis throughout the last twelve months in a wide range of contexts and improvement to the probation service has been discussed on many occasions.
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 5 July 2006]: The Home Office does not collect information centrally on what, if any, qualifications are held by staff recruited to the Probation Service, and we cannot therefore provide a response to this question.
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 5 July 2006]: The National Probation Directorate employs from time to time a number of consultants or consultancy firms to provide specialist support over a wide range of probation work.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why his Department is proposing to change the contracts of employment for seasonal agricultural workers scheme students; when these changes were announced; and when they will take effect. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 3 July 2006]: It is the responsibility of the operators to ensure that each student employed on the seasonal agricultural workers scheme (SAWS) has a contract of employment and that it meets the terms and conditions of both the scheme and all appropriate employment legislation. Monitoring activities have found that many students employed on the SAWS are being paid as daily casual workers; a practice which is incompatible with the terms and conditions of the SAWS contract. The contract states that participants are to be offered work for a minimum period of five weeks and a minimum of 40 hours work per week. Officials sent a contract clarification letter to all SAWS operators on 22 June 2006 confirming that SAWS students must not be employed on daily contracts and that employment contracts must be amended accordingly. A working group of Home Office officials and SAWS operator representatives will now address how the operators should be seeking to comply with the requirements and the timescales for doing so.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) licence applications were received and (b) licences were issued by the Security Industry Authority in each of the last five months for which figures are available. 
|Month in 2006||Applications received||Licences issued|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many former (a) MI5 and (b) MI6 agents have been imprisoned in the UK in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: It is our policy not to comment on the details of specific intelligence operations as these are operational matters for the police and the security service. However, on 11 May 2006, I informed the House that the police and agencies have disrupted many attacks against the UK since 9/11, including three since last July.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he expects the EU plans to introduce a non-emotive lexicon to help combat terrorism to work in practice; and if he will make a statement. 
Under the UK presidency, in the context of the EU's action plan to counter radicalisation and recruitment to terrorism, the Government proposed the development of a non-emotive lexicon. This proposal reflected our recognition, and that of the EU, that certain terms are potentially inflammatory if used inappropriately and there are those who wish to misrepresent Government policies as anti-Muslim or anti-Islam. The Austrian presidency took work on this forward with the development of a short list of key terms and a broader EU communications strategy, which was designed to provide a framework for discussing
issues related to Islamist terrorism. The lexicon is a living document which the current presidency may or may not chose to expand, but, as part of the communications strategy, it is a guide to help EU Ministers and officials express themselves clearly and to minimise the chance of their statements and policies being misunderstood or misconstrued.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place to prevent a person who has murdered their spouse organising the victims funeral in their position as next-of-kin. 
Being next-of-kin does not create a right to organise someones funeral. A duty to dispose of a dead body is incumbent on the executors of the deceased. A court can refuse to issue a grant of representation to someone it considers unsuitable to be an executor or an administrator of the deceaseds estate. It is an offence to detain a body and to refuse to deliver it to the executors for burial.
Under the victim advocate scheme which is being piloted in five Crown courts, families of the victims of murder or manslaughter will be able to receive up to 15 hours of publicly funded personal and social legal advice from a lawyer, who will be able to advise on issues such as this, in addition to questions about access to the deceaseds property and their childrens belongings, residency orders, next of kin status as well as financial and benefits matters.
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 3 July 2006]: The information requested is given in the tables. Since 1997, there have been two major changes to the way in which crime is recorded. The effect of the change in counting rules in 1998 was to artificially increase recorded violent crime nationally by more than 80 per cent. while it is estimated that the effect of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002 caused a further 20 per cent. increase in recorded violent crime in its first year.
|Table 1: Recorded violent crime1996 and 1997|
|Number of offences|
|n/a = not available.|
|Table 2: Recorded violent crime1998-99 to 2001-02|
|Number of offences|
|n/a = not available. Notes: 1. The coverage was extended and counting rules revised from 1998-99. Figures from that date are not directly comparable with those for 1997. 2. The data in this table is prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard. These figures are not directly comparable with those for later years.|
|Table 3: Recorded violent crime2002-03 to 2004-05|
|Number of offences|
| Note: The data in this table takes account of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.|
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those who registered under the Workers Registration Scheme have worked for 12 months or more in the United Kingdom. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of non-violent young offenders (a) sent to prison and (b) given alternatives to custody re-offended within two years of finishing their sentence in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Re-offending rates are not available for non-violent young offenders by disposal. The most recent information on the re-offending of juveniles living in England and Wales was published in June as Juvenile re-offending: results from the 2004 cohort. Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/06. The report is available on line at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/hosb1006.pdf.