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Rural Services

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what programmes his Department operates to make particular provision in rural areas; and what the cost of such programmes is expected to be in 2007-08. [108870]

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Mr. Byrne [holding answer 12 December 2006]: The Government are committed to building a strong economy and fair society where there is opportunity and security for all. This commitment applies equally in rural and urban areas. The majority of this Department’s programmes benefit both rural and urban areas. However to provide information on the cost of these programmes in rural areas alone is possible only at disproportionate cost.

Sentencing Discounts

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will assess the merits of introducing differential sentencing discounts for guilty pleas made (a) before trial and (b) at trial. [105690]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 11 December 2006]: Such a differential is already provided for in the guideline on reduction in sentence for a guilty plea, published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council in 2004. It states that

Terrorism Act

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases of people arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 a charge was ultimately brought under (a) the threshold test and (b) the full code test. [113423]

Mr. McNulty: The police and the Crown Prosecution Service do not routinely collate this information and to answer the question could be done only at disproportionate costs.

Victim Support

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many victims were supported by Victim Support in each of the last five years; and of these, what percentage were victims bereaved as a result of a criminal offence. [113266]

Mr. Sutcliffe: In 2005-06 almost 1.4 million people were referred to Victim Support for help. Of these
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1,094 or 0.07 per cent. were as a result of homicide (from Victim Support’s annual report 2005-06. Victim Support’s definitions of homicide are murder, attempted murder, threat or conspiracy to murder, manslaughter, and infanticide and child destruction).

This is an increase in referrals from 2004-05 when nearly 1.3 million people were referred to Victim Support. Of these, 1,168 or 0.09 per cent. were as a result of homicide.

In 2005-06, 642 people were referred to Victim Support as a result of road death (including victims of criminal offences and non-criminal offences). The previous year the number was 947.

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what victim groups have received money from the Victims fund since it was set up in 2004, broken down by type of crime; how much in each year has been provided for each group since 2004; and whether there are plans to extend the range of victims’ groups eligible for support. [113315]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Since it opened the Victims Fund has focused on supporting victims of sexual violence and abuse. It was opened with £4 million distributed over two years (2004-06) and this year we invested an additional £1.25 million into the fund. The Victims Fund has been used to resource a wide range of provisions including: £3.25 million directly into voluntary and community sector organisations; the development of sexual assault referral centres; a care and evidence training package; and a free publication entitled “From Report to Court: A Legal Handbook for Adult Survivors of Sexual Violence”. We will make announcements in due course about the scope and arrangements for the 2007-08 Victims Fund grant scheme.

Youth Justice System

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many first time entrants there were into the youth justice system in the year ending 31 March (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. [108112]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 18 December 2006]: The Home Office does not hold the requested data. Since 31 March 2005 the Youth Justice Board has had a target on reducing the number of first-time entrants into the youth justice system. Data from 2005-06 will form the baseline for this target which will be reported on in future years.

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