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Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 2 February 2007]: A recruitment campaign was run in 2006 but did not identify a suitable candidate. The Government have reflected on the first recruitment campaign and is currently considering how best to take forward the appointment of a Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of people given a custodial sentence for a non-violent crime were subsequently convicted of a violent crime within two years of release since 1997. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer for 26 January 2007]: The information requested is not readily available. The most recent re-offending information for adults in England and Wales were published in November 2006 as: Re-offending of Adults: results from the 2003 cohort. Home Office Statistical Bulletin 20/06. The report is available online at:
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign former prisoners who had completed their sentences were held in young offender institutions on 30 September 2006. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Comprehensive data in the form necessary to answer the question of how many time-served young offenders are held in Young Offender Institutions is not available without disproportionate cost.
The Solicitor-General: The number of convictions for rape of a female in 2005-06 was 820, up from 758 in 2004-05. The Government are strengthening the legal framework and improving the care provided to victims. We will not alter the burden of proof but we will ensure that victims get help to cope with the stresses of giving evidence and also to enable them to give the best evidence possible.
The Solicitor-General: A number of key steps will be introduced to improve the management of rape cases. A robust case management framework, which identifies the essential steps by using established good practice, will ensure the policy and operational standards for rape cases are met. All rape cases will be subject to regular management reviews to ensure they follow this framework. Finally, checks will be undertaken during the life of a case and when it has been finalised to ensure lessons are learnt and applied.
Finally the SFO participates in international initiatives to combat fraud and corruption, such as the
International Association of Anti Corruption Authorities (IACCA) and the International Corruption Group.
24. Mr. Bailey: To ask the Solicitor-General what assessment he has made of the effect on the prison population of decisions of the Law Officers to refer unduly lenient sentences to the Court of Appeal. 
The Solicitor-General: The unduly lenient sentence scheme can have an impact on the prison population to the extent that references by the Law Officers result in some sentences being increased by the Court of Appeal. However, the Law Officers' power to refer cases is limited to sentences passed for certain criminal offences and only where they are considered to be unduly lenient. This means that the number of cases referred each year is relatively modest. In deciding whether to refer a case to the Court, the Law Officers will consider all the facts and circumstances of the case and the relevant sentencing law and guidelines.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Solicitor-General how many criminal prosecutions were discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service because pursuing the cases was deemed not to be in the public interest in 2006. 
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service dropped proceedings in respect of 25,963 defendants on public interest grounds in 2006. This is equivalent to 2.4 per cent. of cases completed during that year.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether the Cabinet Office IT Department holds web traffic data of visits from 10 Downing Street computers to webmail email accounts; and if he will make a statement; 
I also refer the hon. Members to the press briefing given by my official spokesman on 31 January 2007. A transcript of this is available on the No. 10 website (http://pm.gov.uk/output/Page10881.asp) and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister if he will (a) meet the British Gurkha Welfare Society and (b) place in the Library his response to the Societys petition accepted at 10 Downing street on 14 December 2006. 
The Prime Minister: I have no current plans to do so. The Minister for veterans, my hon. Friend the Member for Halton, (Derek Twigg) has responded to the petition of 14 December 2006, and a copy of his reply has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister whether any of the items held by his Office as part of the donated asset reserve have depreciated in value since they were received; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister whether his official spokesman was informed of his interview with the Metropolitan Police on 26 January prior to his official briefing of lobby correspondents in (a) the morning briefing and (b) the afternoon briefing on 31 January. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the press briefing given by my official spokesman on 1 February 2007. A transcript of this is available on the No. 10 website (http://pm.gov.uk/output/Page10895.asp) and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the press briefing given by my official spokesman on 1 February 2006. A transcript of this is available on the No. 10 website http: //www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page8990.asp and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
The Prime Minister: My special advisers are appointed under terms and conditions set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Individual letters of appointment are confidential between the employer and employee.
The Prime Minister: My officials and I monitor the performance of the No. 10 website, including e-petitions, through a range of measures including the number of people who visit the site, user experience, and user satisfaction.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what occasions (a) he and (b) departmental Ministers have been requested to appear before committees of (i) devolved institutions and (ii) the European Parliament since 2004; on what topic in each case; how many and what proportion of such requests were accepted; and if he will make a statement. 
David Cairns: No central record is held of requests to Scotland Office Ministers to appear before committees of the devolved institutions. However, my hon. Friend, the Member for Stirling (Mrs. McGuire) the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, attended a meeting of the Scottish Parliament Procedures Committee on 1 March 2005 to discuss the committees inquiry into the operation in the Scottish Parliament of the Sewel Convention.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which public affairs firms have been given contracts by his Department in the last five years; and what the purpose was of each contract. 
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft in each of the last three years. 
David Cairns: The Scotland Office operates an information technology system through the Scottish Executive, which is responsible for the procurement, administration, support and maintenance of the system. Accordingly, the Executive is responsible for sourcing and introducing such software.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to encourage the celebration of Highland 2007, Scotlands year of Highland culture, in other parts of the UK. 
David Cairns [holding answer 2 February 2007]: This is a devolved matter which is being taken forward by the Scottish Executive and the board of Highland 2007. While I understand the Scottish Executive have no plans to hold events related to Highland 2007 in other parts of the UK, the Highland 2007 programme will be promoted throughout Britain by VisitScotland to encourage people to come and enjoy the celebration of Highland culture for themselves.
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