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Mr. Coaker: There are no plans to make tackling business and retail crime an additional key performance indicator for the police. In general, as part of the overall drive to reduce bureaucracy in the police service, the Home Office is committed to reducing the number of performance indicators applied to them.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the average time taken to complete a prison cell sharing risk assessment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 5 March 2007]: In the most recent evaluation of the cell sharing risk assessment, the average time taken to complete sections one and two of the form varied by type of establishment. Officers at male local and female prisons took around six minutes to complete these sections: at young offenders institutes the average was around eight minutes.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many service level agreements for the Prison Service include a requirement to report on progress six months after the commencement of the agreement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to ensure that those responsible for the investigation of professional standards issues within HM Prison Service are not influenced by those responsible for managed moves and career progression within the organisation as part of their investigations; and if he will make a statement. 
Investigators must have no significant conflicts of interest with the matter or persons under investigation. Should such conflicts arise within the course of an investigation the matter must be immediately referred to the Commissioning Authority.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in HM Prison Service were found to have been unfairly dismissed in each of the last five years; what the cost to the public purse was for (a) legal services and (b) compensation in consequence of such dismissals; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested is not held centrally. In order to answer the question it would be necessary to interrogate the individual records held at prisons of all prisoners who were released on licence in the last five years and to cross reference that with the police national computer records. This could be done only at disproportionate costs.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison informants (a) self-harmed and (b) committed suicide (i) whilst detained in prison and (ii) after leaving prison in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
In any event, information about self-harm and deaths amongst prisoners or people released from prison is not collated centrally in the requested format and could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanisms exist in HM Prison Service to ensure that good practice is disseminated from employment issues arising from (a) employment tribunals and (b) civil service appeal boards to ensure that (i) management failings and (ii) costs to the public purse are not repeated; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The public sector Prison Service has quarterly meetings with Treasury Solicitors and Home Office Legal Advisors Branch, which include a review of learning from employment tribunals and civil service appeal boards. Learning points, together with examples of good practice, are then disseminated through updates on the Prison Services guidance websites, which are available to all staff via the intranet system; and weekly communications to the HRhuman resourcescommunity.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vacancies for (a) probation officers and (b) probation service officers there were for each probation area on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Not all probation areas in the national probation service operate a set establishment against which vacant posts can be measured. As a more representative alternative, probation areas are required to report regularly on the number of active vacancies they have. An active vacancy is one which a probation area is actively trying to fill through a recruitment process.
Figures for 31 March 2006 show that there were a total of 8,262.50 full-time equivalent probation officers in post in England and Wales. On the same date, there were 227.70 full-time equivalent vacancies that were actively being recruited to. Therefore active vacancies accounted for 2.68 per cent. of the total posts available at that time.
Additionally, the national probation service employs 6,544.28 full-time equivalent probation service officers, who also deliver front-line services to offenders. At this time, there were 347.30 full-time equivalent vacancies, equating to 5.04 per cent. of the total posts available.
The figures presented in the table show active vacancies for each area, in terms of full-time equivalent value, for the probation officer and probation service officer grades at the close of Quarter four 05/06 (1 January to 31 March 2006). We are not able to provide a breakdown for the Greater Manchester or West Midlands probation areas as they are currently unable to provide data on active vacancies. We are also not able to provide vacancy figures for Merseyside probation area as they are not actively recruiting.
|Probation Officer and Probation Service officers vacancies, as at 31 March 2006|
|Area||Vacancies (all grades)||PO vacancies||PO vacancies (as a percentage of total PO posts( 1) )||PSO vacancies||PSO vacancies (as a percentage of total PSO posts( 1) )|
|(1) Total PO and PSO posts are staff in post plus the number of active vacancies. (2) Greater Manchester and West Midlands probation areas are unable to provide data on active vacancies. (3) Merseyside probation area are not actively recruiting.|
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