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8 Mar 2007 : Column 2160W—continued


Prison Service: Pay

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) starting salary and (b) average salary is of prison officers in (i) public sector prisons and (ii) private sector prisons. [125374]

John Reid: The current starting salary of prison officers in the public sector is £17,744 per annum, with an average salary of £23,922. These figures exclude oncosts. In addition, locality payments ranging between £250 and £4,250 are paid at certain establishments.

The average starting salaries and average salary for prison custody officers at each contracted company are in the following table.

Average starting salaries and average salary for prison custody officers at each contracted company
Company Averaged starting salary(£) Average salary(£)

GSL

17,403

18,856

G4S

15,808

18,803

KALYX

16,798

17,417

SERCO

15,650

n/a


Prison Service: Training

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what average time was spent training a prison officer by the Prison Service in each of the last five years. [125419]

John Reid: Basic training for Prison Officers is eight weeks in duration. Further training is provided at individual establishments and is dependent upon the specialist skills required by the officer and the Service.


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Prisoners

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of the prison population are from Eastern Europe; for what types of crime such inmates were convicted; and in how many such cases is it known that such inmates had committed crimes before entering the UK. [116415]

Mr. Sutcliffe: At the end of September 2006 there were 166 prisoners from the countries Armenia, Azerbijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine being detained in prison establishments within England and Wales, and these countries are the current extent of the officially recognised area of Eastern Europe. This represented 0.2 per cent. of the prison population of 79,355.

Information on the numbers of foreign nationals according to offence type can be found in table 8.29 in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005, at the website:

Information about crimes committed by nationals from Eastern European countries before they entered the UK is not routinely collected by the police. Requests for such information are made at the discretion of the investigating police force depending on operational need.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system, and although shown to the last individual the figures may not be accurate to that level.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what targets have been set for reclassification and transfer of prisoners in Category B and Category C prisons; and how many (a) category A prisoners, (b) Category B prisoners and (c) Category C prisoners were reclassified as Category D prisoners in the last 12 months for which figures are available; [125352]

(2) how many prisoners were returned to a closed prison following a transfer to an open prison in the last 12 months. [125367]

John Reid: Targets are not set for the reclassification and transfer of prisoners. Prisoners are categorised individually according to the likelihood that they will seek to escape and the risk they would pose should they do so.

Figures on the number of prisoners who are reclassified as category D, and of those returned to closed conditions are not held centrally. In order to answer the question, it would be necessary to examine the individual records of each prisoner and this could only be done at disproportionate cost.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are taken to consult victims about the reclassification and transfer of the prisoner who committed the offence against them. [125353]


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John Reid: The provisions of the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000 imposed a statutory duty on the National Probation Service to take all reasonable steps to offer the victims of offenders convicted of a sexual or violent offence (and sentenced to a custodial sentence of 12 months or more) an option to receive information at key stages during the offender’s sentence.

In cases where the victim has consented to receive information from the probation service, it is expected that they will be notified at the points at which the offender is granted a move to a lower security establishment or is being considered for a move to open conditions.

Prisoners: Per Capita Costs

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost is per prisoner place in HM Prison Service; and if he will make a statement. [125311]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The average annual cost per prisoner place for the Prison Service was £32,888 in 2005-06.

This figure includes the element of headquarters overheads, but excludes the cost of capital on all Prison Service land and buildings, plus the cost of depreciation on buildings. These indirect costs are held by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS).

Prisons Accommodation

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison places for women prisoners have been re-roled for men since October 2006. [124827]

John Reid: Since October 2006, no women’s prison places have been changed for use by male prisoners.

Prisons: Ministers of Religion

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has issued guidelines on the employment of suspects held in prisons on terrorist charges as prison chaplains or imams; and if he will make a statement. [125380]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 5 March 2007]: The employment of prisoners as Muslim chaplains or imams is not permissible. There is a rigorous selection clearance process for the employment of Muslim chaplains.

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [125602]


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Mr. Coaker: According to work completed by PricewaterhouseCoopers last year as part of the Home Office Simplification Plan, which was published on 11 December 2006, the estimated administrative burden on business of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was £1.44 million. This excludes policy costs (i.e. those costs which arise as a direct result of the policy, for example updating an IT system) and also those costs a business would choose to incur anyway (e.g. maintaining records for their own business purposes). No estimate has been made of any additional costs to the Financial Services Authority, which is the main regulatory body affected.

Serious Organised Crime Agency

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Serious Organised Crime Agency officers have been trained in powers of arrest since 1 April 2006. [124768]

Mr. Coaker: No Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) officers have specifically trained in the power of arrest since 1 April 2006. All SOCA staff who have the power of arrest were designated with this power on the basis of the powers they brought with them from their precursor agencies and the continuing need to hold such powers whilst an officer of SOCA.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many investigations have been referred to the Serious Organised Crime Agency by HM Revenue and Customs officials since 1 April 2006. [124769]

John Reid: The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has received some 452 notifications from HM Revenue and Customs relating to drugs, firearms and counterfeit currency. There is an agreed framework between SOCA and HMRC regarding these notifications, some of which will be developed into investigations and subsequently subject to operational activity.

Sexual Offences

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many sex offenders were released from prison to no fixed abode in each of the last 10 years. [123778]

Mr. Sutcliffe: This information is not collected centrally.

However, under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, those convicted, cautioned or subject to a finding for relevant sexual offences are, subject to any sentencing threshold being met, required to notify the police of certain personal data at specified intervals; this requirement is colloquially known as "being on the sex offenders register".

One of the pieces of information that an offender is required to furnish is the address of their sole or main residence in the United Kingdom. Where the offender has no such residence (i.e. is homeless), they are required to provide the details of a place or places where they can regularly be found.


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The wording in the 2003 Act amended the original requirement from the Sex Offenders Act 1997 which was that an offender without a permanent home should notify the details of a place that he regularly "visited". Offenders cannot register "no fixed abode" as their address and have not been able to do so since September 1997, when the 1997 Act came into force.

Additionally, sex offenders subject to notification requirements will be monitored by the police in the community, through the multi-agency public protection arrangements.

Surveillance: Evidence

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the use of intercept evidence in trials on the effectiveness of the security services. [124403]

Mr. McNulty: The most recent assessment of the potential impact of intercept as evidence in trials was undertaken as part of a 2003-04 review which the former Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Clarke) reported to the House in his written ministerial statement on 26 January 2005, Official Report, column 18WS. The review found that the use of intercept as evidence would be likely to help secure a modest increase in convictions of some serious criminals but not terrorists. The report made it clear that the use of intercept as evidence would entail substantial risks to the operational effectiveness of the intercepting agencies.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said in the debate on the Intelligence and Security Committee on 11 July 2006 that the Government were committed to finding if possible a legal model to allow evidential use of intercept material while providing the necessary safeguards for the capabilities, techniques and operational effectiveness of the intercepting agencies. Work on devising a legal model is continuing.

Traffic Officers

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalent police officers whose main responsibility is traffic there are in each police force area ; and how many there were at 31 March 2006. [125299]

Mr. McNulty: The numbers of police officers whose primary function is traffic are collected on an annual basis only, and the latest available data are as at 31 March 2006. These data are given in the table.


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Police officers whose primary function is traffic( 1) , by police force as at 31 March 2006( 2) (FTE)( 3)
31 March 2006

Avon and Somerset

215

Bedfordshire

81

Cambridgeshire

99

Cheshire

85

Cleveland

61

Cumbria

111

Derbyshire

119

Devon and Cornwall

215

Dorset

81

Durham

105

Essex

243

Gloucestershire

73

Greater Manchester

342

Hampshire

240

Hertfordshire

149

Humberside

181

Kent

116

Lancashire

197

Leicestershire

77

Lincolnshire

102

London, City of

24

Merseyside

138

Metropolitan police

603

Norfolk

112

Northamptonshire

63

Northumbria

167

North Yorkshire

97

Nottinghamshire

134

South Yorkshire

141

Staffordshire

28

Suffolk

80

Surrey

99

Sussex

160

Thames Valley

236

Warwickshire

97

West Mercia

116

West Midlands

401

West Yorkshire

343

Wiltshire

13

Dyfed-Powys

143

Gwent

102

North Wales

81

South Wales

243

(1) Staff with multiple responsibilities (or designations) are recorded under their primary role or function. The deployment of police officers is an operational matter for individual Chief Constables.
(2) Data are not available prior to 2002-03.
(3) Full-time equivalent rounded to the nearest whole number. This figure includes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

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