some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page

15 May 2007 : Column 707W—continued


Asylum Seekers

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children of asylum seekers have been taken into care in each of the last six years. [115982]

Mr. Dhanda: Information on the number of children of asylum seekers who have been taken into care is not collected centrally.

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1576W, on corporate manslaughter and corporate homicide, if he will list the (a) stakeholders and (b) other correspondents from whom he has received representations on the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill since it was published. [136962]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

As the Minister responsible for the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill I, as well as the department, have had contact with a number of individuals and organisations in relation to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill since it was published, many of whom are listed among those who responded to the joint Home Affairs and Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into the draft Bill (a copy of all the evidence given is available in the Library).

We do not have a definitive list of those who have contacted us since the publication of the Bill but it would include trade unions, industry groups, law firms, individuals and Members of both Houses.

Courts: Nottingham

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, columns 6-7W, on courts: Nottingham, when he expects the assessment of the impact of powers under section 178 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 to be completed. [136565]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

The assessment of the impact of powers under section 178 is due to be completed this month with a view to the affirmative order extending section 178 to the 11 new community justice courts being laid before Parliament and debated before the summer recess.


15 May 2007 : Column 708W

Crime: Anti-social Behaviour

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact of his Department's use of targets on levels of crime and antisocial behaviour; and if he will make a statement. [136753]

Mr. Coaker: In 2004 the Home Office agreed a Public Service Agreement (PSA) in which a national target for crime reduction for the 2004 spending review period was set out. The Home Office cascaded this target to local areas by negotiating individual crime reduction targets with every Crime and Disorder Partnership (Community Safety Partnerships in Wales), and, since these targets were established, practitioners both locally and nationally have been working towards their delivery.

During the spending review period to date, crime has fallen by 10 per cent. compared to the 2002-03 baseline, as measured by the British Crime Survey to the end of December 2006. A similar national target was established for antisocial behaviour; perceptions of antisocial behaviour have fallen from 21 per cent. to 18 per cent. since 2002-3.

The current set of PSAs are in their final year: from April 2008 it is proposed that a new set of Government PSAs will come into operation. As part of the process for establishing the successor to the existing crime reduction target, the Home Office is reviewing the impact of the targets that have gone before and what the most appropriate targets will be going forward.

Ian Huntley

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Lord Chancellor’s recently stated opinion on the minimum period that Ian Huntley should spend in prison is Government policy; and if he will make a statement. [130579]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

No. The Government do not have a policy on this matter, which is for the courts and the Parole Board. Until December 2003 Ministers were responsible for setting tariffs for mandatory life sentences but since then this responsibility has passed to the courts.

Once the minimum term has been served an offender is entitled to have his detention reviewed by the independent Parole Board. No life sentence prisoner can expect to be released unless and until the Parole Board is satisfied that continued detention is no longer necessary for the protection of the public.

Ian Huntley was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 40 years for the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman and his suitability for release will be considered by the Parole Board on completion of the minimum term. However, when setting the minimum term the judge said his order for a minimum of 40 years to be served “offers little or no hope of the defendant’s eventual release”.


15 May 2007 : Column 709W

Identity Cards

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he plans to publish his six monthly report to Parliament on the costs of the identity cards scheme. [135138]

Joan Ryan: The latest identity cards scheme cost report was published on 10 May 2007.

Lie Detectors: Jeremy Bamber

Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the implications for his detention of the passing of a polygraph test by life prisoner Jeremy Bamber; and if he will make a statement. [136477]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

There is no impact upon Mr. Bamber’s custody as a result of his recent polygraph test. He remains a life sentence prisoner with a whole life tariff. This means that he is not eligible for a Parole Board review to consider his release.

Mr. Bamber may if he wishes make a further application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which is the independent non-departmental body established to review alleged miscarriages of justice and they will consider any application made and decide whether a case should be referred to the appeal court. It is only the appeal court that can quash a conviction.

Offensive Weapons: Cambridgeshire

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were recorded involving knives in the Cambridgeshire constabulary area in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [136228]

Mr. Coaker: From the information collected on recorded crime, it is not possible to identify those offences which are knife related. Such offences are not specifically defined by statute and details of the individual circumstances of offences do not feature in the recorded crime statistics.

Figures are collected for homicides involving the use of sharp instruments but they do not separate knife-related offences. As from April 2007, police forces will provide data on knife-enabled grievous bodily harm and robbery offences.

Open Prisons: Prisoner Escapes

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have absconded from open prisons since November 2006. [133979]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is set out in the following table and covers the period from 1 December 2006 to 31 March 2007. There have been 167 absconds from all open prisons, in England and Wales, during this period. Figures for 2006-07 are provisional and subject to validation.


15 May 2007 : Column 710W
Absconds from all open prisons, in England and Wales, 1 December 2006 to 31 March 2007
Month Number of absconds

December 2006

43

January 2007

30

February

42

March

52

Total

167


Prison Service: Compensation

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons the special payments made by the Prison Service increased from £9,196,000 in 2004-05 to £16,589,000 in 2005-06; and if he will provide a breakdown of such payments by main category of expenditure. [135337]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

The increase in the special payments in 2005-06 as against 2004-05 resulted from a doubling of the number of claims that were settled in excess of £100,000 and the inclusion of one claim where the settlement was £2,700,000. The average value of the settlement of smaller claims (under £10,000) also increased from just under £860 to £1,600.

Prison Service: Working Hours

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Prison Service expects to end the use of the Contract Supplementary Hours scheme; and if he will make a statement. [126331]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

There are no plans to end the Contact Supplementary Hours (CSH) scheme. While the Service remains committed to filling all funded posts, the time delays involved in between recruitment and delivery to a fully trained officer is considerable (usually six months). Often this delay is inconsistent with a short term operational need, such as the requirement to open new accommodation, in response to a sudden rise in the prison population or the need to re-role an establishment at short notice. Accordingly CSH has become an essential tool to maintain the operational capability of the Service, being essential to filling staff vacancies prior to recruitment. Participation on the scheme by individual staff members is entirely voluntary.

Prisoner Escapes

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many escaped and absconded prisoners remain at large; and on what date each such prisoner originally escaped custody. [133980]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

The numbers of escapes and absconds from prisons is at its lowest level in the last 10 years, despite an increasing population. While the Prison Service holds accurate records of prisoners who escape and abscond, it does not hold central data on recaptures and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Work is currently under way to develop this capability.


15 May 2007 : Column 711W

Prisons

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners absconded from Sudbury prison in each month since 1 January; what category of offences had been committed by each of these prisoners; what the term of the prison sentence was in each case; on what date each absconded; and whether the prisoner remains at large in each case. [104295]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply:

The information requested is set out in the following table and covers the period from 1 January 2006 to 31 March 2007. There were 92 absconds during this period.

Information on whether a prisoner is unlawfully at large can be inaccurate as it is reliant on the police notifying the Prison Service and the open prison being notified of the recapture. It is also possible for a prisoner to return to prison under another name.

The number of absconds from Sudbury (from 1 January 2006 to 31 March 2007)
Month Number of absconds

January 2006

5

February

5

March

4

April

9

May

7

June

11

July

8

August

8

September

7

October

12

November

5

December

5

January 2007

4

February

1

March

1

Total

92


Schools: Crime

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many school pupils were arrested on school grounds in each year since 1997, broken down by offence; [133269]

(2) how many school children were arrested during school hours in the last year for which figures are available. [133280]

Mr. Coaker: Information on arrests held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform provides the number of persons arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences), by age group, gender, ethnicity and main offence group within the 43 police force areas in England and Wales. Information is not collected centrally on the circumstances of the arrests.

Sentencing

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of lifer programmes in dealing with prisoners on an indefinite sentence of public protection with a short minimum term; [135849]


15 May 2007 : Column 712W

(2) how many and what percentage of prisoners on an indefinite sentence of public protection are part of a lifer programme; and if he will make a statement. [135850]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

HMPS offers a range of Accredited Programmes for Offenders based on their specific behavioural needs. Access to such programmes is not based on an individual’s sentence or their status as a ‘lifer’. There are no specific accredited offending behaviour programmes targeted directly and solely at ‘lifers’ or labelled as ‘lifer programmes.’

Each individual currently serving an indeterminate sentence of Public protection will, at some stage of their sentence, have access to some or all of these behavioural courses. Of the 8,300 completions of accredited offending behaviour programmes (excluding therapeutic communities and drug programmes,) in custody in 2006-07, approximately 320 were by prisoners serving indeterminate sentences of public protection.


Next Section Index Home Page