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Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average number of days was between arrest and sentence of persistent young offenders in England and Wales by (a) magistrate courts and (b) Crown courts in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Overall statistics on Persistent Young Offenders (PYOs) are available from 1997 to 2007. However, figures split by court type, as requested in the question, are only available from 1999 onward.
These figures are derived from Police National Computer data, and used to monitor the pledge to halve the average time from arrest to sentence for dealing with PYOs in England and Wales from 142 days in 1996 to 71 days.
The following table shows the number of PYO cases heard, and the average time interval (in days) from arrest to sentence for dealing with these juvenile offenders in England and Wales. It also provides a breakdown based on whether the cases were heard in the magistrates courts or in the Crown court.
|Average time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders|
|All c ourts||Magistrates courts||The Crown court|
The Police National Computer data can contain records where the type of court in which the case was heard was unknown. This missing information only impacts a very small minority of cases, and was more a feature of the data in the past than in the present. Thus, the sum of cases heard in magistrates courts and the Crown court in each year is less than all cases heard in England and Wales.