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2 Apr 2008 : Column 989W—continued

And on prevention:


2 Apr 2008 : Column 990W

The continued delivery of this programme of work will be taken forward through the Tackling Violence Action Plan, published on 18 February 2008.

Offensive Weapons: North East

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 14 March 2008, Official Report, column 2301W, on offensive weapons, what information her Department holds on knife crime in (a) the North East, (b) Tees Valley district and (c) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland. [197907]

Mr. Coaker: From the information collected centrally on recorded crime, it has historically not been possible to identify those offences where an assault with a knife resulted in an injury. The details of the individual circumstances of offences do not feature in the recorded crime statistics.

From April 2007, police forces have been collecting data on serious violence offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, to improve our understanding of the prevalence of these types of crime. The first full year’s data will be available from July.

Paedophilia: Disclosure of Information

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to her written ministerial statement of 18 February 2008, Official Report, columns 2-3WS, on tackling violence, what plans she has to allow members of the public to apply for information on arrests for child abuse. [197527]

Mr. Coaker: The review of the “Protection of Children from Sex Offenders”, published in June 2007, included two actions concerned with disclosing information on child sex offenders’ convictions to members of the public, which were referred to in the ministerial statement. These actions are intended to build on existing practice, and were developed in consultation with all relevant agencies and voluntary organisations. The review did not consider disclosing information on arrests, and there are no plans to allow members of the public to apply for information on arrests for child abuse.

Police: Career Structure

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had on the review of the police high potential development scheme; and if she will make a statement. [195687]

Mr. McNulty: The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has responsibility for policy, selection and co-ordination for the police high potential development scheme (HPDS). The NPIA has finished a review of the existing HPDS alongside a wider process of developing the future strategy for police leadership. The revised HPDS is a priority within the NPIA Business Plan and will be re-launched in 2008.

Prisoner Escapes

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded of absconding from lawful custody in each year since
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1997; and what percentage of these offences (a) resulted in court proceedings against suspected perpetrators, (b) led to a conviction and (c) resulted in a sanction detection. [195991]

Mr. Coaker: The information is not available in the form requested.

Table 1 gives the number of offences of absconding from lawful custody and the number detected by means of a sanction detection. Table 2 shows the numbers of defendants proceeded against and found guilty at all courts for absconding from lawful custody for the years 1997 to 2006, and is taken from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

Recorded crime and court proceedings statistics are from two different databases and recorded in quite different ways. Recorded crime data are provided on a financial year basis and count offences whereas court proceedings data are on a calendar year basis and count offenders. Therefore, these two separate data-sets are not directly comparable.

Table 1: Offences of absconding from lawful custody recorded by the police and detected by means of a sanction detection—1997 to 2006-07
Number of offences Number of sanction detections

1997

1,379

n/a

1997-98

1,372

n/a

1998-99

1,301

n/a

1999-2000

1,559

n/a

2000-01

1,389

n/a

2001-02

1,357

1,022

2002-03

1,553

1,229

2003-04

1,721

1,412

2004-05

1,362

1,165

2005-06

1,272

1,007

2006-07

980

819

n/a = Not available.

Table 2: Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for bigamy offence, England and Wales 1997-2006( 1,2,3)
Proceeded against Found guilty

1997

22

16

1998

30

18

1999

40

28

2000

17

12

2001

23

17

2002

31

16

2003

29

20

2004

22

22

2005

28

21

2006

23

11

(1) These data are on the principal offence basis.
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(3) The found guilty column can often exceed the number proceeded against when a conviction takes place in a different month to when the proceeding was originally brought, or for a different offence.

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Violent and Sex Offender Register

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals (a) convicted of a sex offence (b) imprisoned for more than 12 months for violence and (c) assessed as being high risk there are on the Violent and Sex Offenders Register; and how many times the database has been accessed in each year since 1997. [195613]

Mr. Coaker: As at 19 March 2008, ViSOR contained 58,722 persons categorised as being a “Registered Sexual Offender” (subject to notification requirements) or an “Other Sexual Offender” (not subject to notification requirements). This will include offenders who are in custody and those in the community, and those who are currently required to be supervised and those who are not. It also contained 3,906 persons categorised as being a “Violent Offender” and a total of 14,647 persons recorded as being managed as a “High Risk” or “Very High Risk” person.

It should be noted that ViSOR is a live system used by the police, and is currently subject to a national roll-out to the National Offender Management Service. As such, it does not yet contain all violent offenders or other sexual offenders.

Further statistical data on sexual and violent offenders in England and Wales are published in local multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) reports which have been issued annually for the past six years. These are available in the House Library and at:

ViSOR is a web-based operational management system that is in continuous use. It is not possible to provide a meaningful statistic relating to the number of times the database has been accessed.

Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded under the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 in each year since its entry into force, broken down by offence; and what percentage of these offences (a) resulted in court proceedings against suspected perpetrators, (b) led to a conviction and (c) resulted in a sanction detection. [196019]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available. Offences recorded under the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 are included within the ‘Possession of Weapons’ offence classification and cannot be separately identified from other offences within that classification. As a result, information on the percentage which resulted in court proceedings and convictions for those offences cannot be provided.

Women’s Aid Last Resort Fund

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been allocated to the Women’s Aid Last Resort Fund since 2004 in relation to supporting women at risk of domestic abuse whose independent applications for leave to remain in the UK are being considered; and how much she plans to allocate to the Fund in each of the next three years. [197393]


2 Apr 2008 : Column 993W

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 31 March 2008]: During 2004-05 and 2005-06, the Government provided a grant of £145,000 to Women’s Aid to bolster their Last Resort Fund, a fund aimed at meeting the living costs of a small number of victims in refuges who are not covered by the Supporting People funding arrangements.

There are currently no plans to support the Last Resort Fund directly in the future. The Government do, however, recognise the particular needs faced by this small group of people and we will soon be announcing details of a new scheme where victims of domestic violence with no recourse to public funds will be eligible to receive support for their housing and living costs. Under the new scheme, victims of domestic violence whose applications for indefinite leave to remain are successful may qualify for a contribution towards these costs.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will reply to questions (a) 180331 and (b) 180332, on Eurostar, tabled by the hon. Member for Woking on 21 January 2008. [188352]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 22 February 2008]: I replied to the hon. Member on 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 804W and on 27 March 2008, Official Report, column 439W.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Departmental Contracts

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what contracts were awarded by his Department to (a) KPMG, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) McKinsey, (e) Deloitte and (f) other consultancy firms since the Department was established; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) value was of each of these contracts. [196581]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was created as a result of machinery of government changes in June 2007. DIUS operates a devolved procurement structure for consultancy contracts. As such there is no central register of contracts let. Information on this type of expenditure is not held separately for DIUS for prior years, therefore this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, year to date, the Department has spent £2,734,621 on consultancy.

Departmental Official Visits

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants, (b) special advisers and (c) Ministers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in the last 12 months. [193533]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created as a result of machinery of
2 Apr 2008 : Column 994W
government changes in June 2007. Information on this type of expenditure is not collected to the detail required in the Department. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many private finance initiatives and public private partnerships his Department is responsible for; and what the value is of each such contract. [196988]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created by machinery of government changes at the end of June 2007. The Department does not have any private finance initiatives or public private partnership contracts.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether consideration has been given to applying gender responsive budgeting to his Department's budget. [192117]

Mr. Lammy: The UK Government are supportive of efforts to achieve gender equality and continue to work very closely with both the Women's National Commission and the Women's Budget Group on promoting gender equality within the UK. In 2004, HM Treasury undertook a pilot project on gender analysis of expenditure with the Women's Budget Group. The project demonstrated the value of gender analysis in some areas and identified what tools and expertise were necessary within government to carry out gender analysis, but that further work was needed before gender responsive budgeting could be implemented. In 2008, HM Treasury will be conducting further work that will determine whether it is prudent and feasible to disaggregate departmental expenditure statistics by gender.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) is committed to tackling discrimination and inequality including gender inequality. As the Department has only been in existence since June 2007, DIUS is using policies of the former parent entity DTI including the equality scheme which can be found on the BERR website.


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