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16 May 2008 : Column 1832W—continued


Found guilty
Statute 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Section 139 of Criminal Justice Act 1988(6)

3,341

3,788

3,538

3,513

4,338

5,319

5,367

5,853

5,961

6,320

Section 139A of Criminal Justice Act 1988(6)

35

31

29

29

41

36

43

77

73

85

Section 1 of the Knives Act 1997(8)

1

2

2

3

1

1

1

Section 141 of Criminal justice Act 1988(9)

4

10

3

1

5

5

4

12

10

4

Section 141A of Criminal justice Act 1988(10)

2

2

2

8

10

17

9

26

51


Given the maximum sentence of two( 11) years.
Statute 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Section 139 of Criminal Justice Act 1988(6)

1

1

1

1

1

1

Section 139A of Criminal Justice Act 1988(7)

1(11)

1(11)

1

(1) Following investigations, data from 1999 to 2004 for the offence “having an article with blade or point on school premises" for West Mercia PFA are deemed to have been coded incorrectly. These data are now included within the offence “Having an article with blade or point in a public place”. (2) Staffordshire Police Force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table. (3) These data are on the principal offence basis. (4) 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. (5) The number of people found guilty in a particular year may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates' court took place in the preceding year and they were found guilty at the Crown Court in the following year, or the defendants was found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against. (6) Includes “Having an article with blade or point in a public place.” (7) Includes “Having a blade or point on school premises” and “Possession of offensive weapons on school premises without lawful authority or reasonable excuse”. (8) Includes “Unlawful marketing of knives - Selling or hiring”, “Unlawful marketing of knives—Offers or exposes to sell or hire” and “Unlawful marketing of knives—has in possession for purpose of sale or hire”. (9) includes “Manufacture, importation and sale of certain offensive weapons”. (10) includes “Selling to a person under 18 a knife, knife blade, razor blade, axe or any other article which has a blade, that is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person”. (11) The maximum sentence for “Possession of offensive weapons on school premises without lawful authority or reasonable excuse” Section 139A(2) and 5(b) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, is four years. The two instances(in 1997 and 1999) in the above table are where a four year sentence has been given. Source: Criminal Evidence and Analysis - OCJR

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1921-22W, on departmental manpower, how many of the employees under 18 years of age are receiving at least one day’s training per week. [204934]

Bridget Prentice: The Ministry of Justice encourages learning and development opportunities for all staff regardless of age. In line with the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 there is no specific age-related training for staff under the age of 18. All staff receive training to support them in undertaking their day to day duties as well as having access to classroom based courses and alternative learning and development solutions as required.

Prison Service: Recruitment

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans the Government have to increase levels of recruitment of prison officers. [205535]


16 May 2008 : Column 1833W

Mr. Hanson: Action has been taken recently to respond to the substantial increase in demand for prison officers, generated in particular by the National Offender Management Service's prison capacity building programme. A national prison officer recruitment campaign started on 7 January. It employed a major national advertising campaign, aimed at attracting a much wider range of applicants than had been achieved previously. It also created a new recruitment process, which reducing the time between application and appointment, introduced online application and sifting; and enabled more comprehensive information to be generated, on which to base selection decisions. Over 41,000 applications have been received to date.

Prison Service: Safety

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government are taking to ensure the safety of prison staff. [205533]

Mr. Hanson: HM Prison Service has an overarching health and safety policy statement, signed by Phil Wheatley, Deputy General of the National Offender Management Service, with other topic specific policy/guidance (e.g. risk assessment, moving and handling) issued in support of this. Each prison governor is responsible for ensuring a system is in place within their prison for effectively managing health and safety, which includes a comprehensive health and safety policy, which complies with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974 to ensure the health and safety of staff and others who may be affected by the Service's activities.

Health and safety is a management activity undertaken by all staff. The same health and safety policy and guidance applies to the private sector prisons.

Prison Service: Sick Leave

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) (a) how many working days were lost to sickness, (b) what the average number of working days per staff member lost to sickness was and (c) what percentage of days lost to sickness was attributed to stress-related conditions for (i) HM Prison Service staff and (ii) other departmental staff in each of the last five years; [195018]

(2) when he plans to answer question 195018 on staff sickness, tabled on 13 March 2008. [206480]

Mr. Hanson: I replied to the hon. Member for Eastleigh’s question on 26 March 2008. Unfortunately it appears that it was not included in the Official Report that day. The answer to the original question is as follows.

The information is in the following tables and is derived from the Cabinet Office published report on sickness absence. There is no clear medical definition of stress and figures for the Ministry of Justice include all conditions relating to mental and behavioural disorders, a proportion of which will have a stress element. Information for the Office of Criminal Justice
16 May 2008 : Column 1834W
Reform and National Offender Management Service, which now forms part of the Ministry of Justice, is being provided in a separate Home Office response.

Table 1: Total and average working days per staff member lost to sickness in the Ministry of Justice’s agencies in each of the last five years
Agency Sick days Average staff in post Average sick days

2003

Former DCA HQ

16,227

2,114

7.7

Office of the Public Guardian

3,626

294

12.3

Tribunals Service

13,616

1,075.3

12.7

Court Service

94,701

8,671

10.9

HM Prison Service

635,304

46,785

13.6

2004

Former DCA HQ

17,185.3

2,352.95

7.3

Office of the Public Guardian

2,825.5

316.64

8.9

Tribunals Service

13,145.3

1,079.49

12.2

Court Service

91,002

8,843.33

10.3

HM Prison Service

606,589

48,385

12.5

2005

Former DCA HQ

14,972.8

2,184.65

6.9

Office of the Public Guardian

3,277.5

340

9.6

Tribunals Service

13,595

1,196.83

11.4

Court Service

142,075.5

12,934.16

11

HM Prison Service

603,687

48,429

12.5

2006

Former DCA HQ

16,835.2

2,196.06

7.7

Office of the Public Guardian

3,437.5

342.42

10

Tribunals Service

31,228.5

2,770.67

11.3

Court Service

224,397.9

20,029.9

11.2

HM Prison Service

564,902

49,049

11.5

2007

Former DCA HQ

14,718

2,266.17

6.5

Office of the Public Guardian

2,642

310.3

8.5

Tribunals Service

25,189.5

2,848.4

8.8

Court Service

183,214.5

19,342.9

9.5

HM Prison Service

598,868

50,085

12


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