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|Number of persons given fines by amount for the offence of selling a knife to a person under 18 years, all courts, England and Wales, 2002-06|
|Number of persons|
|Offence description||Year||Over £50 and up to £100||Over £100 and up to £150||Over £150 and up to £200||Over £200 and up to £250||Over £250 and up to £300||Over £300 and up to £500||Over £500 and up to £750||Over £750 and up to £1000||Over £1000|
Selling to a person under the age of 18 years 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
These figures have been drawn from administrative data 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.
OMS Analytical Services
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what arrangements there are to provide therapeutic services for prisoners with mental health problems whose first language is not English. 
Maria Eagle: Psychological therapies are commissioned by primary care trusts (PCTs). When commissioning these services for prisoners, PCTs will assess the needs of their population and, as with all other health provision, consideration will be given as to how services will be delivered to meet the needs of all, including those with mental health problems whose first language is not English. This will be determined locally as part of a PCTs commissioning responsibility.
Maria Eagle: Provision of health care in Wales is a Welsh Assembly Government devolved responsibility. Services will be provided for Welsh medium offenders in accordance with the Welsh language policies of the local health boards.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to provide a greater range of non-custodial sentencing options in cases where young offenders are convicted for non-violent offences. 
Mr. Hanson: We have developed a range of community sentences that can be used by the courts for young people. In addition we have provided out of court disposals which are particularly suitable for dealing with low level offences without the need for recourse to the courts.
The primary community sentence for young offenders aged under 18 is the referral order under which the young offender must appear before a youth offender panel, including two lay members from the community and a member from the youth offending team. The young offender must agree to undertake reparation and rehabilitation in a contract agreed with the panel. The Act will extend the circumstances in which a referral order can be made and allow a second one to be made in exceptional circumstances. In the Act we also introduced a new generic community sentence for young people, the Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO), which will replace nine existing community sentences. The YRO has 14 different requirements that may be added to an order and is designed to increase the options available to sentencers to deal with young offenders in the community with effective and tailored interventions. The YRO also provides two further requirements for serious and persistent young offenders that are set as alternatives to custody.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the intensive fostering pilots in reducing the number of young offenders sentenced to custody; and if he will extend the use of intensive fostering nationwide. 
Mr. Hanson: The Youth Justice Board are currently piloting intensive fostering in three areas. We are working closely with them to monitor the progress of these pilots and they are being evaluated by York University. The evaluation report is due later this year.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy that Child Support Agency staff respond personally to correspondence marked for their attention. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy that Child Support Agency staff respond personally to correspondence marked for their attention. 
As part of the Operational Improvement Plan, the Agency introduced a new standard operating model to improve client service and get more money for more children. The Agency receives around five million phone calls each year, almost three hundred thousand new applications for maintenance and over two million change of circumstances requests as well as general correspondence. In addition people employed by the Agency may be on holiday, training, or ill when a particular task arises and you will appreciate the Agency needs to be able to allocate work to balance workloads and provide the best possible service. The Agency provides a full service to clients from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 5pm on Saturday. It is not possible for an individual caseworker to be available to a client over this period, therefore the majority of clients will not deal with the same caseworker but with the same team, any member of which will be able to resolve their query and reply to correspondence.
This change to team working ensures that the Agency has people available to deal with clients when they need us most.
However, the Agency has also revised its complaints resolution process and has introduced teams of specialist caseworkers responsible for resolving all aspects of a client's complaint. In these cases an individual caseworker will take responsibility for working with the client until the complaint is resolved.
Since the introduction of these changes as part of the Operational Improvement Plan two years ago, the number of children benefiting from maintenance has risen by around 126,000 to over 749,000 children. The Agency also collected or arranged a record breaking £1 billion in maintenance in the twelve months to March 2008.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average waiting time was between making a phone call and speaking to a member of staff for all calls made to his Department crisis loan numbers in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to respond to your question on what the average waiting time was between making a phone call and speaking to a member of staff for all calls made to crisis loan numbers in each of the last five years. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to Lesley Strathie as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus. I am replying in her absence as Acting Chief Executive.
Access to Crisis Loans by telephone did not commence until September 2006. The management information in place currently at Benefit Delivery Centres does not capture telephone waiting times.
A proportion of Crisis Loan calls are answered in our Contact Centres. The average time taken to speak to a member of staff since Contact Centre Direct started taking Crisis Loan calls in May 2007 has been 1 minute 56 seconds.
Mrs. McGuire: The number of staff from the Department for Work and Pensions and its agencies who have taken early retirement during the last two complete financial years is summarised in the following table:
|Business area||2006-07( 1)||2007-08( 1)|
|(1) The figures cover the period 1 April to 31 March.|
(2) The Pension Service and Disability and Carers Service came together on 1 April 2008 to form a new agency called the Pension Disability and Carers Service. Figures for both elements of the new agency are included for completeness.
|Table 1: Numbers of individual employees|
|Business area||July 2006||May 2008||Reduction|
|(1) The Pension Service and Disability and Carers Service came together on 1 April 2008 to form a new agency called the Pension and Disability Carers Service. Figures for both elements of the new agency are included for completeness.|
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