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6 Oct 2008 : Column 183W—continued

Offensive Weapons: Yorkshire and the Humber

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were convicted for offences relating to the illegal possession of knives in a public place in the Humberside police area in each year since 1997. [222785]

Mr. Straw: Court proceedings data on convictions for illegally carrying knives for Humberside police force area from 1997 to 2006 can be viewed in the following table.

Court proceedings data for 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

N umber of defendants who were convicted at all courts for illegally carrying knives, in Humberside police force area for the years 1997 to 2006( 1, 2)

Over 18 years of age Under 18 years of age Total

1997

36

7

43

1998

39

6

45

1999

53

12

65

2000

39

16

55

2001

31

15

46

2002

52

17

69

2003

55

10

65

2004

92

14

106

2005

92

23

115

2006

90

35

125

(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.
Source:
Court proceedings database held by RDS Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice.

Office of the Public Guardian: Manpower

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many members of staff the Office of the Public Guardian were employed to process applications for lasting power of attorney in (a) October 2007 and (b) June 2008. [221815]

Bridget Prentice: Since the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in October 2007 the Public Guardian is responsible for registration of both enduring powers of attorney and lasting powers of attorney. In October 2007 there were 36 members of staff at the Office of the Public Guardian to process applications to register powers of attorney. In June 2008 there were 92 staff to process applications to register powers of attorney.

Parental Compensation Orders

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) mothers and (b) fathers were issued with a parental compensation order in respect of a child aged under 10 years in each of the last two years, broken down by age of child. [221796]

Mr. Hanson: The power to issue parental compensation orders has been piloted in 10 local authority areas. No orders have been reported to date.


6 Oct 2008 : Column 184W

Political Parties: Finance

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 15 September 2008, Official Report, column 2028W, on political parties: finance, whether his Department plans to publish informal guidance on the definition of campaign spending. [224524]

Bridget Prentice: The Ministry of Justice has no plans to publish guidance on this issue.

Prisoners Release

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners aged (i) over 21, (ii) between 18 and 21 and (iii) under 18 remain in custody having completed their sentence; and what the reason for such post-sentence detention is in each case. [224010]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. There are a number of reasons why an individual may remain in custody beyond the end of a sentence of imprisonment, these include for example a new remand in custody warrant, contempt of court order and an immigration detention warrant.

Prisoners: Voting Rights

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to extend voting rights to sentenced prisoners in England and Wales. [222253]

Bridget Prentice: The judgment in the case of Hirst v. UK requires the Government to reconsider their policy of a blanket ban on the voting rights of convicted prisoners. That requirement is a consequence of a judgment in the European Court of Human Rights and is something that would need to be implemented in the UK even if the Human Rights Act was not in place.

In response, the Government undertook a first stage consultation which concluded in March 2007. However, since that point the context for the debate about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and in particular the exercise of the franchise, in the United Kingdom has changed significantly following the launch of the Governance of Britain Green Paper and publication of the Goldsmith Review.

The Government remain committed to carrying out a second, more detailed public consultation on how voting rights might be granted to serving prisoners, and how far those rights should be extended. But we consider it essential that any changes to the law to extend the franchise to those held in custody are considered in the context of the wider development of policy on the franchise and the rights that attach to British citizenship.

Prisons

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the maximum prison population was in each of the last 10 years. [222956]

Mr. Straw: The following table shows the highest prison population in each of the last 10 years with the
6 Oct 2008 : Column 185W
date on which it was recorded, based on the published weekly figures for the total held in prison establishments in England and Wales and in police cells under Operation Safeguard each Friday (and Maundy Thursday prior to 2007).

Population Date

1997

63,973

Friday 5 December 1997

1998

66,513

Friday 31 July 1998

1999

66,169

Friday 19 November 1999

2000

66,172

Friday 18 August 2000

2001

68,433

Friday 30 November 2001

2002

73,033

Friday 25 October 2002

2003

74,452

Friday 21 November 2003

2004

75,485

Thursday 8 April 2004(1)

2005

77,774

Friday 21 October 2005

2006

80,174

Friday 1 December 2006

2007

81,547

Friday 16 November 2007

(1) Maundy Thursday

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Prisons: Crimes of Violence

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many violent offences committed by prisoners on other prisoners in each of the last five years resulted in (a) the prisoner being dealt with through the prison's internal disciplinary procedure, (b) a police investigation and no further action and (c) a police investigation and charges brought; [224227]

(2) how many violent offences were committed by prisoners against other prisoners in each of the last five years, broken down by offence. [224228]

(3) how many prisoners were (a) charged, (b) convicted and (c) sentenced for violent crimes committed whilst in custody in each of the last five years. [224232]

Mr. Hanson: The term 'offence' refers to police and Crown Prosecution Service processes and it is not used by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The nearest equivalent to 'violent offences' in NOMS data is incidents of assault.

Information on incidents of assault is set out in the following table but is subject to important qualifications. Assault data covers a range of behaviour and may include threatening behaviour, projection of bodily fluids and other non-contact incidents and allegations. Information on assault incidents may involve more than one assailant or more than one victim. In a proportion of incidents only the victim is known.

The Prison Service Incident Reporting System processes high volumes of data which are constantly being updated. The numbers provide an indication of overall numbers but should not be interpreted as absolute.


6 Oct 2008 : Column 186W
Prisoner on Prisoner Assault 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Adjudication Recorded

7003

7235

8684

9201

9533

Mid year population

73,657

74,488

76,190

77,982

80,205

Rate (Percentage)

10

10

11

12

12


Information on action taken by the police, including whether or not charges result, is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. The following table contains the data held on prisoner on prisoner assaults that have been reported to the police.

Prisoner on prisoner assaults reported to the police
Prisoner on prisoner assaults 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Reported to police

791

695

834

761

739

Mid year population

73,657

74,488

76,190

77,982

80,205

Rate (Percentage)

1.1

0.9

1.1

1.0

0.9

Notes:
1. The numbers supplied refer to the number of individual assault incidents.
2. The 2007 figures do not include the three prisons (Albany, Camphill and Parkhurst) where the incident recording has transferred to the separate NOMIS system.

The nearest equivalent to 'violent offences' is incidents of assault. Central data on incidents of assault cannot be broken down into incident types. The following table contains the data held on prisoner on prisoner assault incidents.

Assault Incidents 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Prisoner on Prisoner

9,105

9,559

10,987

11,508

12,003

Mid year population

73,657

74,488

76,190

77,982

80,205

Rate (Percentage)

12

13

14

15

15

Notes:
1. The numbers supplied refer to the number of individual assault incidents.
2. The 2007 figures do not include the three prisons (Albany, Camphill and Parkhurst where the incident recording has transferred to the separate NOMIS system.

Information about action taken by the police is not held centrally by NOMS and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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