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3 Nov 2008 : Column 224Wcontinued
The second is for prolific and other priority offenders (PPOs). The PPO programme tackles a small hard-core of offenders (not confined to any age group) who commit a disproportionate amount of crime, and cause disproportionate damage to their communities. It is a crime reduction programme with a reducing re-offending focus.
Data from the PPO scheme performance framework indicated that at the end of March 2008 there were a total of 11,296 PPOs being managed in England and Wales. In London, there were 1,172 of these offenders being managed, of whom 23 were in Hillingdon. Counts of offenders being managed are not available at lower level than this borough.
Additional information on PPOs is available on the Home Office Crime Reduction web-pages:
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to his comments before the Justice Committee on 7 October 2008, HC 1076-i, Question 67, what plans he has to reassess the appropriateness of commencing the new trigger rules at Royal Assent before the Electoral Commission guidance is published. 
Mr. Wills: Clause 19(4) of the Political Parties and Elections Bill (Bill 141) provides that clause 10 of that Bill will come into force on the date on which the Bill receives Royal Assent. However, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Straw) indicated before the Justice Committee on 7 October, we are ready to look at the issue.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether parliamentary candidates who have (a) announced and (b) promoted their candidature prior to Royal Assent to the Political Parties and Election Bill will on Royal Assent be deemed to have automatically announced their candidature for the purposes of the new trigger rules. 
Mr. Wills: The effect of clause 10 of the Political Parties and Elections Bill (Bill 141) will be that the key consideration in determining whether or not the candidate expenditure limit applies will be the purpose for which expenditure is used. Whether or not a person has formally announced or promoted their candidature will not be the crucial factor, as the clause provides that election expenses can include those incurred by a person who later formally becomes a candidate.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the impact assessment for the Political Parties and Elections Bill, what the evidential basis was for the calculation that between 2,000 and 3,000 donations each year would be regulated. 
Mr. Wills: The figures in the impact assessment for the numbers of donations potentially affected by the additional declaration requirements in clause 8 of the Political Parties and Elections Bill are estimates, as there is no publicly available data on the number of donations accepted by political parties of amounts between £200 and the thresholds above which the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires that donations be reported to the Electoral Commission and publicly disclosed. The estimates were arrived at through extrapolating from the publicly available data on donations of over £5,000 to parties' central offices and £1,000 to local accounting units. These estimates were intended to represent an average yearly figure, taking into account the fact that levels of donations increase considerably towards the end of an electoral cycle.
The Government accept that a number of political parties have concerns that the impact assessment underestimates the compliance burden that the requirements of clause 8 might impose on political parties. As I indicated at Second Reading of the Political Parties and Elections Bill, representations have been received from a number of parties that the £200 limit is too low, and we have also received wider representations about the impact of clause 8 on those charged with complying with the law. Although I am clear that greater transparency is essential, it should not be achieved at the cost of overburdening political parties and I am ready to consider representations on the detail of our proposals in that area.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will publish HM Prison Services last (a) three-year review and (b) three annual reviews of its disability equality scheme; 
(2) what measures he has put into place to ensure that prison service staff receive independent advice on disability issues following the disapplication of the Home Office Disability Support Network to prison service staff; 
(3) what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing a support network for prison service staff with disabilities; and what account that assessment took of (a) the Code of Practice for the Public Sector to promote disability equality and (b) other requirements under disability equality legislation; 
(4) what support networks are in place for (a) black and minority ethnic, (b) lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and (c) other groups of prison service staff; and what plans he has to introduce a support network for prison service staff with disabilities. 
Mr. Malik: HM Prison Services Associate Disability Equality Scheme was published in December 2006. The employment duties of the Disability Equality Scheme were encompassed in HM Prison Services Single Staff Diversity Scheme which was published in April 2007. Copies of both documents will be placed in the Library of the House. I will write to the hon. and learned Member about the review process attached to these schemes.
The Ministry of Justice has a support network for staff with disabilities which all staff within the Ministry, including Prison Service staff, can join as associate members.
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) commissioned an independent review of staff support networks for Prison Service staff in April 2008. That review considered options for staff networks that would be in alignment with the business of the agency and this included options for a network for Prison Service staff with disabilities. The agency is currently considering the findings and recommendations of that review.
The review has taken into account the reference in the code of practice for the public sector to public authorities considering having disabled staff network groups as well as ensuring that the agency is compliant with disability equality legislation.
NOMS currently provides an official support network for black and minority ethnic Prison Service staff and an official support network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Prison Service staff. Prison Service staff who have disabilities are currently able to be supported by the Ministry of Justices support network for staff with disabilities. NOMS is currently considering whether and in what form to establish a separate official network for Prison Service staff with disabilities following an independent review of its staff networks.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of prison staff have disabilities. 
Mr. Malik: On 30 September 2008, 1,701 prison staff in the public and private sectors have declared themselves as having a disability. This represents 3 per cent. of all prison staff.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prisoner on prisoner, (b) prisoner on staff and (c) staff on prisoner (i) rapes and (ii) sexual assaults were reported in (A) male and (B) female prisons in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Hanson: The Government are committed to ensuring that violence in prisons is not tolerated in any form. Since 2004, a national strategy has directed every public sector prison to have in place a local violence reduction strategy and from mid 2007 this has been applied to both the public sector and contracted estate. A whole prison approach is encouraged, engaging all staff, all disciplines and prisoners in challenging unacceptable behaviour, problem-solving and personal safety. The Prison Officers Association are partners in its approach.
(i) Reports of rape in England and Wales
Rape is a legal term dependent on conviction and this information is not held centrally by NOMS.
(ii) Reports of sexual assaults in prisons in England and Wales
The data are contained in the following tables. Due to improved recording over the years, figures from 1998 to 2001 are not directly comparable with those from more recent years. The numbers supplied refer to the number of individual assault incidents. At any one time the system will include some proven and unproven allegations; some of the latter are removed/reclassified at a later date. Assault information is recorded at establishment level in four categories: Prisoner on Prisoner, Prisoner on Officer, Prisoner on Other and Other (which may include non-prisoner perpetrators). The Prisoner on Officer' and 'Prisoner on Other' categories mostly refer to assaults on staff. However the latter category may include some non staff victims for example visitors. The 'Other' category includes assaults or allegations of assault by non prisoners including any by staff, visitors etc.
|Sexual Assaults Male Prisons||Prisoner on prisoner||Prisoner on officer||Prisoner on other||Other||Total|
From 2007 figures do not include the three prisons (Albany, Camphill and Parkhurst) where the incident recording has transferred to the NOMIS system.
|Sexual Assaults Female Prisons||Prisoner on prisoner||Prisoner on officer||Prisoner on other||Other||Total|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2008, Official Report, columns 885-6W, on departmental security, how many identity cards and security passes were reported lost or stolen at (a) HMP Pentonville, (b) HMP Holloway and (c) Young Offender Institution Holloway in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: It is extremely rare for passes to be lost. When a pass is lost/stolen, the member of staff concerned completes a report detailing the circumstances. That is reported to the security department, the gatekeeper and NOMS Security Group, and cascaded to all prisons. Procedures ensure that only those with permission to do so enter prisons.
The table shows the number of reported lost or stolen NOMS identity cards/security passes in each of the last three financial years broken down by (a) prison and (b) year at Pentonville and Holloway(1) prisons.
These figures do not include passes issued to temporary or contracted (permanent and temporary) members of staff. Information on these groups of staff is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost as it would involve analysing all security information reports from these prisons over the last three financial years.
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