|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) total cost and (b) cost per unit of (i) production and (ii) distribution of the Legal Services Commissions Community Legal Advice leaflet stands was; and if he will make a statement. 
The Community Legal Advice team holds a contract with a distributor to distribute marketing materials, leaflets and leaflet stands. It is not possible to provide the total cost or cost per unit of distribution for the leaflet, as they may, for example, have been distributed as part of other orders. In addition, some LSC regional offices may have sent out the stands as part of their business mail.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many requests there have been from hon. Members for the Legal Services Commissions Community Legal Advice leaflet stands to be distributed to their constituency offices; to how many hon. Members the leaflet stand has been sent; what cost was incurred in distributing the stand to hon. Members constituency offices; and if he will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: Between November 2007 and October 2008, there were 47 requests from MPs constituency offices for Community Legal Advice stands across England and Wales. 151 stands were sent to MPs offices. A letter of introduction and explanation was included with the stands sent to MPs. The stands hold approximately 150 leaflets which cover a wide range of topics to help people understand more about the law and how to access their rights.
It is not possible to provide the total cost or cost per unit of distribution for the leaflet, as they may, for example, have been distributed as part of other orders. In addition, some LSC regional offices may have sent out the stands as part of their business mail.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of the Legal Services Commissions Community Legal Advice leaflet stands have been distributed since Community Legal Service Direct changed its name to Community Legal Advice; and if he will make a statement. 
There are no set target times for coroners in England to complete inquests. It is the responsibility of individual coroners, who are independent
judicial office holders appointed by local authorities, to complete inquests as expeditiously as circumstances allow. In 2007 the average time taken to complete an inquest in England was 25 weeks.
All knives, of whatever length, are among those items which Her Majesty's Courts Service class as prohibited items and are not permitted inside any venue where court business takes place. All bladed items must be surrendered to a court security officer and if not willingly surrendered, they may be seized by those officers. If the item is not surrendered or seized, the bearer will be excluded from entry into the court or removed.
The police are informed of all offensive weapons surrendered or seized and court security officers follow the advice given by them. As possession of a folding pen-knife with a blade of three inches or less is not currently a criminal offence, the court security officers would not normally advise the police of these items being retained. Evidence from one Crown Court is that about 50 per cent. of the pen knives which were seized but later returned because they were within the legal definition belonged to lawyers attending the court.
If a court security officer reasonably believes that a bladed item is evidence of, or in relation to, an offence, such as an illegally carried knife, then they contact the police as soon as possible after the item has been surrendered or seized. The court security officers must provide the police with information about the item, the person carrying it and, if appropriate, any difficulties they had in obtaining the item.
If a person requests the return of an item when he/she leaves the court building, but the court security officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the item may be evidence of, or in relation to an offence, then the person is told that under section 55(2)(b), the officer has the power to retain it for up to 24 hours to seek advice from the police.
The Courts Act itself gives no power to retain any items beyond either the 24-hour permitted period or the later point when the owner returns to collect it, whether legally or illegally carried. If the police do not collect the item within the permitted period or at any rate before the owner returns to collect it, then the article must be returned.
The policy is being actively reviewed and Her Majesty's Court Service is launching a programme to discourage all court users from bringing any kind of bladed item to
court. This includes a vigorous information campaign to all major stakeholders, including volunteer groups, and clear public information displayed in courts. We are also looking at formalising the existing process by which any bladed items that are currently lawful are returned to owners when they leave the court building but in sealed packages, which must be signed for or by post. An incremental rollout of this process to gauge the impact of this covering six courts in England was launched on 1 November and, if this is a success, will be implemented nationally shortly thereafter.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the value has been of his Departments IT contracts in the last 12 months; with whom these contracts have been awarded; and what the value was of each contract. 
Secure e-mail, awarded to Cable and Wireless in August 2008, for 21 months, at a value of £2 million per annum.
Portal messaging and Support, awarded to Atos Origin in March 2008, for two years, at a value of £2 million per annum.
Support for Court administrative systems, awarded to VP Treen Ltd. in October 2008, for three years, at a value of £225,000 per annum.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what mechanisms are in place to recover the costs of (a) enforcement and (b) other activities borne by his Department following the implementation of new legislation sponsored by other departments. 
Mr. Wills: It is Government policy that all Departments and agencies exercising statutory powers and making rules with a general effect on others should produce an impact assessment (IA). The basic aim of IAs is that those proposing new policies or arrangements should take account of all resulting costs, including those falling on others inside or outside central Government.
The Ministry of Justice has its own procedures to control these downstream costs from other Government Departments legislative programmes in recent years. The Ministry of Justice will not authorise clearance at Cabinet Committee level, without a reassurance that agreement on resulting court (tribunals and judiciary) and legal aid costs has been achieved, beforehand.
Mr. Wills: The White Paper on Lords reform was published on 25 July 2008 following cross-party talks. Building on the proposals in the White Paper, the Government intend to develop detailed proposals to be put to the electorate as a manifesto commitment at the next general election. Legislation would then be possible in the next Parliament.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions he and his officials have had with the Sentencing Guidelines Council on the introduction of guidelines for the offence of illegal broadcasting; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: The Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) is funded from two sources. The notification fees paid by data controllers fund the ICO's data protection work. The Commissioner retains these fees with agreement from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Jack Straw) and the Treasury.
It is not possible to give figures for fee income for the next three financial years as this is dependent on the number of data controllers who renew their notification or register for the first time. In the financial year 2007-08 the ICO received fee income of £10,817,621.
The Ministry of Justice wants to ensure that the Information Commissioner has the resources necessary to be able to carry out his duties under the Data Protection Act effectively. This summer, we consulted on changes to the fee structure to fund recent and proposed changes to the Information Commissioner's powers and responsibilities. We will announce the outcome of this consultation shortly.
Funding for the Information Commissioner's freedom of information responsibilities is by grant in aid from my Department. The indicative baseline for the Information Commissioner is £5 million for the current spending review period. However, we keep the position under review and have provided the Information Commissioner with an additional £500,000 for the current financial year.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 19 October 2006, Official Report, columns 1391-92W, on the Land Registry, how many commonhold residential developments there are in (a) England and (b) Wales. 
(a) 12 commonhold residential developments comprising 97 units, of which 78 units have been registered in the name of individual unit holders in England; and
(b) One commonhold residential development, comprising 24 units, of which seven units have been registered in the name of individual unit holders in Wales.
In researching this reply it has been identified that part of 19 October 2006 reply, Official Report, columns 1391-92W, was incorrect. In respect of Wales at that time the number of units was 24 and the number registered in the name of an individual was four.
Mr. Hanson: The information requested is not available. However, data from nationally representative surveys of some 2,000 sentenced prisoners near release conducted in 2001, 2003 and 2004 show the proportion of prisoners who had previously served in the armed forces as 6 per cent., 4 per cent. and 5 per cent. respectively.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have escaped while under escort from prison in the last 24 months; and how many of those escapes were from (a) private taxis and (b) custom built cellular vehicles. 
Mr. Hanson: No prisoners being transported by taxi in 2006-07 and 2007-08 have escaped. Taxis are rarely used for transporting prisoners to and from court or for inter-prison transfers. On occasions they may be used for emergency transport, including hospital admission where an ambulance is not appropriate.
Data contained in the following table show the number of prisoners who (a) have escaped from escort between April 2006 and March 2008 broken down by (b) private taxi hire (c) custom built cellular vehicles.
|Financial year||HM Prison Service escort||Contractor escort||Private taxi hire||Contractor secure cellular vehicle|
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.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of prisoners were
reconvicted and sentenced to another custodial term within three months of leaving prison in each of the last five years. 
Maria Eagle: We do not have figures on reoffending occurring within three months of leaving prison. On an annual basis we publish rates which measure reoffending over a 12 month period. The following table shows the number and proportion of offenders released from custody who committed a reoffence (where the offender was subsequently convicted of this offence at court) and the number and proportion of those who reoffended and given a custodial sentence for this reoffence within a 12 month period.
|Number of releases from prison||Number of offenders reoffending||Percentage of offenders reoffending||Number of reoffenders who received a prison sentence||Percentage of reoffenders who received a prison sentence|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|