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25 Nov 2008 : Column 1314W—continued

Repossession Orders: Mortgages

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his most recent estimate is of the number of home repossessions in Chipping Barnet constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [237918]

Bridget Prentice: There were 184 mortgage possession orders made and 325 landlord possession orders made at Barnet county court in the third quarter of 2008.

The civil procedure rules state that all claims for the repossession of land must be commenced in the district in which the land is situated. However, county courts jurisdictions are not coterminous with borough or constituency boundaries. Therefore the above figures are likely to count possession orders relating to properties in a number of other constituencies besides Chipping Barnet.

These figures do not indicate how many homes have actually been repossessed. Repossessions can occur without a court order being made while not all court orders result in repossession. Figures showing the number of repossessions of mortgaged homes are published separately by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Financial Services Authority. However, these are not available at regional or constituency level.


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Secure Training Centres

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been detained in secure training centres in the last 12 months. [239441]

Mr. Hanson: Between 1 November 2007 and 31 October 2008, in 318 cases where a young person was remanded to the care of a local authority with a secure requirement, he or she was accommodated (with the Secretary of State's consent, under section 23 (7A) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969) in a secure training centre. During the same period, in 671 cases where a young person received a custodial sentence, he or she was accommodated in a secure training centre. These figures, which have been supplied by the Youth Justice Board, count separately any instance where a young person was accommodated in a secure training centre on more than one occasion.

Sentencing

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length of (a) custodial sentence handed down by magistrates’ courts and (b) sentence served in prison is by persons sentenced by magistrates’ courts in each of the last three years. [238264]

Maria Eagle: The average custodial sentence length handed down by magistrates courts has been three months in each of the last three years (2004-06) for which annually published statistics are available. Data for 2007 will become available once “Sentencing Statistics, England and Wales, 2007” has been published on 27 November.

All offenders sentenced to less than 12 months are released automatically half way through their sentence. They may also be eligible for earlier release on end of custody licence or home detention curfew. In addition, foreign national prisoners who are to be deported at the end of sentence may be liable for earlier removal under the Early Removal Scheme.

Adults are not subject to supervision following release, but young offenders are subject to a minimum of three months supervision. All are ‘at risk’ until the very end of their sentence; that is, if they commit a further imprisonable offence before the end of their original sentence, the court dealing with the new offence may add all or part of the outstanding sentence to any new sentence it imposes.

The following table shows the proportion of sentence served in custody by prisoners discharged from sentences of six months or less. The average sentence length for young offenders is longer than for adult offenders, reflecting the fact that DTO sentences (which apply to juveniles) have a minimum sentence length of four months. The figures include those sentenced in the Crown Court; it is not possible to separately provide the information for those sentenced by magistrates courts. This information was published in tables 9.1 and 9.2 of Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2007, a copy of which is available via the Library of the House, and on the Ministry of Justice website at


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Average time served in prison by prisoners discharged from sentences of six months or less on completion of sentence or on licence( 1,2)
Adults Young offenders

2005 2006 2007 2005 2006 2007

Number of discharges(3,4)

36,600

34,100

32,500

7,800

7,500

7,800

Average sentence length in months(5)

3

3

3

4

4

4

Average time served including remand in months(5)

2

2

2

2

2

2

Percentage of time served including remand(5)

47

48

48

52

53

53

(1) Methodology has been revised. Totals may not match previously published data.
(2) On discharge: the sentence may change after reception if there are further charges or an appeal.
(3) Excludes discharges following recall after release on licence, non-criminals, persons committed to custody for non-payment of a fine, persons reclassified as adult prisoners and deported prisoners.
(4) Rounded to the nearest 100. Due to rounding sub totals may not match grand totals.
(5) Rounded to nearest whole number.

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average age of persons sentenced to custodial sentences was in each of the last 10 years. [238861]

Maria Eagle: All adult offenders where the age has not been reported to the Ministry of Justice are assumed to be age 25. This will create a bias in the calculation of average age and therefore we do not produce figures on this basis.

Unpaid Fines: Sentencing

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of the prison population in England and Wales were in prison for non-payment of fines on 1 April (a) 2008, (b) 2007, (c) 2006, (d) 2005 and (e) 2004. [237689]

Mr. Hanson: The following table gives the number of fine defaulters held in all prison establishments in England and Wales at 31 March in each year from 2004 to 2008.

All fine defaulters

2004

75

2005

52

2006

102

2007

83

2008

88


This information is available at the Ministry of Justice website at the following address:

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.


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Valuation Office: Land Registry

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 10 September 2008, Official Report, column 1985W, on Valuation Office: Land Registry, when the agency became a registered user of the Land Registry Direct Service. [238699]

Mr. Wills: The Valuation Office Agency have set up a number of accounts with Land Registry Direct for their different offices across England and Wales. Their first account was set up in February 2007.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 10 September 2008, Official Report, column 1985W, on Valuation Office: Land Registry, what (a) property information and (b) individual property attributes the Valuation Office Agency has access to as a consequence of its membership of the Land Registry Direct Service. [238700]

Mr. Wills: The Valuation Office Agency will be able to obtain the same information as any other users of Land Registry’s services, whether they are in the public or private sector. As users of Land Registry Direct, the Valuation Office Agency will have access to our register. The Land Register has been available for public inspection since December 1990 and official copies of registers, title plans and deeds and most documents referred to on the register can be obtained by post or electronically. The information included on a register is:

There are over 21 million titles registered with Land Registry covering England and Wales.

Youth Offending Teams: Standards

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what national performance targets have been set for youth offending teams; and what the performance of Torbay youth offending team was against those targets in 2007-08. [237937]

Mr. Hanson: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 20 October 2008, Official Report, column 53W, which shows the national performance targets and Torbay youth offending team’s performance for 2007-08. It also shows the national performance targets and Torbay youth offending team’s performance in 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07.

International Development

Afghanistan: Asylum

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the Government of Pakistan on the Afghan refugees now living in Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. [237284]


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Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK Government have regular discussions with the Government of Pakistan on the issue of Afghan refugees. The Department for International Development (DFID) is involved in this process.

Afghanistan: Overseas Aid

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how the continuing effectiveness of development projects completed in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq in each of the last five years is assessed; [237274]

(2) how many development projects completed in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the last five years are still operational. [237275]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The need to ensure our projects deliver lasting benefits is central to the design of all projects, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. Particular attention is given in project design to ensure that our partner organisations (in particular governments) have the resources (money and capacities) to continue to provide the benefits the project was designed to deliver. Project implementation progress is closely monitored through formal annual reviews—and once complete, a thorough Project Completion Report (PCR) is undertaken to assess future impact and lessons learned. Thereafter, ongoing operation of completed individual projects lies with the recipient partner. To the extent of our knowledge, all the completed projects in both Iraq and Afghanistan are still delivering the expected benefits.

In addition, DFID’s Evaluation Department manage a series of independent country evaluations which build on all PCRs and further reviews to provide further assessment of the impact of programmes. These evaluations are mandatory for all countries where DFID has major involvement and are timed to fit into the country planning cycle so that lessons learned are incorporated into future interventions. An evaluation of the Afghanistan country programme is currently ongoing.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what restrictions staff of his Department deployed under Foreign and Commonwealth Office deployment rules in Afghanistan have had placed upon them. [237277]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not comment on specific issues of staff security overseas.

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what stabilisation advisers' posts there are in Afghanistan; and to whom the post holders are responsible. [237278]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: There are currently seven Stabilisation Officer posts in Helmand: two in Musa Qala; two in Sangin; one in Gereshk, and; two in Garmsir. All Stabilisation Officers report within the reporting structure of the Helmand Civil Military Mission—to the Deputy Head (Delivery). In addition,
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a Stabilisation Adviser in Kandahar provides advice to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Regional Command (South).

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisors

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many full-time equivalent staff in his Department assist special advisers; and what the cost of employing such staff was in each of the last three years. [237504]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: One civil servant supports the special advisers in my office, providing administrative support of a non-political nature in accordance with the “Code of Conduct for Special Advisers”.

Individual civil servants’ salary details are not disclosed in order to protect the privacy of the individual concerned. Costs will be accounted for in the Department's annual resource accounts.

Human Rights: Women

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in implementing the UK's National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325. [233786]

Bill Rammell: I have been asked to reply.

The UK National Action Plan is a policy framework against which the UK monitors progress on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Detailed updates on progress against the plan are published periodically on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at


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