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15 Dec 2008 : Column 482W—continued


Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children were being held with their mothers in prisons in England and Wales on the latest date for which figures are available. [243263]


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Maria Eagle: As of 30 November 2008 there were 50 children living with their mothers in a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) within a women’s prison. They may stay in an MBU until the age of up to 18 months (depending on the individual circumstances), although there is room for flexibility in the best interests of the child, which may mean a child staying in an MBU until two years of age. They are then gradually integrated into the care of approved family or carers in the community. This could include social services where no suitable carer exists.

Prisons: Electronic Surveillance

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 910W, on prisons: electronic surveillance, whether the Wilson doctrine applies (1) to telephone interception and the use of electronic surveillance by the police; and if he will make a statement; [243483]

(2) to data on the hard drive of hon. Members' computers; and if he will make a statement. [243484]

Mr. Straw: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Wallace) on 12 September 2007, Official Report, column 2103W.

The Wilson Doctrine applies to all forms of interception that are subject to authorisation by Secretary of State warrant.

Public Records: Access

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what arrangements are in place for those without internet facilities to gain access to records held in the Public Record Office. [242761]

Mr. Wills: Public records that have been transferred to The National Archives, the Government's official archive, are available to view free of charge in its reading rooms at Kew. Access to original records is available to members of the public after providing two acceptable forms of identification and readers are able to view original records within 35 minutes. Access to surrogate records, including microform, is also free and does not require a reader's ticket.

The National Archives has recently undertaken an extensive programme of work to improve and expand its facilities. It now offers a programme of talks from records specialists and more advice surgeries for individual researchers.

For members of the public who cannot visit Kew, The National Archives offers a priced research service to undertake a search for specific documents on their behalf. It can also provide a list of independent researchers who have an in-depth knowledge of its collections to undertake research on their behalf.

Rape: Criminal Proceedings

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what research he has commissioned on rape conviction rates in other (a) European and (b) common law jurisdictions for benchmarking purposes. [242058]


15 Dec 2008 : Column 484W

Mr. Alan Campbell: I have been asked to reply.

We are always interested to learn from the experience of other countries. However, international comparisons in respect of convictions for rape are not reliable because different countries have different definitions of rape and different levels of reporting. Recording practices also vary, for instance, some countries record a crime only where there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what research he has commissioned into the potential benefits of creating separate tiers of rape offences. [242061]

Maria Eagle: A review of research into rape and sexual assault, which included the practice of gradation of sexual offences in other jurisdictions, was commissioned as part of the major review of sexual offences which informed the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The research was published in July 2000 in ‘Setting the Boundaries’ Volume 2. There are no plans to conduct further research in this area.

The Government take the view that rape is a very serious crime and that the seriousness of each individual case is best reflected in sentencing, in the light of the facts and considerations in the case, rather than in the creation of separate categories of offences which attempt to distinguish between more or less serious cases of rape by reference to, for example, the degree of violence used.

Rape: Victims

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what protocols he has announced for use by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority with regard to compensation payments to rape victims in cases where alcohol was involved. [242060]

Maria Eagle: The payment of compensation to victims of all violent crime is governed by the provisions of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2008. Guidance on the payment of compensation to victims of all types of violent crime is contained in the booklet “A Guide to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2008”. A copy of the Guidance can be obtained from CICA direct and is also available on CICA’s website at:

Applications received before 3 November 2008 are considered under the 2001 Scheme and its accompanying guidance.

Small Claims: Compensation

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will consider the merits of raising the cap for payouts in the small claims court from its current level of £5,000. [241667]

Bridget Prentice: The small claims track limit was considered in the consultation paper “Case track limits and the claims process for personal injury claims”. As indicated in the Government’s response paper, published in July 2008, 94 per cent. of respondents agreed that that the general small claims limit should remain at £5,000. The Government therefore concluded that there should be no change to this limit.


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Tribunals: Witnesses

John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what remedies there are for expert witnesses before tribunals who consider that their professional reputation has been damaged by statements made (a) in tribunal judgments and (b) by those presiding over the tribunal, with particular reference to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. [243471]

Bridget Prentice: Judgments by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, like all tribunals, are protected by absolute privilege. If parties to or persons associated with an appeal wish to complain about the conduct, including statements made, of a tribunal judge or member, they should contact the relevant tribunal office who will inform them whether their complaint should be sent to the tribunal president, if one exists, or to the Office for Judicial Complaints.

Complaints are dealt with in accordance with the Judicial Complaints (Tribunals) (No. 2) Rules 2008. Tribunal presidents who receive complaints, investigate them in accordance with these Rules and, if it is considered that there may be a case for formal disciplinary action, they will refer the case to the Office for Judicial Complaints. The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice will then consider the evidence and decide what action, if any, should be taken.

Young Offender Institutions

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what representations he has received in (a) person and (b) writing from children detained in (i) a young offender institution and (ii) a secure training centre in the last 12 months. [241679]

Mr. Hanson: I have not received any personal representations. Statistics on complaints and representations made by young people in custody are not held centrally and obtaining this information would involve a search through individual records.

At Young Offender Institutions, Prison Service Order 4950 provides that governors shall enable young people in custody to raise concerns and complaints. Particular help is to be given to those who—for example because of learning disabilities —may have problems in doing so. The Youth Justice Board, through its contracts with providers requires secure training centres to have in place arrangements under which concerns and complaints can be raised. Every young offender institution and secure training centre has an advocacy service, which plays an important part in helping young people to voice concerns.

Youth Justice Board

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the function is of the Youth Justice Board monitors placed in each secure training centre; what qualifications are required of Youth Justice Board monitors; and how many times a Youth Justice Board monitor has raised a concern in writing relating to the safety or well-being of a child in a secure training centre in each of the last five years. [241847]


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Mr. Hanson: Each secure training centre has a Youth Justice Board (YJB) monitor. All monitors are educated to NVQ Level 4 and have at least two years’ experience of the criminal justice system before appointment. The monitor’s function is to ensure that the YJB’s objectives for the centre are being met, in compliance with the contract. Monitors have an important part to play in ensuring that safeguarding and child protection arrangements are working effectively. Responsibility for such arrangements, however, and for individual cases, lies with local authority children’s services departments.

Energy and Climate Change

District Heating: Whitehall

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what fuels have been used to power the Whitehall District Heating System in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [242507]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information is set out in the following table.

Fuel used

Gas kWhrs Oil kWhrs

2003

34,945,000

531,908

2004

45,310,000

89,813

2005

52,910,313

685,290

2006

59,756,359

211,947

2007

40,855,624

32,754


Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which (a) departments and (b) Government buildings are served by the Whitehall District Heating System. [242509]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information is set out in the following table:

Departments and buildings served to the Whitehall District Heating System
Department Building

Cabinet Office

10, 11 and 12 Downing Street

HMT and HMRC

GOGGS (Treasury)

F&CO

OPO (F&CO) Main Building

DEFRA

55 Whitehall

Cabinet Office

Admiralty Arch North and South

F&CO

Old Admiralty Building (F&CO)

Cabinet Office

22-26 Whitehall

Cabinet Office

Admiralty House

Cabinet Office

36 Whitehall

MOD

Horse Guards

Scotland House

Dover House

London School of Economics

Northumberland House

MOD

MOD Main Building

Royal United Services Institute

RUSI

Historic Palaces

Banqueting House

Welsh Office

Gwydyr House

MOD

Old War Office

Cabinet Office

70 Whitehall

Civil Service Club

Civil Service Club


15 Dec 2008 : Column 487W

Children, Schools and Families

Children in Care

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what proportion of 7-year olds in care achieved level two in literacy and numeracy at key stage 1 in each year since 1997; [241729]

(2) how many and what proportion of children in care achieved the national standard in each Key Stage 1 examination in each year since 1997. [241736]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The OC2 data collection collects information on a range of outcomes for looked after children from local authorities. This information has been published in the Statistical First Release “Outcome Indicators for Children Looked After, 12 months to 30 September 2007—England” (SFR 08/2008), which is available on the Department’s website via the following link:

This publication contains figures for the period 2005-07.

Information on attainment in schools can be found in table B which shows the number eligible to sit KS1 tests and the number and percentage who have achieved at least level 2 in reading, writing and mathematics.

Information on the attainment of looked after children was first collected in 2000, figures for earlier years are also published on the Department’s website and can be found via the following links:


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