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19 Jan 2009 : Column 1120W—continued

Bail Accommodation and Support Service: Cheshire

Mr. Timpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many ClearSprings bail hostels have been (a) planned and (b) approved in Crewe and Nantwich constituency. [249392]

Mr. Hanson: The hon. Gentleman is incorrect in referring to the ClearSprings’ addresses as bail hostels. They are leased private properties. Two properties were planned and were brought into use in Crewe; these have subsequently closed and one new property will be sourced.

Bail Accommodation and Support Service: East Midlands

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in which local government wards in Leicester, Leicestershire, Northampton, Northamptonshire and Peterborough there is accommodation provided by the ClearSprings Bail Accommodation and Support Service; and how many such premises there are in each such ward. [249278]

Mr. Hanson: There is one property in each of the wards listed as follows:

Leicestershire (all in Leicester)

Northamptonshire (all in Northampton)

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Bribery Bill: Draft

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the proposed date of publication of the Bribery Bill is. [249300]

Maria Eagle: The Government intend to publish a draft Bribery Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny this Session. No firm decision has been made regarding the publication date.

Bronzefield Prison

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) escapes, (b) attempted escapes and (c) assaults on staff there have been at HM Prison Bronzefield in each year since it opened. [248403]

Mr. Hanson: There have been no escapes or attempted escapes at Bronzefield since it opened.

The table shows incidents of prisoner on staff assaults in Bronzefield in each of the last years since 2004.

The information is set out in the table and is subject to important qualifications. The NOMS 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.

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 e.g. visitors). The recorded incidents of assaults on prison officers are not completely exclusive to officers; establishment recording sometimes includes assaults on other prison staff in this category. Rises or falls in reported numbers from one year to the next are not a good indicator of an underlying trend for a particular prison.

The numbers supplied refer to the number of individual assault incidents. The numbers refer to all incidents recorded as assaults; these may also include threatening behaviour, projection of bodily fluids and other non-contact events and allegations.

Ministers, NOMS and the Prison Officers’ Association are collectively 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 since mid 2007 this has been applied to the public and contracted out estate. A whole prison approach is encouraged, engaging all staff, all disciplines and prisoners in challenging unacceptable behaviour, problem-solving and personal safety.

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Bronzefield prison
Classification 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Prisoner on officer






Prisoner on other












Bronzefield opened in 2004 which is why the numbers for this year are lower than subsequent years.

Crime: Compensation

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in what schemes operated by or on behalf of his Department other than the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority the decisions of one officer are reviewed by an officer at the same level as the one who made the original decision. [245042]

Mr. Malik: In addition to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the two legal aid schemes which are administered by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). These are the Community Legal Service (CLS) and the Criminal Defence Service (CDS).

For decisions about CLS legal aid funding, it is usual practice for LSC caseworkers to review previous decisions of LSC caseworkers at the same level initially, and then escalate if the dispute or issue has not been resolved, or if the more formal review mechanisms provided for in provider contracts or regulations apply.

Decisions about CDS legal aid funding for magistrates courts cases conducted on the basis of means are made by court staff. Applicants can ask for a review on the basis that his or her financial circumstances have changed, or that they believe an administrative error has occurred. These reviews are conducted by the same level of staff as applicants are effectively reapplying but with new or different information. Applicants can also ask for a review on the grounds of hardship, either before or after the formal means assessment. Decisions about hardship reviews are made by LSC staff of the same level as the court staff who made the original decision about funding.

I am not aware of any other schemes run by or on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, where original decisions are subsequently reviewed by an officer at the same level.

Custodial Sentences: Offensive Weapons

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people received a custodial sentence for carrying a weapon or a blade in each year from 2004 to 2007. [247150]

Mr. Straw: The information requested is shown in the following table.

The figures cannot be compared with the figures being used to monitor the Tackling Knife Crime Action Programme (TKAP) because they use different data sources and counting rules. The following figures are based on counts of offenders from the court proceedings database. The TKAP figures are based on counts of offences from the PNC database which provides more timely monitoring information.

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Number of persons sentenced to immediate custody for possessing a knife or offensive weapon( 1) , 2004 - 07

2004 2005 2006 2007

Persons sentenced to immediate custody





Persons given suspended sentence(2)





(1) Offences of: possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, possession of offensive weapons on school premises without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, having an article with a blade or point on school premises and having an article with a blade or point in a public place.
(2) The suspended sentence order was introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 for offences committed on or after 4 April 2005. Some of those sentenced in 2005 would have been given the old style fully suspended sentence, however, for ease of interpretation, all suspended sentences have been shown together
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.
OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many complaints about advertisements sponsored or funded by his Department were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in each year from 1997 to 2008; and how many of these were upheld by the ASA in each year. [246646]

Mr. Malik: The Ministry of Justice was created in May 2007 and since then my Department has not had a complaint made about its advertising. There were no complaints made or upheld against advertising conducted by the Department when it was the Department for Constitutional Affairs or the Lord Chancellor's Department.

Departmental Pay

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make it his policy that temporary and permanent employees of his Department employed at the same grade receive the same hourly rate of pay. [248429]

Mr. Wills: All staff employed directly by the core Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service are subject to the same arrangements for pay irrespective of whether they are temporary (i.e. fixed term) employees or permanent staff.

Where they exist, differences in hourly pay rates for individuals within the same grade are for reasons other than whether the member of staff is fixed term or permanent. Such differences may be the position within the pay band or geographical location. Following machinery of government changes, there are small numbers of staff within the Ministry employed on their former employers’ terms and conditions and who opted to retain their legacy pay arrangements. These staff therefore have an hourly rate of pay determined by those legacy terms.

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Hourly rates paid to the staff engaged through temporary staffing agencies is determined between the agency and the individual. When Parliament has decided the implementation date of the Agency Workers Directive, guidance on the terms will be reviewed with suppliers.

Departmental Procurement

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 744W, on departmental procurement, if he will place in the Library a list of names and addresses of the payees. [241927]

Mr. Malik: The previous answer identified that the payee supplier database held approximately 144,000 records. It contains the details of a large number of individuals and these payees cannot easily be separated. It is not possible at this time to deposit this information in the Library of the House of Commons, without including details of individuals. Creating an IT solution to eliminate individuals data and sensitive data could not be completed without incurring disproportionate cost.

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses were paid within 10 days of receipt by (a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [243356]

Maria Eagle: Until October 2008 the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and its agencies was required to monitor and publish payment performance against a 30-day payment target and does not therefore currently publish information about payment within ten days. However, following my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s commitment of 8 October 2008, Official Report, columns 268-69, that central Government Departments will make payment within 10 days, we will additionally report ten day payment performance from the period January to March 2009.

MOJ and its agencies do not currently publish information about size of suppliers. We do not discriminate by size because many SMEs can be found within larger supply chains.

Fixed Penalties

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were in prison in England and Wales for non-payment of fixed penalty notices on (a) 1 April 2006, (b) 1 April 2007 and (c) 1 April 2008. [247602]

Mr. Straw: Where recipients of some fixed penalty notices neither pay the penalty nor request a court hearing a fine is registered against them and enforced as any other fine. The number of these fines which result in committal to prison for fine default is not separately recorded. The number of all fine defaulters detained in all prison establishments in England and Wales at the end of March in each of the years 2006 and 2008 is given in the following table:

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As at 31 March each year Number







This information can also be found in the following website, which is updated monthly:

The figures provided 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.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many sitting magistrates are currently serving; [247684]

(2) what steps are being taken to encourage (a) members of ethnic minorities and (b) women to apply to become magistrates. [247685]

Mr. Straw: There are currently 29,505 magistrates serving in England and Wales.

The Government are committed to a magistracy that is reflective of the diverse communities it serves. Local advisory committees, who recruit and select magistrates, are required to target recruitment at under-represented groups in their areas. My Department has also provided substantial funding to specific awareness raising initiatives such as Operation Black Vote’s Magistrates Shadowing Scheme.

There has been a slight increase in the proportion of black minority ethnic (BME) magistrates in recent years (now 7.3 per cent.). Of the 1,899 magistrates appointed in 2008, just over 10 per cent. were from BME backgrounds. There are now more female than male magistrates (now 51.2 per cent.).

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