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5 Mar 2009 : Column 1789W—continued

Prisons: Standards

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when the next prison performance ratings are due to be published; and for what reasons not all prisons in England and Wales had ratings published in the last quarter. [260431]

Mr. Hanson: The next prison performance ratings are due to be published for Quarter 3 for all prisons in England and Wales on the Ministry of Justice website in the week commencing 23 March. From time to time, some prisons will not be rated in a particular quarter and reasons for this can include the function of a prison having recently changed or, exceptionally, an absence of appropriate performance data to inform a rating.

Repossession Orders: Braintree

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many court orders have been issued for the repossession of homes in Braintree constituency in each of the last five years. [260381]

Bridget Prentice: Figures for Braintree constituency are not available. However, statistics on mortgage and landlord possession orders for county courts in the south east of England (1987-2008) are available via the Ministry of Justice website at:

These include figures for Chelmsford and Colchester county courts, which are nearest to Braintree constituency.

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, geographical boundaries of county courts may not necessarily be consistent with other administrative or constituency boundaries. Repossession orders made at Chelmsford and Colchester county courts may therefore relate to properties in other constituencies besides Braintree.

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.


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will take steps to raise awareness amongst the judiciary of community service alternatives to prison sentences. [259546]

Maria Eagle: While sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for the judiciary, the Government believe that prison should be reserved for serious, dangerous and seriously persistent offenders. However, prison may not be the most effective option for other offenders, who may better be punished in the community. The Government have ensured that tough non-custodial sentences are available. The Government have put
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mechanisms in place, both locally and nationally, to ensure sentencers are aware of the community services sentences that are available.

Shoplifting: Sentencing

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of (a) males and (b) females who were convicted of shoplifting received a (i) community sentence, (ii) custodial sentence and (iii) court fine in the last 12 months. [260062]

Maria Eagle: The available information is provided in the table.

Sentencing statistics 2008 will be published towards the end of 2009.

Percentage of offenders given sentence types for shoplifting offences, by sex, 2007

Male Female

Number of community sentences



Percentage of community sentences



Number of immediate custodial sentences



Percentage of immediate custodial sentences



Number of suspended sentences



Percentage of suspended sentences



Number of fines



Percentage of fines



Total sentenced



1. These data are on the principal offence basis.
2. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems.
3. 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.
CMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

Witnesses: Interviews

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what research his Department has conducted into provision for interviews with (a) witnesses and (b) vulnerable witnesses since 2002. [259563]

Maria Eagle: Neither the Home Office nor the Ministry of Justice have published research on witnesses in general.

The Home Office has published the following research since 2002 about special measures for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses which included consideration of the interview stage in relation to the use of video recorded statements admitted as evidence-in-chief:

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Additionally the Ministry of Justice has published the following research about the intermediary special measure which can be used at the interview stage:

Summary available at:

Full report at:

Work and Pensions

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 26 February 2008, Official Report, column 1383W, on departmental data protection, what types of sensitive personal data are exchanged between his Department and local authorities; and for what general purposes. [253494]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department's formal registration with the Information Commissioner lists the types of personal data that are held by the Department and for what purposes, and the bodies with whom, that data may be shared. Local government is listed as a potential recipient for data held under three of the four broad purposes described in the registration. This does not mean that each of the listed types of data is always shared with local authorities: data are only shared where there is a legal power to do so, and a judgment that the sharing of data is both operationally necessary and proportionate. A fuller account of the Department's approach to the use of personal information is contained in "DWP and your personal information", which can be found on the Department's public website, and a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have (a) claimed and (b) received disability living allowance as a result of having a child with a behavioural problem in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. [259482]

Jonathan Shaw: Entitlement to disability living allowance is not dependent on a diagnosis or condition but relies instead on the care and/or mobility needs arising. In the case of a child with a behavioural problem, needs may arise as a result of physical or mental complications.

Information about the number of claims for a child with a behavioural problem could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The available information is in the table.

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Disability living allowance: number of cases in payment for under 16-year-olds where a behavioural disorder is recorded as the main disabling condition
As at August each year Number of cases

















1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred and have been adjusted to be consistent with WPLS data.
2. Although the preferred data source for benefit statistics is 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, the 5 per cent. sample data have been used in this case because they provide some detail not yet available from the 100 per cent. data sources, in particular, more complete information on the disabling condition of disability living allowance claimants.
3. Where more than one disability is present only the main disabling condition is recorded.
4. These statistics are only collected for administrative purposes.
5. Totals show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent. sample.

Fuel Poverty

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the number of households in (a) Darlington constituency, (b) County Durham and (c) England in which more than one individual receives the winter fuel allowance. [258258]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table that follows.

The following table shows the total number of individuals who received a winter fuel payment and those who received a shared payment. Figures are for winter 2006-07, the latest year for which figures are available.

Total number of payments Shared payments

Darlington Constituency



County Durham






1. A shared payment is made if there is more than one person entitled in a household. If however, an entitled person is receiving pension credit, income-based jobseeker's allowance or income support then their payment is not shared. In these cases that person receives a full payment.
2. Figures from are rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Parliamentary constituencies and counties are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
Information directorate 100 per cent. data.

We expect that similar numbers of individuals will receive shared winter fuel payments in 2008-09.

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Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants of both incapacity benefit and employment support allowance were aged (a) under 30 years and (b) under 40 years old in the most recent year for which figures are available; and how many of them in each case had been in receipt of the benefits for five years or more. [259084]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Work and Pensions will be publishing National Statistics on Employment and Support Allowance in summer 2009. The available information is in the table.

Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants by age and duration
November 2007 February 2008 May 2008 August 2008

Less than 30 years






Up to five years





Five years and over





30 years to 40 years






Up to five years





Five years and over





1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Durations refer to incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance awards.
3. Data are for GB and abroad.
The Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

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