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Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the highest ratio is of money owed by the Legal Services Commission to a solicitor's practice providing approved legal aid under its contract payments protocol to the standard monthly payment to such a solicitor's practice. 
Mr. Malik: The LSC's overall objective on payments to legal service providers is to provide financial stability by paying them a regular sumthe standard monthly payment (SMP)each month that matches their average claim value. The SMP is varied to take account of actual claims and aims to achieve 100 per cent. reconciliation balance.
The current highest claim to payment ratio is for an outstanding balance of £14,800 against an SMP of £1,700. The SMP in this case has been based on the historic performance of the contract but there has been a particularly high claim received recently that has had an impact on the contract balance.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when the Legal Services Commission will have paid the £10,000 outstanding at the end of January to a solicitors practice in Worthing, as referred to in communications by the hon. Member for West Worthing, under the payment arrangements which have been in place hitherto. 
Mr. Malik: The provider in question has both a civil and a criminal contract with the LSC, each of which is reconciled separately to ensure that the LSCs standard monthly payments (SMP) to the provider equate over time to the value of the claims made. At February 2009, the balance of the civil contract account was £4,798 underpaid to the provider, but the balance of the criminal contract account was £8,904 overpaid in the providers favour. However, in order to assist the providers particular circumstances, the LSC has agreed to consider the February 2009 claims as soon as they are available from the provider and to take appropriate steps to ensure prompt payment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions officials and Ministers of his Department have had with officials in Guernsey on the secondary
legislation necessary to make the Medicines (Human and Veterinary) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2008, consistent with the European Medicines Directive; and when he expects such legislation to be introduced. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice have had no discussions about ensuring secondary legislation is consistent with the European Medicines Directive. This is the responsibility of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. During a recent ministerial visit to the Island on 10 and 11 February 2009 Guernsey were asked about the timescale to implement the Medicines (Human and Veterinary) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2008. Their aim is to submit the relevant commencement ordinance to the States of Deliberation by June and bring secondary legislation into force shortly afterwards.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information his Department collects on offenders (a) employment history, (b) educational history and (c) health requirements for an offenders (i) pre-sentence report, (ii) supervision plan and (iii) induction in prison; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Information about employment and educational history (such as employment status, history, work related skills, school attendance and literacy and numeracy problems) and general health (including questions concerning drug and alcohol misuse and difficulty in coping and current psychological problems) is routinely collected as part of the process of interviewing and assessing offenders in order to prepare a pre sentence report and sentence and risk management plan. Information on other factors related to offending is also gathered. The information is recorded on the national Offender Assessment System (OASys), accessible to prison and probation staff.
On reception and induction to a prison, the offender is interviewed by health professionals and may be referred to learning and skills professionals, drugs workers (Counselling Assessment Referral and Throughcare teams), and other relevant specialists.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many and what proportion of offenders who ended their residence in ClearSprings Bail Accommodation and Support Service properties in 2008 had an accommodation address to move on to; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many offenders have been released from prison into ClearSprings Bail Accommodation and Support Service properties; and how many defendants or offenders released into ClearSprings properties have since been returned to custody. 
Mr. Hanson: Data on the number and proportion of those in the Bail and Accommodation Service who have addresses to move on to after completion are being obtained and I will write to the hon. and learned Member as soon as possible.
1,183 offenders and 1,657 defendants had been released into the Bail Accommodation and Support Service up to 23 February 2009. 176 of those released on bail completed their bail period by that date and were then sentenced to custody. Numbers of those otherwise returned to custody following breach while in the service or after completion of the service cannot be provided except at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what (a) account is taken by and (b) information is made available to offender managers of the services provided by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency in the drafting of supervision plans for offenders who have served in the armed forces; if he will ensure that such offenders are informed of the services for which they are eligible which are provided by (i) the Royal Brtish Legion, (ii) Combat Stress and (iii) Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce Association; and if he will make a Statement.
Mr. Hanson: The Veterans Prison In-Reach Initiative, a partnership between the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence, promotes the help and support for veterans available from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) to prison establishments and Probation Offender Managers. The SPVA website and free-phone helpline is promoted to front-line staff which can assist the development of supervision plans for veteran offenders.
As part of the Veterans Prison In Reach initiative we are running an extensive cross departmental campaign aimed at staff, including offender managers. ex veteran offenders and their families on services available. This exercise is conducted in close and active co-operation with the three veteran charities mentioned by my Hon. Friend. This helps to inform the sentence for ex veteran offenders.
Mr. Straw: Operation Safeguard was activated between 12 October and 22 December 2006 and again from 16 January 2007 to 31 October 2008. Police cells have not been used since 22 September 2008 and no police cells have been on stand-by since the end of October 2008.
The following table details usage between 1 January 2008 and 22 September 2008 and gives the aggregate total of the number of prisoner nights in which a police cell was used. It is not possible to ascertain how many individual prisoners these totals cover.
NOMS is invoiced by police forces in arrears for the use of cells activated under Operation Safeguard. Invoices to the value of £10,790,000 were paid between 1 April 2008 and 31 December 2008 for the activation of Operation Safeguard in the 2008-09 financial year.
|Usage (prisoner nights)|
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Chichester of 15 December 2008, Official Report, columns 478-9W, on political parties: finance, whether an hon. Member who triggered their election expenses by virtue of prejudicing the electoral prospects of another candidate at the election would be required to count any subsequent expenditure from the communications allowance as regulated election spending. 
Mr. Straw: The restrictions on use of the communications allowance for political purposes are clear. As such, it should not be the case that expenditure for electoral purposes could be funded by the communications allowance in any event, whether the expenditure in question precedes or follows any separate statement that has the effect of prejudicing another candidate's electoral prospects.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prosecutions were brought for rape against women in each of the last 10 years, broken down by police force area; and what the rate of conviction was in each case. 
Maria Eagle: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for rape against women, from 1998 to 2007 (latest available), by police force area, are shown in tables 1 and 2. The percentage of those proceeded against who were found guilty in England and Wales is shown in table 3.
The figures given relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
|Table 1: Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for rape against a female( 1) , by police force area( 2) , 1998 to 2007( 3, 4) , England and Wales|
|Police force area||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007|
Rape of a female aged under 16: Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 1.
Rape of a female aged 16 or over: Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 1.
Rape of a female child under 13 by a male: Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 5.
(2) Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.
(3) These data are on the principal offence basis.
(4) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Evidence and Analysis Unit.
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