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Mr. Michael Foster: The conventional conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and LTTE ended in May 2009. Approximately 270,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) continue to remain in camps in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Since September 2008, the Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated £12.5 million of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka. This has supported impartial organisations such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to undertake both child protection and vaccination campaigns in the IDP camps, as well as the International Office of Migration (IOM) to build, equip and supply health clinics in the camps. We are pressing for the IDPs to be treated in accordance with accepted international standards and guidelines and for the safe return of the IDPs from the camps to their homes as soon as possible.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much development aid has been provided by his Department to each programme in Zimbabwe in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Thomas: Summary information on the Department for International Development's (DFID) aid to Zimbabwe in each of the last three years was published in annex A of DFID's 2008-09 annual report and resource accounts in July, a copy of which is available in the Library. Information on all individual DFID-funded projects is available via the project information database on our website at:
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the merits of amending the Penalty Notice for Disorder operational guidance issued to police to ensure that such notices are only issued in police stations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: There are significant advantages to issue on the street in appropriate circumstances: officers do not need to return to the police station in order to process the matter and they are able to return to patrol much more quickly, resulting in efficiency savings and a better service to the public. In 2007, 115,939 PNDs were issued in a police station and 91,605 on the street.
The operational guidance to the police sets out the criteria which should be considered by officers in deciding where to issue a PND. For example, a ticket must not be issued to a suspect who is drunk, which means that issue will take place in a police station once the individual has sobered up.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have been released early into bail hostels since 1997; and how many such prisoners have subsequently absconded from bail hostels. 
Data about offenders released into approved premises (formerly known as bail/probation hostels) have been collected centrally only since April 2004, from information supplied by individual approved premises. We estimate that 25,935 offenders released on licence were admitted into APs between April 2004 and March 2009.
Figures about residents who have absconded from an approved premises and are still at large on the final day of each month have been collected only since April 2006, with additional figures collected since April 2008 for those residents who have absconded and are known to have been recalled to prison during the month. Neither of these figures is broken down by resident type, and so will include residents who are on bail or serving a community sentence. In addition, our figures do not separately record absconded residents who are arrested at a later date, so there may be some double counting.
Between April 2006 and March 2009, a total of 1,251 residents absconded and were believed still to be at large at the end of the month in question. In addition, between April 2008 and March 2009 1,023 residents absconded and were recalled to prison.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison staff have been suspended from HM Prison Belmarsh in each of the last 60 days; for what reason each member of staff was suspended; and how many prison staff are working at the prison. 
Maria Eagle: Six members of staff have been suspended at HMP Belmarsh in the last 60 days while some aspect of their conduct is under investigation. These investigations are still ongoing and as such it would not be appropriate to release any other information that might serve to identify individual members of staff. The National Offender Management Service has a responsibility to ensure that the individuals concerned are treated fairly and reasonably, and that their cases are not subject to discussion and formulation of views in advance of full consideration of the evidence. As of 7 October 2009 there were 940 staff working at HMP Belmarsh.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Prime Minister's statement of 10 June 2009, Official Report, columns 795-99, on constitutional renewal, when the Government will set out its proposals for taking forward the debate on electoral reform. 
Mr. Wills: On 29 September, the Prime Minister made a commitment to hold a referendum early in the next Parliament on changing the current voting system for the House of Commons to the Alternative Vote system.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children commenced a period of definition on the juvenile secure estate (a) on remand and (b) after sentencing for (i) less than one month, (ii) less than six months, (iii) less than one year, (iv) less than three years and (v) more than three years in each of the last five years. 
Maria Eagle: The statistics collected by the Youth Justice Board record the number of occasions on which young people have entered custody, rather than the number of individual young people who have begun a period in custody. (These figures are different because a young person may experience more than one period in custody.) These figures, in relation to the period and categories for which information has been requested, are set out in the following table.
The figures have been supplied by the Youth Justice Board and 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 and may be subject to change over time.
|Time spent in custody in the secure estate for children and young people||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||2008-09|
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he expects to announce the conclusions of his review into the operation of conditional fee agreements following the end of the consultation contained in paper CP4/09, "Controlling costs in defamation proceedings". 
The consultation paper CP4/09 "Controlling costs in defamation proceedings" proposed a number of specific measures aimed at controlling the costs of defamation and some other publication related proceedings.
I have made a written ministerial statement today confirming that the response to that consultation paper was issued on 24 September 2009. Copies of the response paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The paper is also available on the Ministry of Justice website at:
Lord Justice Jackson has been appointed by the Master of the Rolls to undertake a review of the rules and principles governing the costs of civil litigation. He is considering the operation of conditional fee agreements as part of this review. Ministers will consider the review's recommendations when they are available.
Bridget Prentice: I have made a written ministerial statement today confirming that the response to the consultation paper "Controlling costs in defamation proceedings" CP4/09 was issued on 24 September 2009.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what reports he has received of the outcome of the second stage of the review by Sir Rupert Jackson of the (a) costs of litigation and (b) operation of conditional fee agreements in England and Wales; and when he expects the (i) first draft and (ii) final draft of Sir Rupert's report to be available. 
Bridget Prentice: Lord Justice Jackson was appointed by the Master of the Rolls in January 2009 to lead a fundamental review of the rules and principles governing the costs of civil litigation. Ministers have received a copy of the preliminary report published on the 8 May 2009. Lord Justice Jackson has indicated that his final report will be delivered to the Master of the Rolls by the 31 December 2009 and Ministers expect to receive a copy of the report early in the New Year.
Mr. Straw: Ministers and senior officials hold regular reviews with departmental leads to ensure that the policy is being implemented consistently in all probation areas. Community Payback was launched in November 2005 to promote public awareness and confidence in the unpaid work community sentence. To increase visibility, distinctive clothing in the form of orange high visibility jackets has been required to be worn by offenders on most work sites, which are in view of the public, since December 2008. The use of distinctive clothing has been monitored. During the quarter April to June 2009 over one million hours of Community Payback were undertaken by offenders wearing distinctive clothing. If the hon. Member has specific concerns I would be glad to hear from him.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people who had been placed on the high visibility payback scheme were rearrested within three months of participating on the scheme since its inception. 
The most recent information available relating to reoffending by adults is for those sentenced during the first three months of 2007. Offenders sentenced to Community Payback (unpaid work) during this period had a 25.8 per cent. rate of reoffending. This is the lowest rate of reoffending of the top five commonly used community orders, though it may only reflect the characteristics of offenders sentenced to Community Payback rather than simply the effectiveness of Community Payback in reducing the likelihood of reoffending.
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