Previous Section Index Home Page

17 Jan 2011 : Column 656W—continued

Sentencing Green Paper

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what budget his Department has set for its planned consultation events on the Sentencing Green Paper. [32937]

Mr Blunt: The cost of consultation events will be met within existing budgets of policy areas developing proposals and therefore no overall budget has been set. Costs will be kept to a minimum, and for those 11 events already planned it is estimated that they will cost no more than £10,000.

Sentencing: Young People

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of suspended sentences given to 18 to 20-year-olds were breached leading to the activation of a custodial sentence in the last three years for which figures are available. [33676]

Mr Blunt: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, data are available on the reasons for termination of suspended sentence orders during the supervision period of the order. These reasons include early termination for failure to comply with requirements or for conviction of a further offence. The number and proportion of suspended sentence orders which terminated for these reasons for the years 2007 to 2009 for 18 to 20-year-olds are shown in the following table:

Failure to comply with requirements Convicted of further offence

Number Proportion of all SSO terminations Number Proportion of all SSO terminations
















It is not possible to compare percentages in 2007 with later years because not enough time had elapsed since these orders were introduced in April 2005 to allow a sufficiently high percentage to run their full course.

In addition, the figures for receptions into prison of 18 to 20-year-olds for breach of a Suspended Sentence Order were 913 in 2007, 1,040 in 2008 and 824 in 2009.

17 Jan 2011 : Column 657W

These figures 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.

Separation: Cohabitation

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will assess the merits of introducing guidance on the division of the estates of co-habiting couples who separate. [33275]

Mr Djanogly: This Government are considering the published research on the impact of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, which contains provisions for cohabitants when their relationship ends, along with the proposals set out in the Law Commission's report, 'Cohabitation: The 'Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown' published in 2007.

We will announce shortly the outcome of that consideration and in advance of this it would be premature to consider the introduction of guidance.

17 Jan 2011 : Column 658W


Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 6 December 2010, Official Report, column 126W, on squatting: crime, under what circumstances squatting in residential properties may be considered an act of peaceful protest. [33342]

Mr Blunt: Our review of the law in relation to squatting is not only looking at squatting in residential properties but also squatting in non-residential properties. As part of that package we need to take account of all of the coalition commitments, including those to uphold the right to peaceful protest and to guard against the proliferation of unnecessary criminal offences.

Protestors have in the past occupied residential properties (e.g. to protest on the roofs of the homes of political figures) and non-residential buildings (e.g. to stage a sit-in to protest against the policies of an employer) to generate publicity for their causes. These may not be typical cases of 'squatting', but we need to recognise the various forms trespass can take when exploring the possibilities for strengthening the law in this area.

    Index Home Page