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Quantum Project

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department has spent so far on the Quantum project; and what benefits it has produced in terms of providing (a) updated technology, (b) increased efficiency and (c) better quality of information; and if he will make a statement. [2121]

Beverley Hughes: The cost of the Quantum project to July 1998 (when it was suspended) was £8.3 million. The procurement recommenced in February 1999 and led to award of contract to Electronic Data Systems (EDS) 12 months later. Initially, EDS took responsibility for all existing Prison Service information technology and telecommunications services. From the recommendations to date, some £44 million has been spent by the Prison Service on Quantum. This includes payments to EDS for the provision of information technology and telecommunications services.

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Under the terms of the Quantum agreement, EDS is responsible for updating the information technology and telecommunications infrastructure technology and telecommunications infrastructure of the Prison Service. This involves, among other things, installation of standard office computer software and equipment. The new infrastructure will be the technological platform for future business change projects and for delivering the benefits associated with improving efficiency and the quality of information.

Cricket Match Safety

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will introduce legislation to make it an offence for members of the crowd at (a) international cricket matches and (b) other sporting events to enter the field of play without good reason while the match is in progress; and if he will make a statement; [759]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The Minister of Sport and I met representatives of the English Cricket Board (ECB) on 27 June to discuss the incidents at Headingly, Trent Bridge and Lords. A joint review group, comprising representatives of the ECB, Home Office, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Association of Chief Police Officers, was asked to examine all aspects of crowd management, existing legislation and ground regulations to identify how the cricketing authorities could minimise the potential for further incidents.


Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recourse is available to men who have been (a) acquitted of rape charges and (b) charged with rape but the charges were later withdrawn, with particular reference to those whose names have been published. [1816]

Mr. Keith Bradley: If the individual believed that an acquittal or withdrawal was insufficient to clear his name and there were grounds for claiming that the prosecution was malicious and brought without reasonable cause, it would be open to him to bring a civil claim against the person or authority responsible. If there was evidence to suggest that a malicious complaint had been made, it would be open to the police and Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether a criminal offence had been committed. If there had been improper or unreasonable behaviour on the part of the police, a complaint could be made to the Chief Officer of the force concerned.

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Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many men charged with rape were subsequently (a) acquitted and (b) had charges withdrawn in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [1815]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The number of men charged with rape is not recorded centrally.

Available information held centrally showing the number of men proceeded against at all courts for rape together with the numbers acquitted or who had the proceedings against them withdrawn is given in the table.

The numbers of men proceeded against for rape together with the numbers subsequently acquitted or who had the charge withdrawn, England and Wales 1990–99

Number proceeded againstNumber acquitted or withdrawn

Parenting Classes

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the projects that his Department is funding in the current financial year that (a) provide parenting classes for adults and (b) otherwise include a parenting skills element. [1722]

Mr. Blunkett: The Family Policy Unit at the Home Office under Family Support Grant (FSG) funds voluntary sector projects aimed at providing support for parents in their parenting role. Not all projects funded provide parenting classes as it is accepted that some parents prefer other methods, though all the funded work aims at supporting parents in their parenting role. Additionally not all the funded projects provide direct face-to-face services to adults as some like the National Family and Parenting Institute and Parentline Plus have a national role, such as the provision of information or a freephone telephone helpline, while some produce support materials to be used across the voluntary sector.

Following the last Spending Review the current total available to voluntary organisations through the Family Support Grant is £5.6 million per year for a three year period beginning 1 April 2001. The emphasis of the grant is on evaluated practice, developing new or existing models of practice in new ways and on dissemination or replication of good practice and effective work rather than routinely supporting locally delivered programmes.

Following is a list of the organisations that currently receive funding under Family Support Grant. However, in addition to the list, there are other projects, funded through the Department for Education and Skills, local

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government and carry-over from previous Home Office programmes. Such programmes will be a key priority for the development of the Childrens Fund.

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Life Sentences

Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions took place for offences carrying a potential life sentence in each year since 1974; how many resulted in conviction; and how many of those convictions were reversed at appeal. [1973]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The information requested is available only at disproportionate cost.

Mediation Services

Mr. Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support has been given by his Department to Mediation UK in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement about Government support for local mediation services. [2134]

Angela Eagle: In 1999, the Home Office awarded a one-off grant of £30,000 towards Mediation UK's core costs. In both 2000–01 and 2001–02 the Home Office has granted £15,000 to Mediation UK as part of a joint funding exercise to provide core funding that also includes the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Department of Health and the former Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

The Government acknowledge the valuable work done by local mediation services but funding of this work is of course at the discretion of local authorities.

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