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HM Land Registry

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the Chief Executive

22 Jan 2002 : Column 801W

of HM Land Registry will reply to the letter of 24 November 2001 from Dr. and Mrs. Pim about case reference 700/01/202. [29374]

Mr. Wills: Correspondence about individual land registration cases is a matter for the Chief Land Registrar. The Land Registry's target for responding to letters connected with a complaint is five working days. In the current financial year to December 2001, it met this target in 92 per cent. of cases. I understand that, owing to an administrative error, Dr. and Mrs. Pim's letter was regrettably mislaid in the Land Registry and a reply was not sent within the target time. I also understand that the Chief Land Registrar wrote to Dr. and Mrs. Pim on 18 January to apologise for the delay in writing to them and to give them the information they required.

Stolen Equipment

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what equipment has been stolen from the Lord Chancellor's Department since 1 May 1997; and what the approximate value of each item was. [26832]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This answer relates to the Department's offices and courts throughout England and Wales. Of the total figure for the year 2000–01 of £151,603.48 (listed in the table), £129,000 resulted from four separate incidents of theft. This comprises the separate figures of £73,000 (12 April 2000), £15,000 (18 May 2000), £16,000 (28 June 2000) and £25,000 (11 November 2000). Of these amounts, the cheques included in the figure of £73,000 have been recovered and the remainder (cash) was borne by one of the Department's PFI contractors. The figure of £15,000 was also borne by a PFI contractor. The figures are as in the table.

Date of incidentItems stolen/lostValue (£)
Financial year 1997–98
11 April 1997Cash200.00
26 April 1997Cash55.00
1 May 1997TV/video450.00
11 May 1997Cash500.00
11 May 1997Printers x 41,000.00
16 May 1997Video recorder350.00
20 May 1997Printer250.00
22 May 1997Laser printer fax machine250.00
3 June 1997Laptop1,000.00
1 July 1997Recorder and CD1,000.00
23 July 1997PC mouse10.00
17 August 1997Laser printer250.00
18 August 1997Pen150.00
9 September 1997Laptop1,500.00
15 September 1997Video recorder250.00
7 November 1997Desk tops x 5 and printer300.00
22 November 1997Video recorder250.00
16 December 1997PC1,500.00
22 December 1997Laptop1,500.00
6 January 1998Laptop1,000.00
9 January 1998PC1,000.00
12 January 1998PC mouse10.00
12 January 1998Printer, keyboard and telephone250.00
17 February 1998Answering machine73.00
5 March 1998Assorted cutlery65.00
12 March 1998External security light100.00
19 March 1998Laptop50.00
19 March 1998Colour TV and file server50.00
20 March 1998File server and chips3,000.00
21 March 1998Cufflinks50.00
27 March 1998Cash160.00
29 March 1998Keyboards x 4, mouse and barcode reader300.00
29 March 1998Pocket memo recorder10.00
Total16,883.00
Financial year 1998–99
03 April 1998Cash230.00
14 April 1998Contents of payphone80.00
18 May 1998PC150.00
19 May 1998CPU's missing1,000.00
29 May 1998Video recorder200.00
29 May 1998Printer cables20.00
2 June 1998Mobile phone100.00
12 June 1998Computers x 44,000.00
12 June 1998PC250.00
24 June 1998Laptop1,300.00
27 June 1998TV and CD radio800.00
29 June 1998TV/video, TV, radio800.00
6 July 1998CD49.00
10 July 1998Wallet130.00
11 July 1998Safe and laser printer50.00
14 July 1998 Laptop2,000.00
15 July 1998Safe1,015.00
20 July 1998Cash102.00
21 July 1998Roof Lead1,500.00
21 July 1998External security camera200.00
24 July 1998Laptop1,300.00
27 July 1998First aid boxes148.00
5 August 1998Pen and lighter90.00
6 August 1998 Office CD350.00
12 August 1998CD/radio129.00
20 August 1998Mobile phone95.00
17 September 1998Video recorder350.00
24 September 1998Printer200.00
9 October 1998Printer49.00
21 October 1998Handbag and contents110.00
21 October 1998Laptop49.00
29 October 1998Printer700.00
20 November 1998Laptop49.00
10 December 1998Laptop2,500.00
14 December 1998Handbag and contents50.00
16 December 1998Vacuum cleaner100.00
19 March 1999Laptop49.00
29 March 1999Specialist phone50.00
1 April 1999Payphone and cash500.00
Total20,844.00
Financial year 1999–2000
10 April 1999Cash67.00
26 April 1999Payphone505.00
9 May 1999Roof Lead500.00
10 May 1999PC49.00
15 June 1999Mobile phone113.00
4 July 1999Union flag and rope65.00
11 August 1999PC1,500.00
16 August 1999Keyboard and printer49.00
17 August 1999Payphone340.00
20 August 1999Laptop1,500.00
20 August 1999Laptop1,500.00
24 August 1999Payphone340.00
15 September 1999Cash340.00
16 September 1999Payphone200.00
26 September 1999TV and CD player318.85
13 October 1999Mobile phone158.25
21 October 1999Mobile phone50.00
28 October 1999PC49.00
29 November 1999Wallet and contents120.00
30 November 1999Attempt to defraud court service49.00
9 December 1999Laptop200.00
10 January 2000Hard drives x 3600.00
13 January 2000Video camera500.00
20 January 2000Purse49.00
1 February 2000Laptop49.00
2 February 2000Payphone50.00
19 February 2000Union flag40.00
16 March 2000Dictaphone69.81
19 March 2000Vending machine340.00
Total9,710.91
Financial year 2000–01
3 April 2000Barrier rope116.00
3 April 2000Rope116.32
12 April 2000Cash and cheques73,000.00
12 April 2000Cashbox49.00
21 April 2000Electronic postal scales500.00
29 April 2000Tape recorder38.42
18 May 2000PC base units x 1515,000.00
13 June 2000Handbag and personal palm pilot400.00
22 June 2000TV/video250.00
28 June 2000PC's x 5416,000.00
1 July 2000Laptop1,500.00
3 July 2000Mobile phone50.00
3 July 2000Mobile phone50.00
27 July 2000Cash2,300.00
8 August 2000Mobile phone117.50
10 August 2000Laptop1,000.00
30 August 2000Union flag109.24
20 September 2000Payphone550.00
21 September 2000Laptop500.00
27 September 2000Laptop1,500.00
27 September 2000Laptop1,500.00
28 September 2000TV/video160.00
28 September 2000TV/video160.00
6 October 2000PC150.00
11 November 2000Laptops x 9, keyboards x 2, projector and mobile phone25,000.00
15 November 2000Laptop500.00
16 December 2000Cash140.00
8 January 2001PTO break in49.00
11 January 2001Department mobile phone100.00
2 February 2001CCTV camera600.00
21 March 2001Laptop49.00
26 March 2001Data stolen49.00
Total151,603.48

22 Jan 2002 : Column 803W

Magistrates Courts

Mr. Luff: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the sum imposed as fines by magistrates courts in the latest 12-month period for which figures are available; how much of that total was collected; and if he will make a statement. [28595]

Mr. Wills: Magistrates courts committees are responsible for the collection of a range of debts imposed through the courts, including fines, fees, compensation, confiscation orders, legal aid contributions and some maintenance orders. It is not possible to separate out just the fines from the total.

The total amount imposed by magistrates in the period October 2000 to September 2001 was £358,702,837. Further amounts were imposed by other agencies, including the Crown court, making a total of new impositions which the magistrates courts had responsibility for collecting of £374,440,914.

The total amount of money collected by the courts in the same period was £232,220,021. Most fines etc are paid by instalment, by agreement with the court. Some of the instalments on impositions made in 2000–01 are therefore not yet due for payment. The gap between the amount imposed and the amount collected is due in part to defendants' inability to pay as well as their attempts to avoid payment. Severe sanctions are available to the courts for non-payment, including the seizure of goods and imprisonment. Nevertheless the present situation leaves much room for improvement. The Access to Justice Act 1999 strengthened the powers of the magistrates courts committees to take effective action against defaulters and we have introduced an information sharing arrangement with the Department of Work and Pensions, which enables magistrates courts committees to trace a significantly increased proportion of defaulters.

22 Jan 2002 : Column 804W


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