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Re-offending

33. Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the incidence of re-offending of those sentenced to (a) community sentences and (b) fines in the last five years. [47095]

Mr. Keith Bradley: Information on re-offending rates, as opposed to reconviction rates, for persons sentenced to community sentences and fines is not collected. Re-offending rates are not normally measured as they rely on the self-reporting of offending by offenders. Such an approach can lead to questions over the reliability of data based on individuals' recollection and willingness to tell an official source about their offending behaviour.

However, information on reconviction rates for persons convicted of a standard list offence and sentenced to a community penalty or fine is collected. The reconviction rate is normally measured over a period of two years from the commencement of the community penalty or the date a person receives a fine. The reconviction rates are shown in the table. These rates include convictions for offences committed prior to the offences for which a financial or community sentence was imposed.

Reconviction rates for persons commencing community sentences or fined for a standard list offence and reconvicted within two years.

Reconviction rates(3) for persons commencing community sentences or fined for a standard list offence and reconvicted within two years

Percentage reconvicted within two years
All community penaltiesPersons fined
19945445
19955643
19965636
19975538
19985635

(3) Unadjusted for factors which are known to have an impact on reconviction, such as previous criminal history, age, gender, and offence.


Youth Crime

34. Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans to reduce youth crime. [47096]

Mr. Denham: The Government are supporting a wide ranging programme which is tackling the issue of youth offending. This includes working with families through the Sure Start initiative, neighbourhoods through Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, education services through reducing exclusions and improving attendance and implementation of the 10 year drugs strategy.

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The improvements made to the youth justice system have also resulted in the tackling of delays in the system and the speeding up of justice, establishing new youth justice structures and making available expanded powers for the courts and police to use.

Combined with the Home Secretary's recent announcement on making remand facilities available for persistent young offenders aged 12–16, a greater impetus to the use of antisocial behaviour orders by local authorities and the establishment of the London youth crime task force we are taking forward a programme which deals head on with youth crime on all fronts.

Dungavel Detention Centre

35. Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on conditions for asylum seekers at the Dungavel detention centre. [47097]

Angela Eagle: All removal centres must provide for the safety and care of detainees in compliance with the Detention Centre Rules 2001. The rules set out the rights and responsibilities of those held in removal centres and of those who operate such centres. The contract with the Premier Custodial Group Ltd., which operates Dungavel removal centre, reflects the requirements of the rules.

Prison Suicides

36. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have committed suicide in the last year for which figures are available; and how many of these occurred in safe cells. [47098]

Beverley Hughes: There were 72 self-inflicted deaths of prisoners in 2001, a reduction of 11 per cent. on the year 2000. Two of these occurred in safer cells.

Public Sector Workers (Attacks)

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to prevent attacks on public sector workers. [47075]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Violence, threats and abuse to workers from any sector are unacceptable.

The Health and Safety Commission has agreed a three-year programme of work (2000–03) to help employers tackle the increasing problem of work-related violence. We will be working with the Health and Safety Executive, who are responsible for implementing Commission policies, on elements of their programme to help to reduce the incidents of work-related violence.

In addition, the Home Office Police Scientific Development Branch have also been successful in securing funding under the Invest to Save Budget for Safer Hospitals and Safer Schools projects. Both projects will involve bringing together both existing and emerging technologies to deliver reductions in violent crime against staff, patients and pupils and a reduction in associated property crime.

Home Detention Curfew

Joyce Quin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make an outline statement on his Department's policy on home detention curfew for prisoners released before the end of their sentence. [47080]

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Beverley Hughes: Under the Home Detention Curfew (HDC) scheme prisoners serving over three months and under four years, who pass a risk assessment, may be released up to 60 days early to spend the final part of their sentence under an electronic curfew. 46,000 prisoners have been released on the scheme since it began in January 1999. Over 93 per cent. completed the scheme successfully.

From the beginning of May 2002, prisoners serving sentences of three months or over but under 12 months, with the exception of those convicted of violent or drugs offences within the previous three years and prisoners who have any history of sexual offending, will be released on HDC for the latter part of their sentence unless there are compelling reasons not to do so.

999 Calls

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many 999 calls have been made to Suffolk Constabulary since July 1997; and how many of these calls needed an emergency police response. [50582]

Mr. Denham: The figures are as follows:

1997 to 2002Number of 999 calls madeNumber of these calls which needed an emergency police response
1997–9861,96138,524
1998–9975,07938,011
1999–200088,74035,795
2000–01100,203(4)9,960
2001–02117,452(4)9,671
Total443,435131,961

(4) Suffolk Constabulary changed the grading policy to respond in a more scientific way.


Information on other aspects of Suffolk Constabulary's performance can be found in their Policing Plan 2002–03.

Tagged Offenders (Norfolk)

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many tagged offenders have re-offended in Norfolk following release from prison. [47070]

Beverley Hughes: The data requested are not readily available. To provide a geographical breakdown of re-offending would incur a disproportionate cost. However, less than 2 per cent. of offenders placed on the home detention curfew scheme across the country have been reported as committing a further offence. This low figure would suggest that the scheme is operating effectively.

Prisoners (Education)

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what work his Department is undertaking to raise the educational achievements of serving prisoners. [47076]

Beverley Hughes: We have increased prison education funding by 15 per cent. in real terms over the next two years. We have set challenging basic skills targets for every prison. We will raise standards and learner achievement by bringing developments in mainstream

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provision into prisons. From April 2002, we will be ensuring that provision meets national standards by introducing the Common Inspection Framework into prisons along with a national strategy to support continuous improvement in prisons.

Football Hooligans

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he gives on policing Football League games in England. [49932]

Mr. Denham: Home Office advice is provided on the legislative framework for policing football matches. Responsibility for policing matches rests with the local police ground and match commanders. Operational guidance is co-ordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals, by club, who purport to support English Nationwide and Premier League football teams are classified as football hooligans within Home Office categories. [49931]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is not held centrally. Local police forces are responsible for monitoring and maintaining a record of the behaviour of football hooligans who associate themselves with domestic football clubs. Government, Association of Chief Police Officers and the National Criminal Intelligence Service no longer apply hooligan categories to individuals involved in football disorder. This has been replaced by a more targeted, intelligence-led approach.


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