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Police National Computer

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proportion of convictions were entered on the Police National Computer within three days of the conviction in the last six months; [77119]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 28 October 2002]: Information is not collected in the form requested. Courts are required to notify court results (in conviction and other cases) to police forces within three working days of completion of the case. Under performance standards set by the Association of Chief Police Officers, police forces are required to input court results (in conviction and other cases) onto the Police National Computer within 72 hours of the receipt of information from the court about the case disposal. We are determined that such key information should be recorded on the Police National Computer in a timely fashion- We therefore commissioned Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to manage and monitor a 12-month programme of work for every force to improve the timeliness of the inputting of key data. As regards court results, the primary purpose was to clear backlog of outstanding cases. The Inspectorate's first report showed considerable progress. Its second report, on the programme overall, which indicates substantial further progress, is under consideration.

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Retail Crime

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures the Government have introduced since 1997 to enable retailers to ban customers from their premises. [78176]

Mr. Denham: [holding answer 29 October 2002]: Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs), which have been available since April 1999, can be used to exclude people from specific areas such as retail premises or shopping centres. ASBOs are currently granted by magistrates on application from the police or local authority.

The Government have also provided support to the British Retail Consortium to assist them in setting up retail crime partnerships. Members of these partnerships use exclusion notices to prevent people from entering their premises.

Rural policing funds

Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Government has to absorb rural policing funds into the main formula by increasing the sparsity factor. [76947]

Mr. Denham: The option to incorporate the #30 million rural policing fund into the main formula and to increase the sparsity component to one per cent. was one of a number of options for change that were included in the local government finance formula grant distribution paper in July.

We are taking into account all responses received during the consultation period and are considering carefully the impact of implementing each of the changes. We shall announce our conclusions shortly.

Speeding Offences

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the powers of a police authority to apply money raised from speeding fines for anti-speeding strategies. [77838]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: [holding answer 29 October 2002]: All revenue from speeding offences is normally paid to Her Majesty's Treasury. Under a scheme currently being rolled out nationally, however, fixed penalty fine revenue from enforcement by the use of speed and red-light traffic cameras can be re-invested to meet the costs of such enforcement. Deployment of cameras so funded is subject to strict conditions, including that sites must have a history of speed related casualties and that the cameras must be clearly visible and conspicuous, in order to deter speeding. Money left over goes, as before, to Her Majesty's Treasury.

UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Mr.Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whom he plans to send to represent the Government at the 46th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs to be held in April 2003; and what issues the Government expect to raise at the session. [77355]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 28 October 2002]: The Government are normally represented by a Home Office official at commission sessions. The 46th session

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will include a ministerial segment, but the Government will not make a decision about representation at this level until the new year, when the agenda for it will be finalised.

Youth Inclusion Programmes

Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to fund Youth Inclusion programmes beyond their initial three-year period. [76977]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 28 October 2002: We announced on 21 October that the existing Youth Inclusion programme will receive funding for a further three years from April 2003. These schemes, which operate in the most deprived neighbourhoods in England and Wales, have been successful in engaging those young people most at risk of crime, leading to reductions in arrests and rates of crime in the local areas. The Youth Inclusion programme is one of a range of measures that we have introduced to address youth crime. The programmes include work with families, schools and in neighbourhoods, and our programme to reduce street crime.


Damages (Minors)

Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, if he will require that, when an award of damages to a minor is invested, the principal sum is guaranteed in the event of a fall in the value of the investment. [77649]

Yvette Cooper: The Court Funds Office (CFO) is the Office of the Accountant General of the Supreme Court. One of the functions of the CFO is to administer funds paid into court on behalf of children when an award of damages is made by the court. The CFO will hold money until the child's 18th birthday unless a Court Order instructs otherwise.

Money is invested in one of two ways:

The investment approach to be applied depends upon the investment policy set by the court, the requirements of the fund, the age of the child and the amount of money held. Smaller sums held for shorter periods are placed on deposit and the principal sum will be secure. Larger sums held for longer periods are invested for the long-term usually, with equity exposure. In these cases, no absolute guarantee of capital value can be given.

Judicial Appointments Annual Report

Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, when the fourth Judicial Appointments Annual Report is to be published and what information this edition will contain. [78777]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Judicial Appointments Annual Report, covering the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002, is published today. The report includes comprehensive narrative descriptions and statistics on appointments to the judiciary, Queen's Counsel, lay magistrates and general commissioners of income tax. It describes the continuing development of the Lord Chancellor's appointments policies, procedures and initiatives, including the establishment of the Commission for Judicial Appointments, and progress in implementing other recommendations from Sir Leonard Peach's 1999 scrutiny.

Copies of the report have been placed in both Libraries. The report is also available on the internet.

Magistrates Courts (Greater Manchester)

Andrew Bennett: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how much was awarded in fines in each of the last 12 months and what percentage of such fines have been (a) collected and (b) written off by each magistrates court in Greater Manchester; and what assessment the Lord Chancellor has made of the impact of court enforcement officers in fine enforcements. [77809]

Yvette Cooper: Magistrates courts committees (MCCs) have a responsibility for the collection of a range of debts imposed by the magistrates courts and the Crown court. Debt collected includes not only fines but also fees, compensation, confiscation orders, legal aid contributions and some maintenance orders. It is not possible to separate out only fines from the total.

Greater Manchester magistrates courts committee was unable to provide a monthly breakdown of figures. Data are collected from each of the 11 court houses in their estate on a quarterly basis. The figures for the last four quarters are set out in the following table. The percentages in the debt paid and debt written off columns include amounts that have been imposed in previous quarters. It is not possible therefore to isolate the amounts imposed that have been paid and written off in any particular quarter.

The Government remain committed to improving the enforcement of financial penalties and addressing variations in performance. Current variations in performance across the country are far too wide. Work is under way with the MCCs to look at the reasons behind the wide variations to improve their performance.

Imposed (#)Percentage debt paid(25) Percentage debt written off(26)
October to December 2001378,0099323
January to March 2002332,80211421
April to June 2002397,1309427
July to September 2002381,9909528
Bury; Rochdale, Middleton and Haywood; Wigan; Leigh
October to December 20011,478,681628
January to March 20021,545,3006325
April to June 20021,504,221576
July to September 20021,827,8404711
October to December 20011,405,7935552
January to March 20021,602,2456452
April to June 20021,593,0206242
July to September 20021,550,8766955
October to December 2001293,1328937
January to March 2002248,6689640
April to June 2002232,11412053
July to September 2002212,52812225
October to December 2001254,80016172
January to March 2002197,86013675
April to June 2002266,61711741
July to September 2002235,15810744
October to December 2001380,0568436
January to March 2002333,9999542
April to June 2002342,50511321
July to September 2002402,1878233
October to December 2001334,4327327
January to March 2002277,5207829
April to June 2002342,1156424
July to September 2002322,7916940
October to December 2001895,558388
January to March 20021,072,288267
April to June 20021,106,0343018
July to September 20021,038,7533288

(25) Includes civil debt and debt imposed in previous quarters and paid in the present quarter.

(26) Percentage debt that was imposed in previous quarters but has been deemed uncollectable in the present quarter.

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