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General Elections

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 3 March 2010, Official Report, column 1246W, on general elections, whether any local authority which counted votes on the evening of the 2005 general election was not refunded for the full staff costs of counting on that evening. [324842]

Mr. Wills: The Representation of the People Act 1983 provides that the Secretary of State will pay the reasonable costs of returning officers for the conduct of elections-including for the count-as long as they are necessary for the efficient and effective conduct of the poll. Where a claim for costs in relation to any aspect of the conduct of the poll does not satisfy this statutory test then it
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would not be met. Information about whether this happened in respect of the costs of the count process specifically in relation to any of the 569 claims from returning officers in England and Wales in 2005 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. I am not aware, however, that any returning officer was provided with insufficient funding for the count at the 2005 general election.

Human Trafficking: Confiscation Orders

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many confiscation orders there were against convicted traffickers between 1 April 2009 and 31 January 2010; and what estimate he has made of the likely level of savings to the public purse as a result. [324637]

Claire Ward: The available information is provided in the following table. The figures shown in the table relate solely to cases recorded on the Ministry of Justice courts proceedings database where an offence of Human trafficking or Drug trafficking was the principal offence for which the offender was sentenced and where the confiscation order was made at the point of sentence. It is possible that a confiscation order will be made in a separate court appearance following sentence. These cases are not included in this answer so it is possible the true number of confiscation orders is higher than presented here.

Data for 2008 have been provided as data for 2009 and 2010 are not yet available. Sentencing data for 2009 will be published later this year.

No estimates of likely levels of savings to the public purse relating specifically to confiscation orders for trafficking are known to have been calculated by the Ministry of Justice.

50 per cent. of money recovered is given back to the operational bodies to drive up asset recovery work. 50 per cent. is retained by the Home Office for core funding including the Regional Assets Recovery Team. This money represents an addition to budgets rather than a saving and is important in providing extra resources to take proceeds off the criminals.

Confiscation orders issued for drug( 1) or people trafficking( 2) , 2008

Drug trafficking People trafficking

Total confiscation orders (number)



Amount confiscated (£)



n/a = not applicable
(1) This includes drug offences relating to importation and exportation, supply, production and other relevant drug offences. These figures have been taken from table 4.10 of Sentencing Statistics 2008.
(2) Trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation
Trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation
Trafficking out of the UK for sexual exploitation
Trafficking people Into the UK for the purpose of exploitation
Trafficking people within the UK for the purpose of exploitation
Trafficking people out of the UK
1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
2. These data have been taken from the Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings database. These data are presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.
3. Sentencing data are usually based on the principal offence and the primary disposal for that offence. A confiscation order is an ancillary disposal usually given alongside the main sentence, these results show the number and amount for confiscation orders given as any one of four disposals recorded against a principal offence of trafficking.

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National Offender Management Service: Manpower

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many persons are employed at the National Offender Management Service (a) head office and (b) regional offices; how many such employees have (i) a probation background and (ii) a prison background; and how many such employees are career civil servants. [323753]

Maria Eagle: The prison and probation services operate within the framework of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Agency. For historical reasons the two services have different employment structures. Prison Service staff are civil servants and are directly employed by the NOMS agency. Probation service staff are not civil servants and are employed by a probation board or trust.

Information on the career histories of National Offender Management Service headquarters (NOMS) staff does not include national probation service (NPS) experience. It is therefore not possible to provide figures of how many NOMS headquarters staff have a NPS background. Career history information that is available shows that 1,776 NOMS headquarters staff have previous experience in Prison Service establishments and are considered to have a prison background, although not all would have worked with offenders.

All NOMS headquarters staff other than those seconded from the NPS are civil servants. On 31 December 2009 there were 4,375 directly employed civil servants in national and regional offices and the shared service centre.

Newspaper Licensing Agency

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have paid to the Newspaper Licensing Agency in each year to date. [323966]

Mr. Wills: The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the right to control the ways in which their material may be used.

Under this Act, the Newspaper Licensing Agency provides businesses and other organisations with permission to share and copy newspaper content through the sale of a licence.

The level of licence fee payable to the Newspapers Licensing Agency comprises a basic fee payable by all users and a variable element that depends on the size of the organisation, determined by the number of staff employed or by turnover, and the number of titles to which access is required.

The Ministry of Justice is a major department of state that receives a high level of press coverage. It is essential that press coverage of the Department and the wider criminal justice arena is monitored and disseminated on a daily basis.

The Department

The central Communications directorate within the Ministry of Justice's headquarters is responsible for most communications across the Ministry of Justice group, including its agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

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Judicial communications are managed by a separate Judicial Communications Office (JCO). Expenditure with the Newspaper Licensing Agency since the Department was established in May 2007 by the central Communications directorate and JCO is as follows:






2009-10 (to 28 February 2010)


Licences are paid in advance and adjusted in arrears where actual staff or turnover would have led to a different licence fee being due. The 2007-08 fee was based on the staffing levels within the smaller predecessor Department, the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

From September 2009, the Department awarded a new contract for "media cuts" which included access to digital cuts for the first time. As a result of this, the Department's licence with the Newspaper Licensing Agency was extended to include digital licence fees. For 2009-10 these additional costs were £44,289.05 and covered the period from mid-September to the end of the financial year. The use of digital media allows far more staff to access information and helps reduce paper.


The Ministry of Justice has four executive agencies: Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS), the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian. Only HMCS and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) have incurred expenditure with the Newspaper Licensing Agency.









2009-10 (to 28 February 2010)



Offenders: Sentencing

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many pre-sentencing reports were requested in relation to offences of (a) false documentation, (b) assisting in the running of a brothel, (c) soliciting or loitering and (d) cannabis cultivation between 1 April 2009 and 31 January 2010. [324636]

Claire Ward: Figures showing the numbers of pre-sentence reports that were issued in the period between 1 April 2009 and 30 September 2009, the latest date for which figures have been published for the offences indicated, are as follows:

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Forging vehicle or driving documents


Keeping brothel






Soliciting woman from motor vehicle


Supply Class B drug


All other offences




These are a reworking of figures available at the following website:

Information on cannabis cultivation is not held separately; only offences involving driver and vehicle documentation are included.

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.


Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the written ministerial statement of 23 July 2007, Official Report, column 40WS, on emoluments, when he made the statement on emoluments. [323687]

Mr. Straw: No statement on emoluments has yet been made.

Pleural Plaques

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the written ministerial statement of 25 February 2010, Official Report, columns 79-83WS, on pleural plaques, when he expects to announce the full details of the Pleural Plaques Former Claimants' Payment Scheme; who will be eligible for such payments; how the scheme will be operated; on what date he expects the scheme to be operational; and if he will make a statement. [324846]

Bridget Prentice: Detailed arrangements for the extra-statutory payment scheme on pleural plaques are in the process of being finalised and will be announced in due course. In the meantime, a helpline has been set up to provide information and advice for people inquiring as to whether they qualify for a payment under this scheme. The helpline number is 020 3334 3334.

Prison Sentences

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people are serving a sentence of less than (a) one year, (b) two years and (c) four years for (i) homicide, (ii) rape, (iii) attempted rape and (iv) a sexual offence involving children. [323061]

Mr. Straw: The following table gives figures as at 30 June 2009, the latest date of publication for which these figures are available, showing the determinate sentence length bands requested for the total number of prisoners in all prison establishments in England and Wales serving sentences for (i) murder, conspiracy to murder, manslaughter and (ii) rape. Separate figures are not available for attempted rape.

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Number of prisoners serving less than four years for specific offences
Sentence length Murder Conspire, aid, and incite to murder Manslaughter Causing death by reckless driving Rape Gross indecency, indecent assault of a child

Less than one year







1 to less than 2 years







2 to less than 4 years







The table also shows number of prisoners serving determinate sentences for (iv) gross indecency with children. However, it is not possible to give a comprehensive total of sexual offence cases which involve offences against children, as other categories of offences do not define the age of the victim. To answer this part of the question comprehensively would involve a manual search of all the relevant prison records, at disproportionate cost.

The courts must impose a mandatory life sentence on any individual convicted of murder. This is the only sentence available for such a conviction.

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.

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