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Volume 264: debated on Thursday 19 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many persons aged (a) 10 to 16 years, (b) 17 to 21 years and (c) over 21 years were on magistrates court bail at the latest date available; how many in each age group were the subject of a bail condition; what were those bail conditions; and for each age group, how many were re-arrested and subsequently charged with an additional offence; [37177](2) how many of those persons bailed from magistrates courts in England and Wales were bailed

(a) unconditionally, (b) with a condition of residence, (c) with a condition of reporting to the police, (d) with a condition of loss of passport, (e) with a condition of a hostel and (f) with any other condition at the latest date available; and what percentage of each group were subsequently re-arrested and charged; [37175]

(3) how many persons were subject of (a) police bail and (b) magistrates court bail at the latest date available; and to how many were conditions attached; [37174]

(4) what percentage of all persons granted magistrates court bail was re-arrested and subsequently charged with a further offence. [37176]

The available statistics are published annually in chapter 8 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", particularly tables 8.5 and 8.6. Information by age group for indicatable offences is given in table 1. Information of persons found guilty or cautioned for absconding after release on bail is given in table 2.Information on bail conditions imposed by magistrates courts is not routinely collected. Provisional figures from a sample survey for the proportion given any bail condition are given in table 3. Information on the use of different types of bail conditions is given in a report published by the Institute of Local Government Studies for the Home Office in July 1995, "Conditional Bail or Bail with Conditions: the use and effectiveness of Bail Conditions", a copy of which is in the Library.Information on offending on bail was given in Home Office research paper No. 65 "Offending while on bail: a survey of recent studies". More up-to-date figures are given in a 1994 report of the Hampshire police and probation service and show that 14 per cent. of persons given bail committed an offence during a period of police or court bail.

Table 1: Persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for indictable offences, who were remanded by age group, 1993.
England and WalesNumber1, percentage
10–1617–2021 and overAll ages
Number proceeded against244,100141,200401,600586,900
Number of persons remanded327,50091,600253,800373,000
Percentage of persons proceeded against who were remanded62656364
Number of persons remanded on ball25,80080,800226,000332,600
Number of persons remanded in custody41,80010,80027,80040,400
Persons remanded in custody as percentage of total remanded6121111
1 The figures quoted in this table should be taken as broad estimates only, due to date quality problems.
2 Includes those who failed to appear following summons or police bail.
3 Excludes those who failed to appear following summons or police bail.
4 Includes those remanded in custody at any stage of proceedings at magistrates courts, who may also have been given bail at some stage of those proceedings.
Table 2: Persons found guilty or cautioned for absconding after release on bail' by age group, 1993 and 1994.
England and WalesNumber
10–1617–2021 and overAll ages
1 Section 6, Bail Act 1976.
Table 3: percentage of persons granted court bail for whom conditions were attached1
Age groupPercentage
21 and over29
All ages27
1 Based on a sample of 200 people granted bail in 1994.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Home Office last carried out a comprehensive review of the Bail Act 1976; to what extent the review compared the effectiveness of different bail conditions; and if he will publish the results. [37178]

Bail provisions are kept under review in various ways. Work on analysing the bail process in a number of areas took place in 1993 and 1994 and a first report was published by the Home Office research and planning unit in December 1994, RPU paper 90. A further report is expected next year.A separate research report undertaken for the Home Office on the effectiveness of bail conditions was published earlier this year by Birmingham university.Copies of both reports have been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many bail information schemes are currently operating in (a) courts and (b) prisons; and what assessment he has made of their impact in respect of avoiding remands into custody. [37184]

The most recent available information is that in March 1995 there were 235 schemes, most court based. Studies have shown that schemes have typically led to a reduction of about 10 per cent. in the proportion of relevant cases in which a custodial remand took place.