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Special Advisers

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions between 31 March 2002 and 31 March 2003 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. [126664]

Between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003, Special Advisers have accompanied myself abroad on five occasions1 at an average total cost of £3,8312 for all involved in the trip. The countries visited were Luxembourg, France and Denmark.In addition, one official visit was made by a Special Adviser to France in November 2002 at a total cost of £546.86.All travel by Special Advisers is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Civil Service Management Code.

on the number of individuals convicted of sexual offences against children who were themselves abused as juveniles; and if he will publish the results. [124126]

[holding answer 7 July 2003]: The Home Office has not conducted any research on the number of individuals convicted of sexual offences against children who were themselves abused as juveniles.The most recently available Home Office statistics show that in 2001 there were 2,410 convictions for sexual offences against children where the age of the victim was identified by the offence. No information about the background of these offenders is collected.A review of the literature on sex offending against children (Grubin; 1998) commissioned by the Home Office summarises academic research on the association between being a victim and becoming an abuser. This is available at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/index.htm.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been prosecuted for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in the last five years for which statistics are available. [124399]

The available information is contained in the table.Statistics for 2002 will be published in the autumn.

1 Special Advisers also accompanied the Home Secretary to the USA during the period end March 2002/early April 2003. Costs for this trip fall with the current financial year.

2 The average cost of all trips involved is high as an RAF flight booked for one trip fell through at the last moment and attendance was only possible through a more expensive last minute charter.