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London Probation Service

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the London Probation Service in making contact with victims in relation to their guidelines; and what recent discussions he has had with the service; [125369](2) in what proportion of cases the

(a) Victim Liaison Service and (b) London Probation Service made contact with the vict ms and families of victims on time in 2002–03; and if he will make a statement. [125370]

National figures show that in the period April 2002-March 2003,82 per cent. of victims of offenders who had committed serious sexual or violent offences were contacted within the eight week target, compared with 63 per cent. for the previous year. In London, 46 per cent. of victims were contacted within the eight week target compared with 22 per cent. the previous year; London Probation Area's performance for the first quarter of this year has shown a significant improvement, rising to 72 per cent. for January to March 2003. Part of the reason for this improvement is the resolution of difficulties in the London Probation Area receiving victim contact information promptly.The national target is for 85 per cent. of cases to be dealt with within the eight week deadline. I myself have not held any recent discussions with London Probation Area.