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Courts: Security

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what funding her Department provided for security in courts in each year since 2001. (129150)

Between 2001 and the creation of Her Majesty's Courts Service in 2005 my Department provided funding, either directly or as capital grant or resource funding, to all courts in England and Wales. Due to the nature of this allocation method, to determine what funding was provided for security in courts for each year would incur a disproportionate cost.

Post 2005, all budgets were and continue to be devolved to the seven regions which comprise Her Majesty's Courts Service and funding for security is not recorded separately. To extract security costs from the general planned maintenance budget and other provisions in courts in England and Wales would incur a disproportionate cost to collate.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department has taken to improve security at courts in England and Wales since 2001. (129151)

My Department continually reviews the security arrangements at courts in England and Wales to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place. Since 2001, my Department has sought to ensure that those measures achieve and continue to achieve the necessary levels of protection through a process of risk management.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many security staff are employed at (a) High Court premises and (b) Crown court premises in England and Wales. (129152)

My Department currently employ 60 security staff in the High Court and 306 in Crown courts throughout England and Wales. To ensure that there is no double counting, a separate figure has not been provided for locations when a High Court judge is on circuit, as they sit in existing Crown high court locations.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment has been made of security arrangements at courts in England and Wales following recent bombings of courts sittings in terrorism trials in Pakistan. (129153)

Her Majesty's Courts Service, an Executive Agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, continually review the security arrangements of courts in England and Wales. The risks posed to all court buildings, staff and court users are assessed to ensure that appropriate measures are in place and that those measures are achieving the correct levels of protection through a process of risk management.