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Prisoner Escapes

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded of absconding from lawful custody in each year since 1997; and what percentage of these offences (a) resulted in court proceedings against suspected perpetrators, (b) led to a conviction and (c) resulted in a sanction detection. (195991)

The information is not available in the form requested.

Table 1 gives the number of offences of absconding from lawful custody and the number detected by means of a sanction detection. Table 2 shows the numbers of defendants proceeded against and found guilty at all courts for absconding from lawful custody for the years 1997 to 2006, and is taken from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

Recorded crime and court proceedings statistics are from two different databases and recorded in quite different ways. Recorded crime data are provided on a financial year basis and count offences whereas court proceedings data are on a calendar year basis and count offenders. Therefore, these two separate data-sets are not directly comparable.

Table 1: Offences of absconding from lawful custody recorded by the police and detected by means of a sanction detection—1997 to 2006-07

Number of offences

Number of sanction detections

1997

1,379

n/a

1997-98

1,372

n/a

1998-99

1,301

n/a

1999-2000

1,559

n/a

2000-01

1,389

n/a

2001-02

1,357

1,022

2002-03

1,553

1,229

2003-04

1,721

1,412

2004-05

1,362

1,165

2005-06

1,272

1,007

2006-07

980

819

n/a = Not available.

Table 2: Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for bigamy offence, England and Wales 1997-20061,2,3

Proceeded against

Found guilty

1997

22

16

1998

30

18

1999

40

28

2000

17

12

2001

23

17

2002

31

16

2003

29

20

2004

22

22

2005

28

21

2006

23

11

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 The found guilty column can often exceed the number proceeded against when a conviction takes place in a different month to when the proceeding was originally brought, or for a different offence.