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Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) shortest, (b) longest and (c) average length of time in days taken by coroners in (i) Leicestershire and (ii) the rest of England to hold treasure inquests was in each of the last two years. (251129)

Information on the time taken to conduct inquests into finds reported under the Treasure Act 1996 is not collected centrally by the Ministry of Justice, though informal figures collated by the British Museum suggest that the average time for inquests concluded in 2008, from notification of the find to a final verdict, is 173 days.

Ministry of Justice statistics on coroner caseload show that the two coroners whose districts cover the county of Leicestershire and the city of Leicester, between them conducted three inquests into treasure in 2007, and two in 2006. Figures for 2008 are not yet available, but are due to be published on the Ministry of Justice website in May.