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Crime Prevention: Finance

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what account he has taken of the effect of the current economic downturn on levels of crime in planning resource allocation to (a) the Probation Service and (b) HM Courts Service; and if he will make a statement. (252778)

The Ministry of Justice's Ministers and Corporate Management Board are supplied with regular statistical information about both the economic downturn itself, and areas of the Department’s business where demand for services might be affected. This ensures that timely action can be taken where necessary.

Changes in demand for services are taken into account when agreeing allocations to departmental business groups, along with other factors such as policy considerations, inflationary pressures and the potential for efficiency savings.

The Department remains committed to living within its budget as set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007. We are currently looking hard at the services we provide in order to find new ways to improve how we deliver them, while ensuring that we focus on our frontline services. We aim to drive out inefficiencies, overlap and duplication and to reduce our overheads, especially in our headquarters areas. Where possible the Department will actively look to redeploy staff to alternative and appropriate roles.