(2) what the longest time taken by a coroner to hold a treasure inquest, once requested, was for cases reported in (a) 2006, (b) 2007 and (c) 2008; and if he will make a statement.
The Ministry of Justice collects statistics on the number of finds under the Treasure Act 1996 reported to coroners in England and Wales during each calendar year, the number of treasure inquests concluded during the year and, of these, the number of verdicts of treasure returned. Information is not collected on the time taken to conduct treasure inquests.
Informal figures are, however, collated by the British Museum. These show that in 2007, the British Museum requested that coroners in Leicestershire hold seven treasure inquests. An average time taken between the inquests being requested and a verdict being returned is not available because one of these inquests is still ongoing, although the time taken for the other six ranged from 82 days to 515 days. A statistical average based on such a small number of cases would be very volatile and heavily dependent on the particular circumstances of each case.
The longest time taken by a coroner to hold a treasure inquest for cases reported in 2006, 2007 and 2008 is not yet known from the British Museum figures, because some inquests from each of these years have still not reached a conclusion.