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Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Slough constituency, the effects on Slough of the policies and actions of his Department and its predecessors since 2000. (311981)

The Ministry of Justice's work spans criminal, civil and family justice, democracy, rights and the constitution. Every year around 9 million people use our services in 900 locations across the United Kingdom, including 650 courts and tribunals and 139 prisons in England and Wales.

The range of the Department's policies and actions is wide and the statistical information relating to it is not normally collected on a constituency basis. Consequently, some of the information requested in the question cannot be provided in the form requested except at a disproportionate cost.

Although data on sentencing for the period are not available for the constituency of Slough, they are available for the Thames Valley. They show that the total number of offenders sentenced annually, was 44,691 in 2000 and 42,353 in 2007, the latest period for which such information is available.

Likewise, the number of offences brought to justice for the Thames Valley area increased from 31,000 in 2001-02 (the earliest period since which such data have been compiled) to 51,400 in 2007-08.

With regard to prosecutions, data are not available for the constituency of Slough. However, the total number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts in the Thames Valley decreased from 62,880 in 2000 to 54,090 in 2007.

The latest data, which cover reoffending in the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009, showed that the three-month reoffending rate for offenders on the probation caseload in Slough was 8.16 per cent. After controlling for changes in the characteristics of offenders on the probation caseload, there was a reduction in reoffending of 1.99 per cent. compared to the 2007-08 baseline. Data are not available prior to 2007 on this basis.

The number of persons commencing supervision by the Probation Service in Thames Valley, was 3,853 in 2000 and 4,783 in 2008.

44,212 civil non-family proceedings were started in the county courts of Thames Valley HM Courts Service (HMCS) area in 2008, compared to 49,696 in 2000. In respect of family law, there were also 3,573 private law applications and 218 public law applications made in the county or High Courts of this HMCS area in 2008-09, compared to 3,422 and 282 respectively in 2003-04, the first annual period for which these figures are available.

In addition, at a national level:

Local communities are being better engaged in criminal justice—by giving them a say in the types of Community Payback projects offenders carry out and allowing them to see justice being done, for example through the use of high visibility jackets. Offenders have now worked more than 14 million hours, with an estimated value to the taxpayer of over £80 million.

Major constitutional reforms have been delivered, including devolution, the Human Rights Act, Freedom of Information, Lords Reform, and a new Supreme Court for the UK.