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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 evidence relating as closely as possible to Vauxhall constituency, the effects on the constituency of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. (310329)

The Ministry of Justice's work spans criminal, civil and family justice, democracy, rights and the constitution. Every year around nine 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 Vauxhall, they are available for London. They show an increase in the total number of offenders sentenced annually from 202,478 in 1997 to 226,891 in 2007, the latest period for which such information is available.

Likewise, the number of offences brought to justice for the London area increased from 122,500 in 2001-02 (the earliest period since which such data have been compiled) to 230,000 in 2007-08.

With regard to prosecutions, data are not available for the constituency of Vauxhall. However, the total number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts by the Metropolitan police increased from 260,328 in 1997 to 265,709 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 Lambeth was 8.05 per cent. After controlling for changes in the characteristics of offenders on the probation caseload, there was a reduction in reoffending of 6.88 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 London was 16,019 in 1997 and 22,233 in 2008.

158,440 civil non-family proceedings were started in the county courts of London Civil and Family HM Courts Service (HMCS) area in 2008, compared to 263,305 in 1998, the first year for which these figures are available. In respect of family law, there were also 15,512 private law applications and 870 public law applications made in the county or High Courts of this HMCS area in 2008-09, compared to 11,684 and 1,095 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.