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Volume 506: debated on Friday 26 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency, the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997. (318374)

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 Hackney, North and Stoke Newington, they are available for London. This shows the total number of offenders sentenced annually was 202,478 in 1997 and 242,429 in 2008, the latest period for which such information is available.

The number of offences brought to justice for London increased from 119,531 for the 12 months ending 31 March 2001 (the earliest period since which such data have been compiled) to 230,202 (provisional figures) for the 12 months ending 31 March 2009.

With regard to prosecutions, data are not available for the constituency of Hackney, North and Stoke Newington. However, the total number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts by the Metropolitan police was 260,328 in 1997 compared to 279,581 in 2008.

The latest data, which cover reoffending in the period 1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009, showed that the three month reoffending rate for offenders on the probation caseload in Hackney was 8.04 per cent. After controlling for changes in the characteristics of offenders on the probation caseload, there was a reduction in reoffending of 8.49 per cent. compared to the 2007-08 baseline. Data are not available prior to 2007 on this basis.

The number of persons commencing court order supervision by the probation service in London was 17,214 in 1997 and 23,787 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.