§ 3. Mr. Clappison
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement as to the sentencing powers of the courts in respect of persistent 10 to 14-year-old offenders.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Courts currently do not have the power to sentence persistent juvenile offenders to custody. I propose to remedy this as soon as possible by introducing a secure training order for 12 to 15-year-olds.
§ 21. Mrs. Gorman
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the current measures to deal with persistent juvenile offenders.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
I do not consider that the measures currently available to the courts when they have to deal with persistent juvenile offenders are satisfactory. That is why I announced new proposals in my statement to the House on 2 March 1993, at columns 139 to 42.547W
§ 24. Mr. Robathan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the numbers of juvenile offenders who come from single-parent families.
§ 26. Mr. Anthony Coombs
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the operation of juvenile attendance centres.
§ Mr. Jack
The operation of attendance centres is kept under constant review. We are, however, currently preparing a new national standard which will cover objectives and regimes, revised attendance centre rules and fresh detailed administrative guidance for officers in charge of centres, all of which will be subject to an appropriate process of consultation before they are issued.
Home Office circular 72/1992 issued on 28 July 1992 described some of the new arrangements for dealing with young offenders following the full implementation of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, and reminded courts of their powers to make attendance centre orders where young people have defaulted in the payment of fines. This circular listed all the centres available in England and Wales.
My Department also produces a periodical publication called "Attendance Centre News" which is circulated to, among others, the officers in charge of the centres, probation and social services and the courts. The most recent edition which was produced in a more accessible and informative style than previous versions was published in September last year. It included articles about the activities undertaken at the centres. A copy of it is available in the Library of the House.