HC Deb 17 May 1993 vol 225 c68W
Mr. Tipping

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions prisoners escorted by Group 4 have been late for court; on how many occasions prisoners have been more than one, two or three hours late; and what representations have been received about this matter(a) from solicitors and barristers representing the prisoners concerned and (b) from others.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the director general of the prison service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Paddy Tipping, dated 14 May 1993: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply directly to your Parliamentary Question about prisoners escorted by Group 4 being late for court. In excess of 90 per cent. of prisoners handled by Group 4 in the first four weeks of operation arrived at court on time. This is despite the well-publicised difficulties of the first few days of their operation. In some cases, late delivery was due to difficulties beyond Group 4's control. The prisoner escort monitor will be discussing these cases in greater depth with the contractor over the coming weeks. Detail of how late prisoners arrived is not routinely collected. Some representations have been received by the prisoner escort monitor from prisoners' legal advisers and others. At some courts the contracted time of delivery is earlier than the usual practice before the contractor began his operation, and thus those who need to see prisoners before their court appearance now have greater opportunity.