HC Deb 15 January 1997 vol 288 cc267-9W
Mr. Thurnham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the average weekly costs of accommodation and what are the subsequent recidivism rates for paedophile offenders(a) in prison and (b) in the Wolvercote clinic. [9601]

Miss Widdecombe

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 Hugh Taylor to Mr. Peter Thurnham, dated 15 January 1997: The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the average weekly cost of accommodation and the subsequent recidivist rates for paedophile offenders (a) in prison and (b) in the Wolvercote Clinic. Cost per place figures relating specifically to paedophile offenders are not available. The average cost per prisoner for the financial year 1995–96 was £466 per week. The weekly charge for the Wolvercote Clinic is £550. A 10 year follow-up study on reconviction rates for a sample of paedophiles released from prison in 1980 showed that 36 per cent of paedophiles committed further sexual offences. For serious offences, which included sex or violent offences, the rate of reoffending increased to 45 per cent. This information may appear to be dated but follow-up studies must be for a substantial period of time. Social and legal changes may also affect reconviction rates. A 10 year reconviction study is currently in progress on the Sex Offender Treatment Programme but it is too early for results. To date, only three offenders have completed the full programme at the Wolvercote Clinic which opened in August 1995. No information is available yet on recidivists.

Mr. Thurnham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Government Departments and other public bodies maintain lists of(a) convicted and (b) alleged paedophile offenders; what guidance has been issued to local authorities concerning that information on such offenders; what co-ordination there is between the different bodies concerned; and if he will make a statement. [10683]

Mr. Maclean

Information about convicted and alleged paedophiles is held by the following Government Departments and public bodies.

The police hold information about those convicted of sexual offences against children on the Phoenix database of the police national computer and on microfiche records held by the national identification service. They may also retain information locally about alleged paedophiles.

The national criminal intelligence service—NCIS—maintains a database of known or suspected paedophiles.

The Department for Education and Employment maintains a list of persons barred from working in education and in respect of whom the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has made a direction under the Education (Teachers) Regulations 1993, as amended—"List 99".

The Department of Health consultancy index holds information on those notified to it by the police who are or were employed in child care work and who have been convicted of an offence, including sexual offences against children; the information on "List 99", and notifications from employers of the names of persons who formerly worked with children and who have been dismissed or who have resigned in circumstances where the welfare of a child has been put at risk through physical, sexual or emotional abuse or a child has suffered or was likely to suffer harm arising from the action of a member of staff or volunteer engaged to work with children.

Guidance issued to local authorities includes the Department for Education and Employment circular 11/95, "Misconduct of Teachers and Workers with Children and Young Persons", and the joint circular from the Home Office (HOC 47/93), Department for Education (DfEE 9/93), Department of Health (LAC 93(17)), and the Welsh Office (WOC 54/93) on "Protection of Children: Disclosure of Criminal Record Background of those with Access to Children". This includes an explanation of the information available to local authorities from police records, the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment.

NCIS passes on information about paedophiles to the force in whose area the paedophile is working or living. In addition to this, the police notify the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment of convictions of those individuals working in child care posts or as teachers or workers with children or young persons.

£ thousand
1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96
Commission for Racial Equality not recorded separately 89.8 84
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority 115 206 1,600 746 225
Gaming Board for Great Britain 0 0 0 0 0
Office of the Data Protection Registrar 5 0 0 50 47
Police Complaints Authority 0 149 74 129 84
Total per year 120 355 1,674 1,014.8 440

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