HC Deb 04 March 1999 vol 326 cc857-8W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Minister of State, Lord Chancellor's Department what reports he has received on cases where there has been a failure to attend at Aldershot Magistrates Court in each of the last three years. [74665]

Mr. Hoon

The Lord Chancellor's Department collects some data on the number of witnesses expected to attend but who do not turn up. The data are obtained from a small sample of cases included in the witness waiting times survey that is undertaken for two weeks every June and November. The first such survey was undertaken in November 1997. The survey is carried out at all petty sessional division level and the results for North East Hampshire include the Alton courthouse as well as Aldershot.

The November 1998 survey showed that 26% of witnesses, from a sample of 61 expected witnesses, did not attend. The equivalent figure for June 1998 was 12% from a sample of 33 and for November 1997, 22% from a sample of 55. No similar data are collected for defendants and other parties to proceedings and such data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

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