HC Deb 23 March 1999 vol 328 cc175-6W
Mr. Maclean

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 March 1999,Official Report, column 637, what plans he has to make available to the public the data upon which the benchmark figure of 142 days from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders was based. [77544]

Mr. Boateng

The methodology used to calculate the benchmark figure of 142 days, set out in my answer of 2 March 1999,Official Report, column 637, was set out in the Lord Chancellor's Department Information Bulletin 1/98, published by the Government Statistical Service in May 1998. At paragraph 13, the Bulletin states that:

Persistent Young Offenders and sentence dates were identified using data from the Police National Computer. Details of arrest dates (or laying of information) for these offenders were obtained by means of a survey of Police Force records. The survey included around 1,500 occasions on which persistent young offenders were sentenced in 1996.

The Bulletin also provided a contact point for further information about the data on which the calculation was based and for requests for further analysis of the data. A copy of the Bulletin was placed in the Library at the time of publication.

The methodology was also set out in a written answer to the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Syms) on 2 November 1998, Official Report, column 389.