§ Miss Widdecombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the success rate is of the Home Detention Curfew scheme; how the success rate is determined; if it is determined with reference to re-offending after completion of the scheme; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Straw
The success rate for Home Detention Curfew (HDC) has been consistently over 90 per cent. since the scheme began. It is calculated by dividing the number of prisoners who successfully complete their HDC period by the total number placed on HDC.
Information about curfewees re-offending after completion of the scheme is not held centrally. The HDC period concludes at the point at which the prisoner would otherwise have been released from prison. Offending after this period is, therefore, not a factor in defining the success rate. One purpose of the HDC is to secure a better transition between custody and the community for those offenders for whom HDC is deemed appropriate.
The definition of successful completion is a curfewee who completes the curfew period of his licence and who does not breach the conditions of the curfew; can be monitored electronically for the duration of the curfew period; does not present a risk of serious harm to the public; and is not notified to the Prison Service as having been charged with an offence or having breached any requirement of probation supervision.
§ Miss Widdecombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for the period between the commencement of the Home Detention Curfew scheme on 28 January 1999 and 31 March 2000, inclusive,(a) the total number of prisoners who were released on the scheme, (b) the number of prisoners convicted of each specific offence who were released, on the scheme, including a breakdown of the specific offences committed by prisoners normally classified under the categories (i) other homicide and attempted homicide, (ii) other violence against the person, (iii) drug offences, (iv) assaults, (v) other theft and (vi) other motoring offences, (c) the average sentence (i) received and (ii) served for each specific offence prior to release, (d) the average period spent on the scheme in respect of the prisoners convicted of each specific offence, (e) the number of prisoners released who (i) breached the conditions of the curfew, (ii) disappeared and were recaptured, (iii) disappeared and remain unlawfully at large and (iv) had their licences revoked, (f) the reasons why prisoners released on the scheme had their licences revoked, (g) the specific offences committed by prisoners released on the scheme while on the scheme and (h) the specific offences committed by prisoners released on the scheme who committed an offence similar in character to that for which they were originally convicted; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Straw
[holding answer 6 April 2000]: As of 31 March 2000, a total of 18,736 prisoners had been released on Home Detention Curfew since the scheme commenced on 28 January 1999.637W
The original offences committed by prisoners released under the scheme during that period, the number of prisoners convicted of each specific offence, the average sentence received and served for those offences, and the average period spent on the scheme in respect of the prisoners convicted of each specific offence, are shown in table 1. The data are taken from the Prison Service's Inmate Information System based on the data recorded by each prison. The table provides as detailed a breakdown of offences as is possible from central records.
As of 31 March 2000, 661 prisoners place on the Home Detention Curfew scheme had breached the conditions of the curfew.
On 31 March, there were 42 curfewees who remained unlawfully at large. This represents less than five per cent. of the total number of revocations. In the vast majority of cases, when a curfewee's licence is revoked, he or she can expect to be quickly apprehended and returned to custody. While the priority to be given to pursuing individual cases will be an operational matter for local police forces, Home Office Circular 1/1999 made clear that Home Detention Curfew recalls should be regarded as "urgent action" cases. In addition, the National Identification Service at New Scotland yard issues "The Police Gazette" weekly to all police forces, including details of curfewees who are unlawfully at large. When curfewees are apprehended following a period unlawfully at large, they are required to serve the period of time outstanding at the point their licence was revoked.
Table 1: HDC discharges by offence type-28 January 1999 to 31 March 2000 Offence type Number of prisoners Average sentence (month) Average served (month) Average on scheme (month) Total 18,736 14.3 5.6 1.5 Manslaughter 49 33.5 15.0 1.9 Other homicide and attempted homicide 158 23.0 9.9 1.8 Attempted murder 5 25.8 11.0 1.9 Making threats to kill 32 19.9 8.4 1.8 Conspire, aid, incite murder 1 42.0 19.1 1.9 Death by reckless driving 120 23.6 10.2 1.9 Wounding 2,373 15.8 6.3 1.6 Wounding (inflicting GBH) 1,455 19.7 8.1 1.8 Assault occasioning ABH 867 9.3 3.3 1.3 Assault with intent to cause GBH 51 14.6 5.9 1.5 Assaults 472 7.3 2.5 1.1 Assault with intent to resist arrest 8 5.9 2.0 1.0 Other assault 359 8.2 2.9 1.2 Obstruct/resist constable 8 5.9 2.0 1.0 Assault on police officer 97 4.5 1.4 0.9 Cruelty to children 22 14.4 5.9 1.3 Other violence against the person 245 15.6 6.3 1.6 Cause explosion, place explosive 2 33.0 15.0 1.5 Possess firearms with intent 138 19.0 7.9 1.7 Possess offensive weapon 87 11.1 4.2 1.4 Other violence against the person 18 9.3 3.4 1.4
As of 31 March 2000, 897 curfewees had their licences revoked, using the powers available to the Secretary of State under Sections 38A(1) and 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. The reasons why licences were revoked were:for breach of the curfew;because the curfewee's whereabouts could no longer be electronically monitored;because it was necessary to protect the public from serious harm; andbecause the curfewee had committed an offence or breached any requirement of probation supervision.
Curfewees who are charged with new offences may also be recalled on any of the preceding grounds depending on the circumstances of the case.
As of 31 March 2000, the Prison Service had received notifications of 190 curfewees who had been charged with an offence committed while subject to the Home Detention Curfew scheme. A breakdown of the offences with which the curfewees were charged is shown in table 2. This breakdown has been prepared from information supplied by police forces and drawn from the Police National Computer. Further analysis of re-offending by those subject to Home Detention Curfew, including the procedures for notification of further charges to the Prison Service by the police, is currently underway as part of a long term evaluation of the scheme.
Of the 190 curfewees charged with a further offence, a manual check of Prison Service records shows that in 74 cases, the curfewees have been charged with offences similar in nature to their original offence. A breakdown of these offences is in table 3.639W
Table 1: HDC discharges by offence type—28 January 1999 to 31 March 2000 Offence type Number of prisoners Average sentence (month) Average served (month) Average on scheme (month) Buggery 1 6.0 1.6 1.4 Indecent assault 17 11.6 4.4 1.4 Unlawful sexual intercourse 1 6.0 1.2 1.9 Abduction 1 36.0 17.3 1.2 Bigamy 10 7.5 2.5 1.2 Burglary 1,779 19.3 7.3 1.8 Robbery 757 26.0 11.3 1.9 Taking and driving away 221 10.0 3.8 1.3 Other theft 1,724 11.1 4.1 1.4 Handling stolen goods 584 13.5 5.2 1.6 Fraud 1,544 13.0 5.0 1.6 Forgery 80 11.3 4.2 1.4 Drugs offences 3,063 20.2 8.4 1.7 Production 108 15.3 6.1 1.6 Supply 1,021 21.8 9.2 1.7 Possession with intent 1,288 20.1 8.4 1.7 Possession 414 15.7 6.3 1.6 Unlawful import/export 196 24.9 10.9 1.8 Other drugs offences 36 13.8 5.2 1.7 Arson 120 22.9 9.8 1.8 Criminal damage 85 12.4 4.8 1.4 In charge of driving under the influence of drink or drugs 643 4.4 1.3 0.9 Reckless driving 314 8.9 3.1 1.4 Other motoring offences 1,307 4.6 1.4 0.9 Drunkenness 68 4.8 1.4 0.9 Blackmail 56 20.1 8.3 1.7 Kidnapping 28 19.0 7.8 1.8 Affray 489 9.5 3.4 1.4 Violent disorder 212 14.0 5.4 1.7 Perjury/libel/pervert the course of justice 282 9.9 3.6 1.4 Threat/disorderly behaviour 84 8.6 3.1 1.2 Breach of Court Order 198 9.2 2.9 1.8 Other offences 1,034 12.4 4.7 1.6 Offence not recorded 715 11.6 4.4 1.4
Table 2: Offences with which curfewees charged Offence type Number Burglary, robbery, theft and theft from shops (including taking without consent/taking and driving away) 67 Assault (including wounding) 31 Driving and Traffic Offences 20 Drug Offences 15 Breach of the peace (including Drunk and Disorderly and Affray) 14 Handling Stolen Goods/Deception 10 Criminal Damage 11 Threatening Behaviour (including threats to kill) 9 Possession of an offensive weapon 3 Breach of court injunction or Restraining Order 3 Rape 2 Harassment 1 Going Equipped 1 False Imprisonment 1 Arson 1 Indecent Exposure 1 Total 190
The table excludes those where, following initial notification, the Prison Service was informed that the charges had been withdrawn. Where a curfewee was charged with more than one offence, they appear in the table next to the most serious offence. See note to table 3.640W
Table 3: Offences with which curfewees charged similar to their original offence Offence type Number Burglary 20 Theft 16 Driving/motoring offences 12 Assault 9 Drug offences 5 Deception 3 Wounding 3 Robbery 2 Breach of probation order 1 Threats to kill 1 False imprisonment 1 Affray 1 Total 74
This table includes charges which, in cases where there was more than one charge, were not necessarily the most serious charge. See Note to table 2.