HC Deb 17 November 2000 vol 356 cc814-6W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 November 2000,Official Report, column 611W, if he will (a) list the categories of offence for which the 1,756 people were sentenced and (b) the action taken following the breaches of the conditions of their release. [137993]

Mr. Boateng

An analysis of the index offences of the 1,756 prisoners who were placed on the home detention curfew scheme and who breached the conditions of their licence is contained in the table.

Where a breach is notified to the Prison Service, consideration is given to the most appropriate course of action, in the light of the available legal powers and the circumstances of the individual case. Where an offender breaches his licence conditions, the presumption is that the Prison Service will always revoke the licence unless there are legal considerations which prevent this or make it impracticable, or other exceptional circumstances. Of the 1,756 cases referred to, 1,294 had their licences revoked by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 38A(1) or section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. In a further 46 cases, the breach was reported to the police or probation service to consider initiating breach action through the courts under section 38(1) of the Act. In addition, those prisoners who were convicted of committing a further offence during the currency of their licence, and therefore were in breach of their licence conditions, would have been liable, under section 40 of the Act, to an additional sentence of imprisonment.

In 416 cases legal considerations prevented revocation action. The majority of these were cases where the breach of licence was notified to the Prison Service only after the licence had expired; as my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Corby (Mr. Hope) of 22 May 2000, Official Report, column 360W, indicated, a significant proportion of cases involving further charges brought against curfewees have not been notified to the Prison Service by the police. Action is currently being taken to improve reporting arrangements.

Breakdown of the original offences of those curfewees who breached the conditions of their licence
28 January 1999 to 30 September 2000 Number
Total 1,756
Manslaughter 2
Other homicide and attempted homicide 6
Attempted murder 0
Making threats to kill 5
Conspire, aid, incite murder 0
Death by reckless driving 3
Wounding 180
Wounding (inflicting GBH) 115
Assault occasioning ABH 61
Assault with intent to cause GBH 4
Assaults 46
Assault with intent to resist arrest 4
Other assault 34
Obstruct/resist constable 0
Assault on police officer 8
Cruelty to children 4
Other violence against the person 14
Cause explosion, place explosive 0
Possess firearms with intent 8
Possess offensive weapon 6
Other violence against the person 0
Buggery 0
Indecent assault 1
Unlawful sexual intercourse 0
Abduction 0
Bigamy 0
Burglary 307
Robbery 95
Taking and driving away 27
Other theft 149
Handling stolen goods 50
Fraud 82
Forgery 9
Drugs offences 192
Production 4
Supply 63
Possession with intent 57
Possession 54
Unlawful import/export 14
Other drugs offences 0
Breakdown of the original offences of those curfewees who breached the conditions of their licence
28 January 1999 to 30 September 2000 Number
Arson 11
Criminal damage 11
In charge or driving under the influence of drink or drugs 55
Reckless driving 26
Other motoring offences 117
Drunkenness 11
Blackmail 3
Kidnapping 3
Affray 48
Violent disorder 9
perjury/libel/pervert the course of justice 18
Threat/disorderly behaviour 9
Breach of court order 67
Procuration 0
False imprisonment 4
Bail Act offences 2
Assisting illegal immigrant 1
Minor firearm offences 0
Vagrancy Act offences 0
Cruelty etc to animals 0
Escaping lawful custody 0
Making off without payment 0
Criminal attempts 2
Other indictable offences 44
Help under Immigration Act 1971 1
Other non criminal offences 0
Offence not recorded 148

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