HC Deb 05 December 2002 vol 395 c976W
Mr. Hunter

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has made for members of the public, with proper training, to be involved in the strategic management of multi-agency public protection arrangements; and when they will come into practice. [82671]

Hilary Benn

Arrangements for appointing lay people to the strategic management boards of the multi-agency public protection arrangements are being piloted in eight Areas: Durham, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Cumbria, Surrey, Dorset, Hampshire and South Wales. They have been recruited using a thorough screening and selection system provided by the Home Office Assessment and Consultancy Unit.

A period of local induction and training in each of the pilot areas now follows, with national training for all those recruited in late January. This training will be delivered by experienced professionals in the field of public protection. It is expected that they will begin sitting on the strategic boards of the pilot areas as functioning members in the new year. The evaluation of the pilots will be conducted by Manchester University and overseen by the Home Office's Research Directorate.

The Government sees this as an important part of building public confidence in the excellent work the police and probation services, supported by other agencies, do in this field. The Criminal Justice Bill includes measures which will enable my right hon. Friend Home Secretary to appoint two lay advisers to each area's multi-agency public protection arrangements once that bill has been enacted.