HC Deb 08 July 2002 vol 388 cc744-5W
Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probation areas in England and Wales operate bail information schemes; in how many cases by probation area information on bail was provided to the courts in the last year that figures are available; in how many of these cases the court ordered conditional bail; and if he will make a statement. [66621]

Hilary Benn

[holding answer 2 July 2002]36 areas operated bail information schemes in 2001–02, covering some 60 per cent. of magistrates courts in England and Wales. In some areas schemes will have been focused in particular courts rather than delivered as an area-wide service.

The list of numbers of bail information reports prepared by each area in 2001 is in the table. Bail information reports are only one of the reports available to the court to assist in reaching a decision on whether to order conditional bail in any case and no statistics are collected for the number of such cases.

The National Probation Directorate is currently reviewing the coverage of bail information schemes to identify the scope for increasing the number of magistrates courts covered by such a scheme and developing performance measures to monitor and improve the quality of the information provided in reports.

Number of bail information reports prepared by the Probation Service during 2001
Avon 1
Cambridgeshire 2
Cheshire 1,014
Teesside 111
Cornwall 9
Cumbria 131
Derbyshire 40
Devon 91
Dorset 302
Durham 6
Essex 3
West Mercia 338
Hertfordshire 28
Humberside 634
Kent 181
Lancashire 198
Leicestershire 139
Lincolnshire 37
Greater Manchester 715
Merseyside 306
Norfolk 18
Northumbria 101
Thames Valley 401
Somerset 15
Staffordshire 346
Suffolk 76
Surrey 228
West Sussex 140
Warwickshire 230
West Midlands 1,302
Wiltshire 62
South Yorkshire 403
West Yorkshire 1,991

Number of bail information reports prepared by the Probation Service during 2001
Dyfed/Powys 191
West Glamorgan 9
Middlesex 71
England and Wales 9,870