HL Deb 17 February 2003 vol 644 cc147-8WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether pre-sentence reports on offenders are being delayed; and whether sentences are being passed without reports or deferred. [HL1463]

Lord Filkin

Several probation areas in England and Wales are currently experiencing difficulties with the timely delivery of pre-sentence reports to courts. As a consequence some hearings have been deferred and some sentences have been passed without a report, although information is not collected centrally on the number of cases involved. The reasons for the difficulties vary from area to area. Chief officers of probation have been given clear guidance on the prioritisation of reports to court and encouraged to work closely with sentencers locally to agree criteria for the provision of reports.