Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Homelessness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many referrals have been made by (a) prison and (b) probation services to local authorities under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 duty to refer since October 2018.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

Everyone leaving custody should have a safe and suitable home to go to on release; having somewhere to live gives people a stable platform from which to access health services, hold down a job and reduces the likelihood of them reoffending. While statutory responsibility for housing (including planning) and homelessness lies with local authorities in England, and with the Welsh Assembly in Wales, we are committed to working with other departments to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

There has been a gradual flow of referrals from prisons and probation providers since the commencement of the ‘Duty to Refer’ on 1 October 2018. Between 1 October and 30 June: 926 referrals made by probation staff were recorded on the probation operational database, NDELIUS; 613 referrals made by prison staff were recorded on the prison operational database, P-NOMIS.

Over the coming months we will be re-promoting the duty ten months on from commencement, while reviewing the guidance issued to reflect lessons learnt.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
European Arrest Warrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many successful prosecutions following a request made under the European Arrest Warrant there have been in each year for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The number of prosecutions and convictions following a request made under the European Arrest Warrant is not centrally held in the court proceedings database. Identifying these cases would require a manual search of court records, which would be of disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Foreign Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many foreign offenders were prosecuted by each police force, in the most recent year for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The nationality of defendants is not centrally held in the court proceedings database. Identifying these cases would require a manual search of court records, which would be of disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Dan Jarvis
(Barnsley Central)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Wakefield Prison: Pepper Spray
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timeframe is for the (a) commencement of training on the use of PAVA spray and (b) roll-out of PAVA spray to staff in HMP Wakefield.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

HMP Wakefield have had their initial readiness assessment visit on the 26th June, following this they are required to provide a local training plan which will outline a timeframe for them to complete local training of staff.

The readiness assessment and training plan will require sign-off by their Prison Group Director and the Project Sponsor to ensure it is realistic and achievable. Once sign-off is provided training will commence.

Q
(Peterborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Dangerous Driving
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to implement his Department’s response to the consultation on driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury, published on 17 October 2017, Cm 9518.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

We are focused on getting the law right, to ensure the changes we make are comprehensive, proportionate and, crucially, practical.

We will bring forward proposals for changes in the law to increase the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs to life imprisonment, and create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving as soon as possible. These proposals will take account of other government proposals for safer roads

Q
Asked by Kate Green
(Stretford and Urmston)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Electronic Tagging
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2019 to Question 273385 on Offenders: Electronic Tagging, when he plans to publish the quantitative process evaluation of the GPS Pilot.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The quantitative process evaluation of the GPS location monitoring Pilot was published alongside a speech on sentencing by my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Justice on Thursday 18 July. The evaluation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/process-evaluation-of-the-global-positioning-system-electronic-monitoring-pilot-quantitative-findings The Secretary of State also announced in his speech on 18 July that we are planning to roll out a variation of location monitoring to children.

Q
Asked by Kate Green
(Stretford and Urmston)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2019 to Question 264316 on Television: Licensing, how many (a) men and (b) women were given a prison sentence for failure to pay fines imposed for non-payment of the BBC licence fee in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The requested information can be viewed in the attached table.

Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 8.93 KB)
Q
(Leeds East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Segregation of Prisoners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners have spent time in segregation by prison in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The information requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 18 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Segregation of Prisoners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) average length of time and (b) longest number of days was that a prisoner spent in segregation in each prison in 2018.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The information requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Leeds East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many hours of purposeful activity per prisoner were recorded on average in (a) each prison rated in the 2017-18 performance rating as performance is of serious concern and (b) each prisons that was rated as exceptional performance.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The Department does not currently collect data on the amount of time prisoners spend out of cell. We are examining the feasibility of developing such a measure and are exploring how this might be done, including working with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons to understand the methodology it uses in its inspections.

Data are published on GOV.UK on the number of prisoners who have completed accredited programmes in custody, the number of hours worked in prison industries, and the number of prisoners released from prison on a temporary licence.

The introduction of Offender Management in Custody, and the associated staffing, mean that prisons will be better equipped to run fuller regimes with more opportunities for purposeful activity. Our Education and Employment strategy launched last year will create a system where prisoners are on a path to employment, through increased opportunities to gain experience of work in communities while released on temporary licence.

Q
(Leeds East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2019 to Question 273816 on Prisons: Education, what the value by lot is of Dynamic Purchasing System contracts awarded to date.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The 17 Lots in the Prison Education Framework (PEF) have awarded the following cumulative values of contracts under the Prison Education Dynamic Purchasing System (PEDPS) as at 19/07/2019.

  • Lot 01 - Avon & South Dorset - £519,011.08
  • Lot 02 - Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Norfolk - £429,911.68
  • Lot 03 - Cumbria & Lancashire - £334,311.67
  • Lot 04 - Devon & North Dorset – No contracts awarded currently
  • Lot 05 - East Midlands & Morton Hall - £291,421.86
  • Lot 06 - Gt Manchester, Merseyside & Cheshire - £786,416.84
  • Lot 07 - Hertfordshire, Essex & Suffolk - £ 543,250.00
  • Lot 08 - Kent, Surrey & Sussex - £1,625,170.20
  • Lot 09 – London - £19,100.00
  • Lot 10 - Long Term High Security North - £311,744.91
  • Lot 11 - Long Term High Security South - £242,380.99
  • Lot 12 - North Midlands - £6,840.00
  • Lot 13 - South Central - £311,959.91
  • Lot 14 - Tees & Wear - £1,322,253.00
  • Lot 15 - West Midlands - £76,315.00
  • Lot 16 - Women’s Estate North - £203,702.00
  • Lot 17 – Yorkshire - £630,991.15

We have overhauled the prison education system and implemented a new Prison Education Framework. Under the new system, governors control their budget, including the power to choose providers and deliver learning that will best support their prisoners.

Our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), an innovation that brings in bespoke and short-term provision, is already proving popular, with over 230 providers signed up and over 20 contracts already awarded by governors.

Q
(Leeds East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2019 to Question 273816 on Prisons: Education, which providers have been awarded Dynamic Purchasing System contracts to date.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

A total of 92 contracts have been awarded to 46 Suppliers under the Prison Education Dynamic Purchasing System as at 19/07/2019.

Contracts have been awarded to the following organisations:

5 Step Startup School Ltd

x2

Acorn Training Ltd

x2

Advanced Personnel Management Group (UK) Limited

x1

Adviza Partnership

x2

Age UK Nottingham & Nottinghamshire

x1

Astara Trianing Ltd

x1

Beating Time (also known as "Choirs Beating Time")

x1

Bedfordshire and Luton Education Business Partnership (Trading as Develop)

x2

Career Connect - Duplicate registration

x1

Cathedral Training Ltd

x1

Changing Lives

x1

Chichester College Group

x5

Community Arts Projects UK

x1

Cronin Music Ltd

x1

CXK Limited

x1

First Point Training

x1

Fusion21 Ltd

x1

Geese Theatre Company

x3

GLA Group

x1

Good Vibrations

x1

Hillsbridge Services limited

x1

InHouse Records

x1

Karen Mackey Consultants

x2

Life Cycle UK

x1

Lincoln College Group

x1

LTE Group (Trading as Novus)

x12

Magistra Ltd

x1

Mainstream Training

x2

Milton Keynes College

x8

mybe awards Ltd

x1

n-ergy Group Limited

x4

N-Gaged Training & Recruitment Ltd

x2

Prospects Services

x5

RiseUp CiC

x2

RMF Construction Training Academy Ltd.

x2

Seetec Business Technology Cente Limited

x1

SevenThreeOne

x1

Sharon Hardy IAG and Employment Services Adviser

x1

St Giles Trust

x1

Standguide Ltd

x3

The Forward Trust

x2

The Growth Company Ltd

x1

The Junction 42 Foundation

x1

TKO "Training, Knowledge & Opportunities" Limited

x2

User Voice

x1

Weston College

x3

We have overhauled the prison education system and implemented a new Prison Education Framework. Under the new system, governors control their budget, including the power to choose providers and deliver learning that will best support their prisoners.

Our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), an innovation that brings in bespoke and short-term provision, is already proving popular, with over 230 providers signed up and over 20 contracts already awarded by governors.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Asked on: 18 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answers of 16 May 2019 to Question 255325 and Question 255326 on mental health in prisons, whether the number of prison officers trained in the new suicide and self-harm reduction training is 14,000 or 24,000.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

All staff who have contact with prisoners are required to undertake training in suicide and self-harm prevention. This includes key workers, who are uniformed prison officers. The training comprises six modules, one of which focuses on mental health awareness.

At the time of the previous answers, more than 24,000 staff had undertaken at least one module of the training, and of those more than 14,000 had undertaken all six, including the mental health awareness element.

Grouped Questions: 279004
Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Asked on: 18 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Death and Self-harm
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 16 May 2019 to Question 255326 on death and self-harm in prisons, whether key workers supporting new prisoners are mandated to undertake suicide and self-harm prevention training.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 July 2019

All staff who have contact with prisoners are required to undertake training in suicide and self-harm prevention. This includes key workers, who are uniformed prison officers. The training comprises six modules, one of which focuses on mental health awareness.

At the time of the previous answers, more than 24,000 staff had undertaken at least one module of the training, and of those more than 14,000 had undertaken all six, including the mental health awareness element.

Grouped Questions: 279003
Q
(Leeds East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prison Service: Industrial Health and Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many calls have been made to his Department's body fluid exposure and sharps Injury telephone helpline in each month since December 2017.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 22 July 2019

HMPPS has a duty of care to its staff to ensure they are provided immediate and specialist advice following suspected and actual Bodily Fluid Exposure (BFE) incidents. In December 2017 HMPPS put in place a 24 hour Bodily Fluid Exposure and Sharps Injury telephone helpline which provides an initial assessment by a qualified nurse clinician.

Number of calls to the Body Fluid Exposure and Sharps Injury telephone helpline per month:

(see annex A)

Number of times staff have been directed to contact Accident & Emergency:

(see annex C)

Annex A (Excel SpreadSheet, 11.11 KB)
Annex C (Excel SpreadSheet, 11.18 KB)
Grouped Questions: 277789
Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prison Service: Industrial Health and Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions have prison staff calling the Body Fluid Exposure and Sharps Injury telephone helpline been advised to attend A&E in each month since December 2017.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 22 July 2019

HMPPS has a duty of care to its staff to ensure they are provided immediate and specialist advice following suspected and actual Bodily Fluid Exposure (BFE) incidents. In December 2017 HMPPS put in place a 24 hour Bodily Fluid Exposure and Sharps Injury telephone helpline which provides an initial assessment by a qualified nurse clinician.

Number of calls to the Body Fluid Exposure and Sharps Injury telephone helpline per month:

(see annex A)

Number of times staff have been directed to contact Accident & Emergency:

(see annex C)

Annex A (Excel SpreadSheet, 11.11 KB)
Annex C (Excel SpreadSheet, 11.18 KB)
Grouped Questions: 277787
Q
(East Yorkshire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prison Service: Sick Leave
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the number and proportion of prison staff who are signed-off from work with stress or other work-related illnesses.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 22 July 2019

On 31st March 2019 there were 24 prison staff who were signed off from work due to work related illnesses. This is 1.6% of all prison staff who were signed off from work on that day due to sickness related absences.

Work related illnesses are defined as anyone who has been had a sickness classified either ‘Accident Injury Work Related’ or ‘Assault Work Related’ in the sickness data.

HMPPS is committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff in England and Wales, with all staff having access to a comprehensive occupational health service and employee assistance programme.

Q
(Slough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Industrial Health and Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps he has taken to improve the health and safety of prison staff.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The health and safety of our staff and those in our care remains our top priority. Risks to staff are continually assessed, and suitable controls are implemented accordingly. The effectiveness of those controls is monitored at local and national level, and through joint audit work with prison unions.

HMPPS recognises that the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of employees is paramount. All HMPPS staff have access to an occupational health service and employee assistance programme. This includes 24 hour, 365 days a year access to signposting and counselling, and trauma support services.

It is a priority to ensure that prisons are places of safety and reform and the government has invested an additional £70 million investment in safety, security and decency. This has included £16 million to improve conditions for prisoners and staff and £7 million on new security measures, such as security scanners, improved searching techniques, phone-blocking technology and a financial crime unit to target the criminal kingpins operating in prisons.

Q
(Peterborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Dangerous Driving
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to (a) raise the maximum penalty for causing death by (i) dangerous driving and (ii) careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs to life imprisonment, (b) create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving and (c) increase the minimum period of disqualification for drivers convicted of causing death by any driving offence.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 22 July 2019

We are focused on getting the law right, to ensure the changes we make are comprehensive, proportionate and, crucially, practical.

We will bring forward proposals for changes in the law to increase the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs to life imprisonment, and create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving as soon as possible. These proposals will take account of other government proposals for safer roads.

Q
Asked by Rosie Cooper
(West Lancashire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Industrial Health and Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 9 July 2019 to Question 270730 on Prisons: Industrial Health and Safety, whether all prison staff who are not directly employed by HMPPS have access to (a) occupational health services, (b) employee assistance programmes, (c) trauma support services and (d) personal well-being zones.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 22 July 2019

HMPPS value the contribution made by external partners to HMPPS and work collaboratively with suppliers to ensure the health and safety of non-directly employed staff in prison and probation sites

Prison staff not directly employed by HMPPS can have access to the Employee Assistance Programme, trauma support services and personal well-being zones. These arrangements are agreed by officials in consultation with our external partners. However, it is normal practice for most of our external partners to have their own support arrangements in place for their staff.

Prison staff not directly employed by HMPPS do not have access to all occupational health services because occupational health is the responsibility of their employer.

However, contractors and third party supplier staff do have access to a 24 hour body fluid exposure and sharps injury help line, which gives non-directly employed prison staff access to immediate and specialist advice and guidance from a nurse following a suspected and actual body fluid exposure incident. This is part of our commitment to helping to protect staff from the risk of contracting blood borne viruses.

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