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100250
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>My discussions about the establishment of a Panel on Parading in the Twaddell/Ardoyne area of North Belfast are ongoing. I have recently written to the Executive parties seeking their thoughts on possible panel membership and am awaiting responses.</p><p>I would urge political parties and others with an involvement in the dispute to engage constructively with this process.</p><p> </p> more like this
101517
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text <p>The appointment of the Assembly Speaker is an entirely devolved matter.</p><p>However, the recently convened cross-party talks offer an opportunity for the Northern Ireland parties to consider the working of the institutions.</p><p> </p> more like this
101516
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text <p>The talks commenced in Belfast on 16 October and I am pleased that all five Executive parties have engaged in the process.</p><p>I believe that it is essential that they give this process the highest priority and show determination in their efforts to reach an agreement on these crucial matters.</p><p> </p> more like this
100051
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text <p /> <p>Every death in custody is a tragedy, and the Government is committed to reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths in prisons. All prisons are required to have procedures in place to identify, manage and support people who are at risk of harm to themselves. These procedures include the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) process, which is a prisoner-centred, flexible care planning system for prisoners identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm. Prisons are also required to ensure that they have procedures in place to learn from deaths in custody to prevent future occurrences.</p><p> </p><p>We are working hard to understand the reasons for the recent rise in the number of self-inflicted deaths, but there is no simple explanation. Additional resources and support are being provided for safer custody work in prisons, and in particular to improve the consistency of the ACCT system. The National Offender Management Service has also put in place additional staff at regional level to support staff in prisons and to share good practice, and created a dedicated learning and knowledge management team at headquarters which is providing further support for safer custody work.</p><p> </p><p>Data on deaths in custody is published quarterly in the Safety in Custody Statistics Bulletin, available at <a href="http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safety-in-custody-statistics" target="_blank">www.gov.uk/government/publications/safety-in-custody-statistics</a>.</p>
100217
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p /> <p>The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) does not place a legal obligation on data controllers to report breaches of security which result in loss, release or corruption of personal data. However, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has made clear that serious breaches should be brought to their attention. The nature of the breach or loss can then be considered together with whether the data controller is properly meeting their responsibilities under the DPA. The DPA does not define ‘serious breaches’ but the ICO have produced guidance to assist data controllers when deciding whether to report a breach. The guidance can be found on its website at: www.ico.org.uk.</p><p>The ICO has a range of tools to allow it to respond robustly and to make sure that private and public sector organisations meet their information rights obligations, such as issuing monetary penalty notices, requiring an organisation(s) to pay up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the DPA.</p> more like this
100038
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p /> <p>The Justice Secretary has recently announced that he has agreed with the Secretary of State for Health that our officials work together to ensure that any prisoner can have mental health treatment equivalent to the best they would receive in the community.</p><p> </p><p>Officials are currently drawing up options for the scope of this work, including consideration of specialist mental health centres within the prison estate. Until these options have been developed, I am unable to say what form they may take and in which prisons they may operate.</p> more like this
100238
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p /> <p>The number of investigations into prison imams completed between 1 January 2010 and 30 June 2014 was 13, 9 of which resulted in disciplinary action. Figures have not been provided for individual years as the numbers in each year, other than 2013, are five or fewer. The detail cannot be provided to prevent identification or disclosure relating to individual cases. Similarly, information on the alleged breach of conduct and discipline is not being provided for the same reasons.</p><p> </p><p>There are 100 directly employed and also 120 sessional Muslim Chaplains. All employed Chaplains go through a robust recruitment process. Following a competency based application and panel sift there is a three part board consisting of sermon, role play and panel interview. A Chaplain also requires endorsement by their faith community - for Muslim Chaplains this would be the NOMS Muslim Adviser. Sessional Muslim Chaplains are required to have the appropriate Islamic credentials checked by our Muslim Adviser. A disciplinary investigation for an employed Chaplain follows the same process as that for any other NOMS employee.</p>
100239
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p /> <p>This Government takes recovery and enforcement of financial impositions very seriously and remains committed to finding new ways to encourage payment of impositions and to trace those who do not pay. This is why there has been a year on year increase in the amount of financial penalties collected over the last three years.</p><p> </p><p>When it appears to H M Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) that an offender is normally resident in another EU country HMCTS can transfer road traffic offence fines, imposed by courts in this country, to other EU jurisdictions for enforcement under the EU Framework Decision on Mutual Recognition of Financial Penalties (MRFP). The Framework Decision obliges Member States to take over enforcement of eligible fines imposed by other Member States’ courts, where the offender is resident or has assets in the enforcing state.</p><p> </p><p>Where the offender is resident in a non EU country or in one not included in the MRFP Framework there is no mechanism for HMCTS to be able to recover the amounts outstanding.</p>
100244
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text <p>Public Protection is a key priority for this Government. Given the social and financial costs incurred by high reoffending rates, it is imperative that we act now to help offenders turn their backs on crime. With more than half a million crimes committed each year by those who have broken the law before, the status quo is not an option. It is for this reason that the Government set out in the Coalition Agreement our commitment to reform offender rehabilitation services.</p><p> </p><p>The Government does of course understand the need to implement these reforms in a manner that ensures that public safety is maintained. This is why we have been clear that we will manage these changes in a controlled way and will not proceed until we are satisfied that it is safe to do so. We continue to monitor the performance of the system.</p><p> </p> more like this
100243
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>The National Agreement on Staff Transfer and Protections includes an enhanced national voluntary redundancy scheme which applies up to and including 31 March 2016. Decisions including agreement on applications for voluntary redundancy have to be made and agreed by 31 March 2015. The costs of all exits under this scheme will be met from the Department’s Modernisation Fund, which is used to support sustainable reductions in resource requirements.</p><p> </p><p>Figures relating to the numbers of redundancies will in due course be published in the NOMS Annual Report and Accounts.</p><p> </p> more like this