Results 161–180 of 12554 for speaker:David Gauke

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prison Officer Recruitment (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise that point. The key worker model is crucial. It will allow prison officers to spend more time, both on a one-to-one basis and with small groups of prisoners, improving staff-prisoner relationships. That can help us reduce both violence and reoffending. Some prisons, such as HMP Liverpool, are already running that scheme, and I look forward to more...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prison Officer Recruitment (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: There is already a proper plan to address that point about staffing. That is why the numbers are going up, and that is the point I am setting out. The numbers are at a five-year high. We are ahead of what we promised in October 2016. I am pleased that we are doing that and we will continue to recruit new prison officers—net new prison officers—into the Prison Service.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prison Officer Recruitment (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. We are refreshing the way that training works for prison officers. It is very important that we deal with the issue of drugs, which has been a real game-changer in its effect on prisons. As we change and refresh our training process, we need to ensure that new prison officers have the skills they need to deal with drugs.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prison Officer Recruitment (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend is right; it is important that we not only recruit new staff, but retain existing staff. We are working closely with those prisons that are failing to retain staff. It is worth pointing out that in 2017 the percentage of prison officers in bands 3 to 5 who left the service was 9.7%—higher than we would like it, but not particularly out of line with other employers. Prison...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prison Officer Recruitment (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: I suspect that you, Mr Speaker, would stop me if we started a debate on the state of the public finances in 2010 and the difficult decisions that had to be taken as a result of the situation we inherited. The reality is that since October 2016 we have been recruiting more prison officers, we are ahead of what we said we would do and we are continuing to recruit prison officers. That is really...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Upskirting (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: I share the outrage at the distress that this intrusive behaviour can cause to victims, and I am determined to ensure that they can be confident that their complaints will be taken seriously. I am sympathetic to calls for a change in the law, and my officials are reviewing the current law to make sure that it is fit for purpose. As part of that work, we are considering the private Member’s...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Upskirting (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: Let me also acknowledge the unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett statue. As I have said, I am sympathetic to the idea of our taking action in this regard. There are instances in which people have been successfully prosecuted for upskirting in the context of outraging public decency, and voyeurism can also apply under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. However, those offences do not necessarily cover...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Upskirting (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: We are looking very closely at the Scottish legislation and experience. It is true that a very small number of prosecutions have been brought under that legislation. I want to reassure people that successful prosecutions have been brought in England under the existing law, but I think that there is a case for making sure that we have legislation that deals with this offence specifically.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Upskirting (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: We are looking very closely at how the Scottish legislation has operated to establish whether, if there is a gap, that represents a way in which we can address the matter.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prisons: Drug Smuggling (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: We have invested in improving security through the use of body searches and metal-detecting technology in every prison. We are also trialling new X-ray body scanners to reveal more hidden items. We have invested £3 million to establish national and regional intelligence units in Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service which, with prisons, probation and law enforcement partners, are...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prisons: Drug Smuggling (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: I thank my hon. Friend for his question and his suggestion. We are taking decisive steps to tackle drones bringing contraband into prisons. Under Operation Trenton, Prison Service and police investigators intercept drones and track down the criminals behind them. There have been at least 32 convictions to date, with those sentenced serving in total more than 100 years in prison.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: I am delighted to announce that we have met and exceeded our October 2016 target of recruiting an additional 2,500 prison officers, with 3,101[Official Report, 1 May 2018, Vol. 640, c. 2MC.] full-time equivalent staff joining the prison workforce seven months ahead of schedule, 90% of whom will be on the landings by the summer. Prison officers are some of our finest public servants, and I am...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend is right to raise that. One of the best ways in which we can reduce reoffending is by increasing employment, which is why we have the New Futures Network coming in. I am keen to focus on ensuring that we provide employment opportunities to prisoners as much as possible.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: The Home Secretary set out a comprehensive plan yesterday for how we will make the process much easier for those who have been affected. For example, those who have retired to another country will be able to obtain British citizenship much more easily to allow them to come here without great difficulties involving visas and so on. The Home Secretary also set out how we are going to put in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: On parliamentary time, my understanding is that we are waiting for information from the Labour party. On the substance of the issue, let us remember that reforms to the AGFS were worked out with the Bar Council and the Criminal Bar Association. The reforms are necessary to ensure that legal aid funds are distributed in an appropriate way, and that is why the reforms are being made.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: As the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. and learned Friend the Member for South East Cambridgeshire (Lucy Frazer) pointed out, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs leads on this matter. The Government continue to look at this issue.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. This is a long-standing and very sensitive issue, one my predecessors have looked at closely. We continue to look at it; there are arguments on both sides, and we need to examine the cases carefully before we rush to any judgment on this.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend is right to point out that I am undertaking my own review of that. The first step is to address the decision of the High Court on the existence of rule 25, which prohibits, in essence, any information being provided on Parole Board decisions. We will do that, but we also need to look more widely at how the Parole Board rules work—that includes the issues of transparency and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: We will be updating the House in due course.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (24 Apr 2018)

David Gauke: What I can say at this point is that I think we need to bring forward a number of aspects of that to help to modernise our court system. I hope to be able to make progress on that in the coming months.


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