Gareth Johnson: Dartford has seen over 1,000 new homes built in and around the town during the past 12 months, which is more than anywhere in Kent and one of the highest figures in the country. Does the Minister agree that investment in infrastructure needs to complement those new homes, not wait for several years?
Gareth Johnson: It is pleasing to be able to contribute to this estimates day debate. It gives me the opportunity to cover some general issues concerning the criminal justice system, and also a couple of specific ones. I think we would all agree that it is of course the first obligation on any Government to protect their people. We often hear that said in a defence context, but it is just as pertinent in a...
Gareth Johnson: As a 48-year-old, I instinctively have sympathy with the point my hon. Friend makes. While the prosecution must be represented, it is absolutely essential that the defence has representation as well. That is in the interests of justice. It is fair to say that this country, compared with the rest of the world, spends a favourable amount of money on legal aid. I concede that it is always...
Gareth Johnson: My hon. Friend makes a valuable point. While there are challenges in the new system of probation supervision, does he agree that it is very welcome that we are now supervising short-term prisoners, which for many years we did not do?
Gareth Johnson: I am pleased to be able to contribute to the debate. I pay tribute to the Petitions Committee and to the contribution of the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mike Hill). We all agree that pet theft is a particularly nasty, cruel and growing crime that brings misery to owners and to dogs. I got involved with this issue when a case was brought to my attention of a lady who lived on her own and did...
Gareth Johnson: If I understand my hon. Friend’s point, the Proceeds of Crime Act is fine when there are some proceeds, but when there are no proceeds, it is very difficult to use. My hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Bob Stewart) mentioned that his dogs are worth about £50 each.
Gareth Johnson: My dogs are not worth 50p each, but that is not the point. The whole point is that our pets are priceless to us and the law does not recognise that.
Gareth Johnson: Without going into details, if my dog had offspring it would be something of a miracle, so it would be worth an awful lot of money. My hon. Friend makes a very pertinent point, however. Some people steal dogs to use them for breeding and therefore make lots of money for themselves, as the puppies are sold on. We have seen a particular increase in thefts of French bulldogs, because they are...
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment has been made of trends in the level of dog theft.
Gareth Johnson: Why is there this sudden interest in money resolutions from the Labour party? I cannot find a single instance of the Labour party in government looking to change the rules surrounding money resolutions, so is it simply for political expedience that this motion has been introduced today?
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of vehicles using the Dartford Crossing; and to what extent that crossing is (a) meeting and (b) exceeding its operational capacity.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Attorney General, what plans he has to extend the unduly lenient sentence scheme.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Attorney General, how many people have applied for sentences to be reviewed under the unduly lenient sentence scheme in the last 12 months.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Attorney General, how many applications under the unduly lenient sentence scheme have been rejected due to falling outside the remit of that scheme in the last 12 months.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Attorney General, how many sentences referred to the Court of Appeal under the unduly lenient sentence scheme were (a) increased and (b) kept the same in the last 12 months.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many vehicle accidents on the A282 were registered by Highways England between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many vehicle accidents on the A282 were registered by Highways England between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of passengers using High Speed 1 trains at peak times between Ebbsfleet International Station and London terminals.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage more students to study modern foreign languages at GCSE and A Level.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of young people from Dartford who went to university in each of the last five years.