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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice
(1) what the average size is of offender groups supervised by the Probation Service in England and Wales for unpaid work;
(2) what estimate he has made of the expected size of offender groups supervised by the Probation Service in England and Wales for unpaid work for the financial year 2012-13.
Information collected by the National Offender Management Service suggests that the average size(1) of unpaid work groups for the period January to March 2011 was 6.1(2).
There is a national competition for community payback/unpaid work currently under way and the expected size of work groups will depend on assessments by the successful provider(s). Therefore no estimate has been made of the expected size of offender work groups in 2012-13. The actual size of work groups is determined by a number of factors including the type of work being undertaken, location and the risks posed by the offenders.
(1) The figure is the actual number of offenders worked (as opposed to the number who were instructed to attend the group).
(2) The figures used in the answer have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.