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Justice written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan Conservative, Loughborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of suspended sentences which have been breached by offenders in (a) Leicestershire, (b) the East Midlands region and (c) England in the last 12 months.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

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

Information on breaches of suspended sentence orders (SSOs) by individual offenders is recorded by probation trusts on their case management systems. It is used in the day-to-day management of offenders, including as a trigger to appropriate action in response to breach, for example through formal warnings or enforcement action, but data on the total number of breaches do not form part of trusts' routine reporting.

However, data are available on the reasons for termination of SSOs. These reasons include successful completion of the order as well as early termination for failure to comply with requirements or for conviction of a further offence.

The numbers of successful and unsuccessful completions of SSOs for 2010-11 for (a) Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Trust, (b) the East Midlands region and (c) for England are set out in the following table:

Suspended sentence orders, 2010-11
Successful terminations (number) Unsuccessful terminations (number) Total successful and unsuccessful terminations (number) Percentage of unsuccessful terminations
(a) Leicestershire and Rutland 551 273 824 33.1
(b) East Midlands 2,368 1,150 3,518 32.7
(c) England 29,037 11,450 40,487 28.3

The figures are a sub-set of the figures used to calculate the rate of successful completion of orders and licences published in the NOMS Annual Report 2010-11: Management Information Addendum:


It should be noted that the figures in the column for total successful and unsuccessful completions do not constitute all SSOs which terminated during the period. There are in addition a number which terminate for other reasons, such as a conditional discharge or the death of the offender, which are treated as ‘neutral’ for the purposes of the NOMS indicator and therefore excluded from the calculation.

The figures 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.

Not all breaches of SSOs will result in early termination. In line with National Standards for the Management of Offenders 2011 and the accompanying draft Practice Framework an offender who fails to comply with the terms of his or her supervision on a community order or suspended sentence order may be given one formal warning in any 12-month period on an order before breach action becomes required.

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