Steve Rotheram – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Steve Rotheram on 2014-03-12.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions an individual on licence for an attempted murder conviction has been granted permission to enter an exclusion zone which has been formed as part of their licence arrangement in each of the last 10 years.

Jeremy Wright

Unfortunately, it is not possible to answer these questions without carrying out a manual search through all relevant individual offender files, at disproportionate cost.

Conditions such as an exclusion zone may be applied to an offender’s licence where it is necessary to manage the risk that the individual offender poses following release into the community – and where it is proportionate to that risk. Where qualifying victims have exercised their statutory right to make representations about the offender’s licence conditions, the exclusion zone set will take into account those representations. In each case, the supervising officer proposes conditions as appropriate and requests these from the appropriate authority, which applies it to the licence on behalf of the Secretary of State. In the case of determinate sentence prisoners, the authority is the prison governor; in the case of indeterminate sentence prisoners, or others whose release is on the direction of the Parole Board, the authority is the Parole Board.

These conditions must be kept under review, and are intended to be flexible to the possible resettlement needs of an offender in the community and any new risks that arise.

An exclusion zone will rarely be absolute, as it is recognised that there may be exceptional reasons why the offender needs to enter the exclusion zone. Thus, where an exclusion zone is included in the offender’s licence, it will usually be open to the supervising officer to grant the offender permission to enter the exclusion zone, for a temporary period and for a specific purpose.

As this is a purely localised decision, there is no national record of the number of occasions such permission has been given. It is, therefore, not possible to answer the questions regarding how many times an offender has been granted permission to enter the exclusion zone applied to his licence.

Data from the last 10 years is not available in the required electronic format to answer the question relating to numbers of offenders with exclusion zones included in their licence. To provide such information would again require a manual interrogation of offenders’ records and this would incur disproportionate cost.