It is a frequent surprise to see what information Government ministers cannot lay their hands on. Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers has unearthed one example with a written parliamentary question:
"Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many driving bans were served concurrently with prison sentences in each region of England and Wales in (a) each of the last 10 years and (b) 2008 to date.
Maria Eagle: Although the court proceedings data held by my Department provides information on the sentencing of individuals for individual offences, including whether they are disqualified from driving as a result of those offences, it does not hold information on whether each person is already banned from driving when sentence is passed."
Driving bans exist not only to protect the public but to punish people. Needless to say, a driving ban is a comparatively minor inconvenience to a prison inmate. It seems extraordinary that the Government can’t break this one down for us.