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Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many strip searches were made of female prisoners on remand in Her Majesty's remand centres at (a) Pucklechurch, (b) Low Newton, (c) Risley, and (d) Her Majesty's prison Holloway in each month of 1988, giving the number of prisoners involved and the number of times each was searched ; what items the possession of which was a breach of any rule of the establishment or of any law were discovered in any such search indicating how many in each category ; in how many cases remand prisoners refused to be searched and were restrained while the search was being conducted ; and what were the reasons for the search under the following headings : (a) making a remand appearance at court, (b) attending trial, (c) cell change, (d) inter-prison visit, and (e) other reasons ;
Column 496(2) how many strip searches were made of convicted female prisoners in Her Majesty's prisons (a) Holloway, (b) Cookham Wood, (c) Styal and (d) Durham in each month of 1988, giving the number of prisoners involved and the number of times each person was searched ; what items the possession of which was a breach of any prison rule or of any law were discovered in any such search indicating how many in each category ; in how many cases prisoners refused to be searched and were restrained while the search was conducted ; and what were the reasons for the search under the following headings : (a) cell change, (b) attendance at court, (c) before/after receiving a visit, and (d) other reasons.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Comprehensive records of strip searches are available only in respect of category A women prisoners. Between 1 January and 27 September 1988, one such prisoner was held on remand in Risley remand centre. During this period, she was strip searched on the following numbers of occasions :
|In connection with remand|Trial |Cell change |Inter-prison visit |Other reasons |hearings -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- January |6 |- |- |- |- February |14 |- |- |- |5 March |4 |- |- |- |3 April |- |- |- |- |- May |- |- |1 |- |2 June |- |- |1 |- |2 July |- |- |1 |- |- August |- |- |- |- |- September |- |- |1 |- |1
Between 1 January and 30 October 1988, there were three, and between 31 October and 31 December 1988,
Column 496there were four convicted category A women prisoners in Durham. These prisoners were strip searched on the following occasions :
|Inmate |Cell changes and cell |Court appearances |Before or after visits|Other reasons |searches ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- January |A |1 |- |2 |- |B |1- |- |2 |C |1 |-1 |1 February |A |1 |- |- |- |B |1 |- |- |- |C |1 |- |1 |- March |A |1 |- |2 |- |B |1 |- |3 |- |C |1 |- |- |2 April |A |2 |- |3 |- |B |2 |- |3 |- |C |1 |- |1 |- May |A |1 |- |2 |- |B |1 |- |- |- |C |3 |- |- |- June |A |2 |- |2 |- |B |1 |- |1 |- |C |1 |- |1 |2 July |A |- |- |- |- |B |1 |- |- |- |C |- |- |- |- August |A |2 |- |3 |- |B |2 |- |- |- |C |2 |- |1 |2 September |A |- |- |2 |- |B |1 |- |4 |- |C |1 |- |1 |2 October |A |1 |- |2 |- |B |2 |- |4 |- |C |1 |- |1 |- |D |- |- |- |- November |A |1 |- |2 |1 |B |1 |- |3 |1 |C |2 |- |1 |1 |D |2 |- |1 |1 December |A |1 |- |3 |- |B |1 |- |5 |- |C |2 |- |1 |- |D |2 |- |2 |-
No unauthorised article was discovered on any of these occasions. On no occasion did any of these prisoners refuse to be strip searched.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made by his Department in considering any necessary amendments to law and practice following from the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Robert Weekes, 2 March 1987, and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The implications of the judgment are still under consideration. Further applications by life sentence prisoners have been heard by the European Commission of Human Rights and we shall take account of the progress of those applications in considering whether any amendments may be necessary to our law and practice.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, following his White paper on
Column 498broadcasting in the 1990's, he has plans to enable a series of national independent radio stations to operate in addition to local radio stations.
Mr. Renton : Yes. Paragraph 8.4 of the broadcasting White Paper (November Cm. 517) sets out our proposals for three national commercial radio stations.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his written answer to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North of 10 February, if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to the number of occasions on which he upheld a complaint by a vehicle owner against the towing-away of a vehicle on the ground that it was an unreasonable exercise of this power and as to the recompense made in each case, for the latest 12 month period for which figures are available.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the Commissioner that between 1 October 1987 and 30 September 1988, the most recent 12-month period for which complete statistics are available, the charge payable following vehicle removal was waived or refunded in 2,292 cases. Information about the reasons for the waiving or
Column 499refunding of the charge or about cases where any compensation was paid could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Allan Roberts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his Department's plans to collect and to publish information on (a) the number of criminal proceedings (i) for harassment and (ii) for illegal eviction commenced by (1) local authorities, (2) private individuals and (3) the police under the provisions of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 as amended by the provisions of the Housing Act 1988 part I, (b) the number of such proceedings in which (i) the defendant was convicted and (ii) the plaintiff was awarded compensation and (c) the level of (i) fines and (ii) damages awarded in such proceedings.
Mr. John Patten : Information is collected and published annually for prosecutions under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, Supplementary Volume 1, 1987" under offence class 87. A copy is in the Library of the House. It is possible from the information collected centrally to identify separately the number of prosecutions for (i) harassment and (ii) illegal eviction, including the number of convictions, compensation awarded and the level of fines imposed. However, information is not collected centrally on the number of prosecutions commenced by (1) local authorities, (2) private individuals and (3) the police or on damages awarded.
Figures for prosecution following the Housing Act 1988 part I will not be available until the autumn of 1989.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department where he will be introducing tagging as a condition of bail ; and what criteria he will use in choosing these areas.
Mr. John Patten : We hope to conduct trials of electronic monitoring, with the co-operation of the courts and others concerned, in Nottingham, north Tyneside and in a third area still to be decided. In identifying possible areas for the trials to take place, we have had in mind primarily the numbers of defendants now remanded in custody by the courts concerned.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the police national computer holds details of (a) the names or (b) the crimes committed by persons serving in Her Majesty's prisons who have absconded.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Information on the names of absconders may be held on the wanted missing persons file of the police national computer where, in the police's view, this information would be operationally useful.
In addition, an individual's record on the index of criminal names held on the PNC may be amended to indicate that he or she is an absconder, where the police consider that this would be operationally useful.
Details of an absconder's criminal convictions will be available on the convictions record of the PNC, if he or she
Column 500were first convicted of a recordable offence in 1981 or later. Broadly speaking, recordable offences are offences for which a term of imprisonment may be given.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will supply a list of offences for which prisoners who have currently absconded from Her Majesty's prisons were convicted.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Information is not available in the form requested, and reliable information is not available for the period before 1981. Records of prisoners unlawfully at large on 31 December 1988 having, between 1 January 1981 and 31 December 1988, escaped or absconded from a prison in England or Wales (including prisoners who escaped from escort or failed to return from home leave or temporary release) embrace charges or convictions for all offences under the offence classification headings used in published prison statistics (eg, in table 1.7 of the 1987 volume, Cm. 547) except cruelty to children, gross indecency with children, theft of motor vehicle, in charge or driving under the influence of drink or drugs, drunkenness, vagrancy and courts martial prisoners. The records show the principal offence where the prisoners were charged with, or convicted of, more than one type of offence. In some cases, the offence is not recorded.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) suicides and (b) attempted suicides there were in prisons in England and Wales in 1988.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Verdicts of suicide have been returned on 26 inmates who died in prison department establishments in England and Wales during 1988. Inquests have yet be be held on five other inmates who died in prison department custody during this period and whose deaths are thought to have been suicide.
Figures are not available for reported apparent suicide attempts for the calendar year 1988, but there were 343 reported instances in the period 1 April 1987 to 31 March 1988.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) suicides and (b) attempted suicides occurred in (i) Holloway, (ii) Brixton, (iii) Wormwood scrubs, (iv) Leeds, (v) Manchester, (vi) Birmingham, (vii) Liverpool and (viii) Wandsworth during 1988.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information requested is given in the following table :
|Suicides |Attempted suicides<1> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Holloway |0 |19 Brixton |1 |16 Wormwood Scrubs |2 |9 Leeds |4 |12 Manchester |2 |8 Birmingham |2 |11 Liverpool |0 |27 Wandsworth |1 |8 <1>The number of incidents reported to the prison department as specific suicide attempts.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many female prisoners served sentences separated from their children, aged 18 months or under, in 1988.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. A census on 11 August 1986 showed that 340 females in custody were known to be mothers of 455 children aged five years or under. Of those 455, 93 aged 18 months or under were not with their mothers in prison.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he proposes to take to deal with increasing prison indiscipline ; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for this trend.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : There are provisions in the prison rules which enable suitable charges to be brought against prisoners alleged to have committed disciplinary offences. The statistics relating to offences punished do not suggest that there has been an overall increase in indiscipline in recent years.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated cost of each of the prisons under construction or planned within the prison building programme.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Irving) on 20 January 1989 at column 349 . This provides the requested information in relation to all the new prisons in the current building programme on which sufficient progress has been made for preliminary estimates to be produced.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the original estimated cost and the actual cost of building each of the completed prisons within the Government's prison building programme since 1979.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Irving) on 20 January 1989 at column 348.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were being held in police cells in England and Wales on 10 February.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : A total of 245.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he employs in deciding how to use his powers under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 in respect of special provision for refugees resettled in the United Kingdom via British colonies or Commonwealth countries.
Mr. John Patten : Under the terms of section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966, grant may be paid to local authorities only to assist with special provision required because of the presence of substantial numbers of immigrants from the Commonwealth. Refugees of non-Commonwealth origin who have arrived in the United Kingdom via a Commonwealth country are not considered to be within the scope of the legislation.
Mr. Watts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance his Department gives to senior police officers about accepting hospitality from foreign Governments.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have not issued particular guidance on this matter.
Mr. David Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the report of Her Majesty's chief inspector of prisons on prison sanitation will be published ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : The report of a review of prison sanitation, conducted by Judge Stephen Tumim and his staff, is published today. I am grateful to Her Majesty's chief inspector of prisons for this valuable contribution to our work on improving conditions for prisoners and welcome the detailed research which has gone into his recommendations. I am placing copies of the report in the Library and making further copies available for the Vote Office.
Judge Tumim's principal recommendation is that access to sanitation should be provided at all times for all inmates in prisons in England and Wales within a period of seven years. This should be done either by providing in- cell sanitation, or by using electronic means to allow individual prisoners to leave their cells, or by providing additional staff to allow for manual unlocking at the request of the prisoner. Her Majesty's chief inspector of prisons stresses that, apart from improving hygiene and increasing self- respect, the abolition of slopping out would help both inmates and staff by allowing a better use of time.
I entirely share Her Majesty's chief inspector's view that the ending of slopping out would make a substantial difference to the lives of prisoners and of staff. It should be a high priority. All prisons built or designed since this Government came to office in 1979 have either integral sanitation within the living accommodation or free access to sanitation. About half of the existing accommodation now has access to night sanitation. There is, therefore, already considerable experience of the regimes which can be provided where slopping out can be avoided. Prison service management is well aware of the advantages to be gained. They are committed to ensuring that better regimes are achieved as the programme for improving facilities progresses.
At the beginning of this decade, it was thought that the most effective way of providing integral sanitation in existing establishments was to convert one cell in three to provide separate sanitary annexes with toilets and hand-basins for each of the other two. This system involves major structural alterations and requires whole wings to be vacated simultaneously. It thus reduces the
Column 503number of prison places and can be undertaken only in conjunction with major refurbishment. This inevitably makes progress slow. Recognising that the best may be the enemy of the good, prison service staff during the past few years have looked for alternative methods of achieving the same ends more quickly and at less cost. Among these alternative methods were electronic unlocking and the installation of toilets and wash-basins in existing cells without major building works or net loss of places. Tests carried out by the prison service directorate of works of these new methods have proved successful. As Her Majesty's chief inspector acknowledges, this work has provided the cornerstone for the recommendations in his report. I am accordingly glad to be able to accept without reservation Her Majesty's chief inspector's recommendation that integral sanitation should be installed in many existing cells during the next seven years. A provisional programme for adding more than 6,500 cells to those already scheduled for conversion has been identified as practicable in the light of the tests already mentioned. Work has already begun or will be beginning in each of the 27 establishments listed as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made. In addition electronic unlocking is to be installed at Bullwood hall and New hall. This new programme will reduce the current 50 per cent. of places without access to sanitation to about 13 per cent. by the end of the century, that is about 8,000 places. This is a considerable improvement on the figures of 25 per cent. or 14,500 places which had been anticipated.
Each establishment not listed, and in which there is not already access to night sanitation, will be examined during the next year to determine the best way of providing such access, taking account of its individual circumstances, including the present state of its fabric and future plans for its use. In some instances it may not be practicable either to install integral sanitation or to introduce electronic unlocking. A decision whether to provide the high level of staffing required to allow for manual unlocking will have to depend on other staffing priorities. I cannot, therefore, give an absolute undertaking as to when slopping out will end totally. But the number of places without access to night sanitation will be very substantially reduced within seven years.
The other main recommendation in the report relates to the position of works staff and the need to enable them to fulfil their role effectively within establishments. The prisons board, as one of its key priorities for 1989-90, has required governors to produce and achieve a planned works maintenance programme making maximum use of the professional skills of works officers and of inmate labour. The conclusions of the review of the regional and headquarters organisation of the prison service which was announced recently on 3 February 1989 at column 420, will also be relevant to this recommendation, which will be implemented in the light of these two associated initiatives.
I endorse what is said in the report about the importance and useful part played by works staff in maintaining our establishments. Their commitment and expertise will be a significant factor in our ability to put Her Majesty's chief inspector's proposals into effect.
Establishments where integral sanitation is being or will be installed Bedford
Column 504Camp Hill
Durham (H wing only)
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the British authorities in Karachi first contacted his Department about Mrs. AL, wife of MY, reference IMP Y53167/3(5) ; when she was interviewed ; what other steps were taken by his Department in processing this case ; and when the case was finally referred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Mr. Renton [holding answer 17 February 1989] : The entry clearance officer in Karachi referred Mr. Mohammed Yousuf's application to the immigration department on 20 January 1987. The Department wrote to Mrs. Limbada on 19 February 1987 and in the light of her response concluded that an interview was necessary. Owing to a combination of pressure of work and Mrs. Limbada's absence from the United Kingdom it did not prove possible to arrange an interview until 10 August 1988. The interview report was sent to the entry clearance officer shortly afterwards. Due to an oversight, however, the entry clearance officer was not asked to reach a decision on the application until 25 February 1989. Following a re-interview of Mr. Yousuf on 12 February, the entry clearance officer decided to refuse the application.
Mr. Gerald Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many justices' clerks are paid in excess of the JNC for justices' clerks national salary arrangements in (a) London and (b) the rest of England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 17 February 1989] : The salary scales approved within the JNC for justices' clerks do not directly apply to inner London. In the rest of England and Wales magistrates' courts committees are expected to pay justices' clerks in accordance with agreements reached in the JNC and approved by the Secretary of State for grant purposes.
No instance of payment in excess of JNC agreed salary scales has been drawn to my attention.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions since 1979 his
Column 505Department has made extradition applications for terrorist or other offences ; and how often, by whom and for what reasons such requests have been rejected.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 16 February 1989] : The readily available information for extradition requests from England and Wales to foreign states, Commonwealth countries and (by police forces) to the Republic of Ireland is given in the following tables. Requests involving terrorist offences are specified where known. The Irish statistics are based mainly on information provided by police forces. Full details of reasons for refusals of requests in individual cases are not readily available ; but the reasons include insufficient evidence, that the fugitive was a national of the requested state, and that the alleged offences were time-barred under the law of the requested state.
|c|Extradition requests to foreign states|c| Year |Number of requests|Number refused |Country of refusal ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |4 1980 |<1>12 |<1>2 |Netherlands |Germany 1981 |<1>13 1982 |11 |1 |France 1983 |13 1984 |21 |1 |Netherlands 1985 |16 |2 |Netherlands 1986 |15 |1 |France 1987 |27 |2 |France |Austria 1988 |<1>20 |<1>1 |Belgium <1>Includes one case involving terrorist offences.
|c|Extradition requests to Commonwealth countries|c| |Country of refusal|Number of requests|Number refused ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |New Zealand |3 |1 1980 |2 |- 1981 |Barbados |3 |1 1982 |Sri Lanka |5 |1 1983 |3 |- 1984 |5 |- 1985 |Zimbabwe |6 |1 1986 |New Zealand |6 |2 1987 |7 |- 1988 |3 |-
|c|Extradition requests to the Republic of Ireland|c| |Number of requests|Number refused ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |53 |1 1980 |54 |1 1981 |43 |2 1982 |41 |1 1983 |31 |- 1984 |29 |- 1985 |23 |- 1986 |<1>12 |<1>1 1987 |5 |2 1988 |<2>8 |<1>1 <1> Includes one case involving terrorist offences. <2> Includes two cases involving terrorist offences.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many adults and how many children,
Column 506respectively, are known to have gone missing in the Metropolitan police district during each of the last three Christmas periods.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 19 December 1988] : The available information is given in the following table :
|c|Adults and children reported missing in the Metropolitan Police|c| |c|District in December and still missing on 16 December 1988|c| Month reported missing |Adults aged 18 or over|Children aged under 18 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- December 1985 |10 |2 December 1986 |24 |5 December 1987<1> |20 |5 <1> New counting procedures were introduced from the beginning of 1987, hence the figures for previous years are not comparable.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the current average consultation period required for consideration of schemes submitted under the woodland grant scheme.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Up to the end of January, the average time that elapsed between woodland grant scheme applications being sent out by the Forestry Commission for consultation and applicants being notified of the outcome was between 45 and 50 days.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce regulations to exempt all craft workshops from the standard community charge provisions of the Abolition of Domestic Rates etc. (Scotland) Act 1987 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : Under section 10 of the Abolition of Domestic Rates etc. (Scotland) At 1987, as amended, the standard community charge will be payable in respect of dwellinghouses which are not subject to non-domestic rates and which are not the sole or main residence of any person. Premises which are used exclusively as craft workshops will remain subject to non- domestic rates after 1 April 1989 and will not, therefore, attract liability for the standard community charge.