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Crime (Nottinghamshire)

66. Mr. Andrew Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the figures for reported crime in Nottinghamshire for 1988.

Mr. John Patten : It is planned to publish 1988 figures for all forces in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin in the week beginning 13 March. Figures for the 12 months ending 30 September 1988 show that recorded crime in the Nottinghamshire police force area fell by 1 per cent. compared with the 12 months ending 30 September 1987. The change between the calendar years 1988 and 1987 will be similar.


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Mr. Ian Dunlop

67. Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will as a matter of urgency review the case of Mr. Ian Dunlop, currently detained in Her Majesty's prison, Wakefield, with a view to his early release.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I am satisfied that there are insufficient grounds for Mr. Dunlop's early release on life licence. I have recently written to the hon. Member about this case.

NACRO

69. Mr. Lofthouse : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he next intends to meet the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders to discuss minimum standards in prisons.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I see representatives of NACRO from time to time to discuss a variety of subjects, but no date has yet been fixed for our next meeting.

Crime (Thames Valley)

72. Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the figures for reported crime in the Thames Valley for 1988.

Mr. John Patten : It is planned to publish 1988 figures for all forces in a Home Office statistical bulletin in the week beginning 13 March. Figures for the 12 months ending 30 September 1988 show that recorded crime in the Thames Valley police force area fell by 9 per cent. compared with the 12 months ending 30 September 1987. The change between the calendar years 1988 and 1987 will be similar.

Electronic Tagging

74. Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence he has considered on electronic tagging schemes in the United States of America.

Mr. John Patten : My noble Friend Lord Caithness reported to my right hon. Friend the outcome of his ministerial visit to the United States of America in 1987, in the course of which he looked at the use there of electronic monitoring. A large amount of published and unpublished American material on this subject has also been reviewed within my Department. Home Office officials visited the United States during the week beginning 13 February to make an up-to-date assessment of electronic monitoring services in operation.

Football Membership Scheme

75. Mr. Ashton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Police Federation regarding the introduction of membership cards for football supporters.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend has had no discussions with the Police Federation on this subject but my hon. Friend the Minister for Sport met them on 15 December. They have also had a meeting with officials.


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Crime (Essex)

76. Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the figures for reported crime in Essex for 1988.

Mr. John Patten : It is planned to publish 1988 figures for all forces in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin in the week beginning 13 March. Figures for the 12 months ending 30 September 1988 show that recorded crime in the Essex police force area fell by 2 per cent. compared with the 12 months ending 30 September 1987. The change between the calendar years 1988 and 1987 will be similar.

Crime (Kent)

77. Mr. Jacques Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the figures for reported crime in Kent for 1988.

Mr. John Patten : It is planned to publish 1988 figures for all forces in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin in the week beginning 13 March. Figures for the 12 months ending 30 September 1988 show that recorded crime in the Kent police force area rose by 2 per cent. compared with the 12 months ending 30 September 1987. The change between the calendar years 1988 and 1987 will be similar.

Northumbria Police

80. Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received about the current manning levels of the Northumbria police force ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend considered an application from the police authority for an additional 84 police posts for the Northumbria police in 1989-90. As announced on 30 January at columns 6-7, he was able to approve 30 posts subject to the authority's confirmation of funding which has since been received ; 800 posts were available for provincial forces for 1989-90 and demand exceeded this.

The Department has also received an application for 59 other posts in order to police the Tyne and Wear Metro rapid transit system. This proposal is under consideration.

Chief Police Officers

81. Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last met the officers of the Association of Chief Police Officers ; and what matters were discussed.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend gave to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) on 15 December at column 708 .

Motor Vehicles (Theft)

82. Mr. Hanley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the most recent figures for thefts of motor vehicles in England and Wales.

Mr. John Patten : It is planned to publish 1988 figures for all forces in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin in the week beginning 13 March. Figures for the 12 months ending 30 September 1988 were published in Home Office


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Statistical Bulletin 36/88 and show that recorded thefts of motor vehicles in England and Wales fell by 6 per cent. compared with the 12 months ending September 1988.

Parties

83. Mrs. Maureen Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration is being given to giving the police the power to enter houses without warrants where excessively long or noisy parties are being held.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : None. Police powers to enter private premises without warrant must be strictly limited. They are set out in section 17 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Juveniles (Court Attendance)

Mr. Gill : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he intends to take to encourage courts as a general rule to require that parents of juveniles attend court with them.

Mr. John Patten : Courts already normally require parents to attend with their juvenile children who appear in court in criminal proceedings, but we are considering how even better parental attendance might be encouraged.

Remand Prisoners

Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the latest figure on the proportion of prisoners held in custody who are unconvicted awaiting trial ; and what was the corresponding figure for the nearest available comparable date in 1979.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Untried prisoners in prison service establishments and police cells in England and Wales formed about 19 per cent. of the prison population on 31 December 1988 compared with about 9 per cent. on 31 December 1979.

Race Relations

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he has not yet given a response dealing with the merits of the proposals "Review of the Race Relations Act 1976 : Proposals for Change" presented to him by the Commission for Racial Equality in 1985.

Mr. Hurd : The Home Office has discussed the Commission for Racial Equality's 1985 review of the Race Relations Act 1976 with the commission on several occasions.

AIDS

Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the last 10 years immigration officers have refused passengers admission to the United Kingdom on any grounds directly or indirectly connected with AIDS, HIV infection, or suspected AIDS or HIV infection, including the failure to satisfy immigration officers that the passenger had funds available to meet the costs of medical treatment which might be necessary in consequence of such infection or disease.


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Mr. Renton : I refer the hon. Member to my reply on 10 February to his earlier question on this subject at column 820. The additional information which he now seeks is not available.

Strychnine

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prosecutions there have been in each of the last three years on charges arising from the misuse of strychnine ; (2) what information his Department has concerning the criminal misuse of substances containing strychnine.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Home Office does not collect information about the criminal misuse of substances containing strychnine or about the number of prosecutions arising specifically from its misuse.

Broadcasting in the '90s"

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in the Official Report the names of those organisations who submitted a response to the White Paper, "Broadcasting in the '90s," Cm. 517 ; and which of those organisations favoured the auctioning of franchises.

Mr. Renton : We have so far received over 2,200 responses to the White Paper, a number of which propose some form of competitive tender procedure for licence allocation. Some expected responses are still outstanding, but we have it in mind in due course to place in the Library a list of the main organisations who have submitted comments.

Television Licences

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances tenants or residents eligible for a concessionary television licence under the Wireless Telegraphy (Broadcasting Licence Charges and Exemption) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1988 may claim a refund on the £5 fee if they cease to be eligible for the licence.

Mr. Renton : A refund may be given if the concessionary licence was required for less than 28 days ; if two licences had been issued, one of them unnecessarily ; or on changing from a concessionary licence to a full licence.

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what authority local authorities may collect concessionary television licence fees from tenants eligible for such licences under the Wireless Telegraphy (Broadcasting Licence Charges and Exemption) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1988.

Mr. Renton : These arrangements have operated under long-standing agreements with local authorities, in the interests of licence holders and of keeping administrative costs down.

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make it his policy for the national television licence records office to collect fees for concessionary licences from persons in dwellings erected or converted for occupation by persons eligible under the Wireless Telegraphy (Broadcasting Licence


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Charges and Exemption) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1988 against a list of completed licence schedules and appropriate certificates from a local authority or housing association.

Mr. Renton : There are no plans to do so.

Tape-recorded Evidence

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about tape recording police interviews with suspects.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to his question of 15 December at column 715. We plan to lay the first order under section 60(1)(b) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 during the current parliamentary session. The order will require the tape recording of interviews in accordance with the codes of practice in areas specified in the order. We are discussing with the Association of Chief Police Officers the timing of the first order and which forces it should cover.

Official Secrets Bill

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of officials in his Department at each grade working on the Official Secrets Bill.

Mr. Hurd : Work on the Bill falls mainly to six officials in my Department--one in grade 5, one in grade 7, one higher executive officer (development), one administration officer and two personal secretaries. Other officials assist as required.

Absent Voting

Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will report progress on his consideration of the options for changing the law on absent voting.

Mr. Hurd : I have placed in the Library copies of a consultation paper on absent voting, together with a paper on associated costs, which the home Departments are issuing today to representatives of the local authorities, electoral registration officers and main political parties. This discusses possible ways of remedying certain difficulties regarding postal and proxy voting which arose during the 1987 general election.

BBC Services for Doctors

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many doctors (a) are subscribing to and (b) have decoders to receive the British Broadcasting Corporation's night- time subscription service for doctors.

Mr. Renton [holding answer 23 February 1989] : I understand from British Medical Television that, so far, some 2,000 decoders have sent to doctors who have subscribed to the service and that there are some 13,000 subscription requests still to be processed.

DNA Testing

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people over 18 years, but who had a positive DNA test result when they were under 18


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years, are currently waiting for their application to enter the United Kingdom to be processed ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) how many dependants of men already settled in the United Kingdom, having had positive DNA test results, are currently waiting for their applications to enter the United Kingdom to be processed ; and how many of these dependants have been waiting for (a) 12 months and (b) over 24 months.

Mr. Renton [holding answer 31 January 1989] : The information is not available in the form requested, and could not readily be obtained.

As regards the age of young applicants, applications for entry clearance as a child under paragraph 50 of the immigration rules must be made to a British post overseas before the child's 18th birthday. Any DNA evidence which is produced before the application is finally determined will, however, be taken into account, whether the tests were commissioned before or after the child's 18th birthday. Applications or reapplications for entry clearance lodged after a child has reached the age of 18 will normally fall to be considered under paragraph 52 of the rules.

The great majority of cases in which DNA evidence has been produced involve applications made to posts at Dhaka and Islamabad. How long an application will normally take to be processed will depend upon in which queue the application is placed. Waiting times at Dhaka and Islamabad in October 1988 were as follows :


          |Months       

------------------------

Dhaka                   

Q1        |3            

Q2        |7            

Q3        |7            

Q4        |23           

                        

Islamabad               

Q1        |4            

Q2        |11           

Q3        |20           

Q4        |20           

Persons seeking admission under paragraphs 50 or 52 of the rules will be placed in whichever is the relevant queue under the following criteria :

Q1 : persons with a claim to the right of abode ; special compassionate cases.

Q2 : children under 18 applying for the first time.

Q3 : children over 18 applying for the first time.

Q4 : reapplicants, whether over or under 18.

SCOTLAND

Charities

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) whether he will seek to introduce, as a compulsory requirement upon each charity in Scotland, registration with the registrar of friendly societies, together with a requirement to lodge annual accounts with the registrar ;

(2) if he will seek to extend to the sheriff court jurisdiction, concurrent with the court of session, over matters concerning charities.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Scottish Home and Health Department issued a consultative memorandum


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last year on supervision of charities in Scotland. Among matters on which views were invited were the establishment of a register of charities and a requirement on charities to make publicly available copies of the annual accounts. Views were also sought on the possibility of the sheriff court having concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Session on charitable matters. The responses to the memorandum are now under consideration.

Forestry Commission

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the Forestry Commission intends to review its broadleaves policy ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Government's broadleaves policy is presently being reviewed. My right hon. and learned Friend will make a statement to the House when the review has been completed.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the areas to which the Forestry Commission's felling licence requirements do not apply.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Several types of felling are exempt from the felling licence requirements, of which the most important are when :

1. The felling is in accordance with an approved plan of operations under one of the Forestry Commission's grant schemes. 2. The trees are in a garden, orchard, churchyard or public open space.

3. The trees are all below 8 cm in diameter, measured 1.3 m from the ground ; or in the case of thinnings, below 10 cm in diameter ; or in the case of coppice or underwood, below 15 cm in diameter. 4. The trees are interfering with permitted development or statutory works by public bodies.

5. The trees are dead, dangerous, causing a nuisance or are badly affected by Dutch elm disease.

6. The felling is in compliance with an Act of Parliament. Also, in any calendar quarter up to 5 cu m of timber may be felled by an occupier without a licence provided not more than 2 cu m are sold. Further information is given in the Forestry Commission's booklet "Control of Tree Felling"--a copy of which can be found in the Library.

Farm Woodland Scheme

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the broadleaved component of applications so far submitted under the farm woodland scheme in Scotland, and of those which have been accepted, respectively.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. and learned Friend has received 160 applications, to date, containing proposals to plant approximately 1,700 hectares of land, of which almost 60 per cent. are identified for broadleaf trees. Twenty-four applications have so far been approved and approximately 80 per cent. of the approved planting area is identified for broadleaf trees.

School Examinations

Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the introduction of standard grade examinations and the consequent withdrawal of O grade examinations and traditional forms of examination in higher grade and certificate of sixth-year studies.


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Mr. Michael Forsyth : Eighty per cent. of pupils currently in their fourth year of secondary school in Scotland will be presented in one or more subjects at standard grade this year. This is a most encouraging figure. Teaching materials selected and prepared by central support groups and core groups have now largely been distributed for all subjects in phases 1 to 3 and any remaining materials will be circulated during the current school year. Notes for principal teachers, a manual for headteachers and a revised brochure for pupils and parents have also been produced. Assistance to education authorities for equipping schools for standard grade, especially in science and technological subjects, has been included in capital expenditure allocations amounting to date to £6 million. A further £3.3 million will be available to education authorities for this purpose in 1989-90, an increase of one third on the sum notified to them last year as likely to be available. Details will be given to education authorities shortly.

In view of these developments, it is now appropriate to set firm dates for the withdrawal of certain O grade and traditional higher and CSYS examinations. The timetable will be as follows : as previously announced, the last O grade examinations in metalwork and woodwork will be held in 1989. The last O grade examinations in subjects covered in phases 1 and 2 of the standard grade development programme, will be held in 1991. The last O grade examinations in subjects included in phase 3 of the standard grade development programme will be held in 1992.

The last O grade examinations in subjects for which no standard grade is being developed will be held in 1992. Dates for the last O grade examinations in subjects included in the standard grade development programme after phase 3 will be announced in due course. In every case there will be a limited O grade examination in the immediately following year open only to those resitting the subject. Pupils normally sit highers one or two years after O grade. Accordingly, the last traditionally higher grade examinations in subjects where the higher is being revised to articulate with standard grade will be held two years after the last O grade examination. Similarly, the last higher grade examination in subjects where the higher grade is being discontinued will be held two years after the last O grade examination except for metalwork and woodwork where the last higher grade examination will be held in 1990. Again, in every case there will be a restricted examination in the immediately following year for candidates resitting the subject. The CSYS is normally taken one year after higher. Consultation has confirmed, however, that in some cases it will be as acceptable for candidates to proceed to revise CSYS from traditional higher as from revised higher. Accordingly, the last traditional CSYS examinations in English, French and Latin will be held in 1990. Dates for the withdrawal of other traditional CSYS examinations will be announced in due course. No resits are available for CSYS.

Details of these arrangements are set out in the table, along with a list of new courses which have been or are being developed or about the development of which consultation will take place.

Withdrawal of O grades Last examination 1989

Metalwork


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Woodwork

Last examination 1991

Arithmetic

Art and Design

Computing

Craft and Design

English

French

Home Economics

Latin

Mathematics

Last examination 1992

Agricultural Science

Anatomy, Physiology and Health

Biology

Chemistry

Economic History

Engineering

Gaelic

Geography

Geology

German

Hebrew

History

Horticultural Science

Italian

Modern Studies

Music

Navigation

Norwegian

Physics

Portuguese

Russian

Seamanship and Nautical Knowledge

Secretarial Studies

Spanish

Statistics

Swedish

Last examination after 1992

Accounting

Classical Studies

Economics

Greek

Religious Studies

Technical Drawing

Withdrawal of traditional highers

Last examination 1990

Metalwork

Woodwork

Last examination 1993

Art and Design

Craft and Design

English

French

Home Economics

Latin

Mathematics

Last examination 1994

Agricultural Science

Anatomy, Physiology and Health

Biology

Chemistry

Economic History

Engineering

Gaelic

Geography

German

Hebrew

History

Horticultural Science

Italian

Modern Studies

Music

Navigation

Norwegian


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