Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total cost, including redundancy payments, incurred by his Department as a result of the abandonment of the prison service supply and transport market test.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. John McAllion, dated4 May 1993 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your Question about the costs incurred as a result of the abandonment of the Prison Service supply and transport market test.
In July 1992 approval was given for the award of a contract, subject to negotiation of satisfactory terms and consultation with the TUS, to Beck and Pollitzer for the operation of the warehousing and distribution function of the Prison Service Supply and Transport Branch. The operative date of the contract was to be 1 April 1993. At the time of this decision, it was anticipated that all staff working in the function would be made redundant, although some might be re-employed by Beck and Pollitzer. The estimated redundancy payments for all the staff were £875,000.
As it was not possible to negotiate a satisfactory contract with Beck and Pollitzer, a 3-year service level agreement was awarded to the next best bid, the in-house bid. Staff, who had received redundancy notices in September 1992, were given the option of accepting redundancy or agreeing to the withdrawal of the redundancy notice. Redundancy payments to those who decided to accept redundancy were £620,000.
The Prison Service did not incur any other costs as a result of the abandonment of the market test.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contract was awarded to Beck and Politzer following the abandonment of the prison service supply and transport market test ; whether it was a result of a competitive tendering exercise ; and whether an in-house bid was permitted.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. John McAllion, dated 4 May 1993 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the contract awarded to Beck and Politzer.
Following the decision to award a 3-year service level agreement for the in -house management of the Prison Service Supply and Transport warehousing and distribution function, a 1-year consultancy contract was agreed with Beck and Politzer to provide the in-house management team with advice and assistance in achieving operational and administrative improvements to the function.
Column 74A great deal of preparatory work was carried out by Beck and Politzer in the seven months from the original decision to award them the contract for the management of the function up to the decision to retain the work in-house and this latter decision was made only 4 weeks before the operative date of 1 April 1993. There was therefore not time to arrange for competitive tendering, nor would it have been practical for either another contractor or an in-house team to act as consultants, as the new computer systems to be used after 1 April for stock control and distribution planning were based on the original Beck and Politzer proposal. They were therefore the only organisation capable of providing the necessary consultancy advice.
The agreement reached with Beck and Politzer is an example of the private sector working closely with the public sector to enhance services quality and provide value for money.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what requirements are laid down on how meals are to be provided by Group 4 to prisoners being held in court and police cells while awaiting or during trial ; and if these will be hot meals.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 4 May 1993 : In the absence of Mr. Lewis, the Director General, the Home Secretary has asked me to write to you directly in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what requirements are laid down on how meals are to be provided by Group 4 to prisoners being held in court and police cells whilst awaiting or during trial ; and if these will be hot meals.
The contract with Group 4 Court Services Limited requires the contractor to feed all prisoners who are in its custody at any time between the hours of 1100 and 1400. The lunchtime meal need not be regarded as the main meal of the day, but should be such as to sustain the prisoner until he or she is escorted to the prison or otherwise dealt with. Fresh drinking water should be available to prisoners on request throughout the day. This is in line with guidance to Governors in respect of prisoners held at courts staffed by the Prison Service. Breakfast and tea meals will ordinarily be given either by the police or Prison Service as appropriate.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 4 May 1993 : In the temporary absence of the Director General, Mr. Lewis, the Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your Question about the cost paid by the Prison Service for new cellular vans.
The last cellular van purchased by the Prison Service was in July 1991, for a 14-cell van with air-conditioning, at a total cost of £50,667 exclusive of VAT. The last 12-cell van was purchased in September 1990 at a total cost of £47,275 exclusive of VAT. Air-conditioning was fitted to this van in July 1991 at an additional cost of £7,173 exclusive of VAT.
Column 751990, 1991 and 1992 involving (a) cellular vans and (b) other means of transporting prisoners (i) in England and Wales and (ii) in the east midlands and Humberside area.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 4 May 1993 : In the absence of the Director General, Mr. Lewis, the Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the transport of prisoners.
Only a relatively small number of prisoner movements are by cellular vehicle. In fact the use of cellular vehicles by the Prison Service only began in 1990 and so far only 26 are in use. Apart from those prisoners conveyed by Group 4 most prisoners are escorted to magistrates' courts and the Crown Court, and between establishments, by Prison Service staff but using contract hire taxis and coaches. Movements from magistrates' courts to prisons are undertaken by the police using their vehicles. (In some areas, eg in London, the police also convey prisoners to magistrates' courts, but are paid for this service by the Prison Service.) We do not therefore have the information with which to answer your question.
We do however have information on the amount spent on repairs, and in settlement of third party claims, in respect of accidents involving Prison Service cellular vehicles. The only years for which the information is complete are 1990 (when these vehicles first began to be used by the Prison Service) and 1991. The information is as follows :
|All areas |East Midlands and |Humberside |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1990 |264 |nil 1991 |2,354.50 |618
Letter from I. Dunbar to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 4 May 1993 : In the absence of the Director General, Mr. Lewis, the Home Secretary has asked me to write to you directly in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the number of prisoner custody officers employed by Group 4 Court Escort Services Ltd.
Group 4 currently have 288 staff employed to undertake prisoner custody officer duties as part of the court escort service in the East Midlands and Humberside.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the running costs incurred during 1992 for transporting prisoners in the east midlands and Humberside area ; and if he will give a breakdown of the costs.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 4 May 1993 : In the absence of Mr. Lewis, the Director General, the Home Secretary has asked me to write to you directly in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the running costs incurred during 1992 for transporting prisoners in the East Midlands and Humberside area.
Column 76Our estimate of the operational staff costs in 1993-94 prices is £9.0 million. This excludes overheads, vehicle costs, catering and medical support. Neither the Prison Service nor the police can readily identify these additional costs. By contrast the total cost under the contract is £8.1 million (excluding VAT, which is reclaimable). This sum contains the cost of administrative and management back-up, together with costs of catering, medical support, accommodation (headquarters, control centre and vehicle bases), vehicles and IT. Of the £9.0 million, £6.0 million is attributable to police costs, and £2.8 million to Prison Service costs.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 4 May 1993 : In the temporary absence of Mr. Lewis, the Director General from the office, the Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the number of prisoner transport movements made in the East Midlands and Humberside area during 1992. Data on prisoner movements is not collected centrally. Survey work conducted last summer indicated an annual rate in the area of about 50,000 prisoner movements from police stations and prisons to courts. More detailed data for 1993 will become available in due course from the contractor's management information system.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the number and types of vehicles Group 4 has in its fleet for transporting prisoners under the private escort service in the east midlands and Humberside.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 4 May 1993 : In the absence of the Director General, Mr. Lewis, the Home Secretary has asked me to write to you directly in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about Group 4's fleet of vehicles for the court escort service in the East Midlands and Humberside. Group 4 are using 70 vehicles, of which 57 are cellular vehicles, three are personnel carriers and 10 saloon cars.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the cost in (a) money and (b) man hours of retaking prisoners who escape while in the charge of Group 4 personnel.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Mr. David Young, dated 4 May 1993 : In the absence of the Director General, Mr. Lewis, the Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the cost and man hours involved in the re-taking of prisoners who have escaped from the custody of Group 4 personnel.
The nature and circumstances of incidents of escapes differ widely from one case to the next and the Prison Service is not charged for costs incurred in recapturing prisoners. The information requested is not, therefore, available.
Letter from I. Dunbar to Mr. David Young, dated 4 May 1993 : In the absence of Mr. Lewis, the Director General, the Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about penalty clauses in the contract with Group 4 Court Services Ltd. for the provision of the court escort service in the East Midlands and Humberside.
The contract with Group 4 contains mechanisms which allow adjustments to payments to be made in the event of circumstances occurring which fall outside the terms of the contract. Where a material failure is caused by circumstances within the contractor's control and is not corrected within 20 days of it being brought to his attention, the Prison Service may terminate the contract.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his policy to allow male and female prisoners to travel in the same vehicle while being escorted to court ; and if he will call for an investigation into an incident on Tuesday 20 April when a female prisoner was put with male prisoners in a vehicle operated by Group 4 Court Escort Services Ltd. with no female custody officer present.
Letter from Mr. D. Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 5 May 1993 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply directly to your recent Parliamentary question about male and female prisoners being escorted in the same vehicle.
The Prison Service has no objection in principle to escorting male and female prisoners to court together as long as the escort is properly staffed and supervised. The contract with Group 4 requires the separation of male and female prisoners, but the Prison Service is content that such separation be achieved by placing prisoners in separate compartments of a cellular vehicle. Where it is judged in the prisoner's interest to be escorted rather than to await the arrival of a female PCO, a female prisoner may be escorted by male PCOs. The contract with Group 4 states that the general presumption will be that a female officer will accompany a female prisoner, and that escorts of females by male Prisoner Custody Officers will be very much the exception.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress he is making with the establishment of a code of standards for the prison regime ; when he expects the code to be ready for issue ; what account he has taken of previous recommendations on the subject ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 78Letter from I. Dunbar to Mr. Harry Greenway, dated May 1993 : In the temporary absence of the Director General, Mr. Lewis, the Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about progress on establishing a code of standards for the Prison Service. Following two public consultation seminars last year on the aims of a code of standards, drafting of the code is now well underway in the Prison Service. Standards are being drafted to reflect the Prison Service's responsibilities towards both the public and prisoners, and will take account of the views expressed in the Woolf Report, the Government White Paper "Custody, Care and Justice", and comments received during consultation.
The code will be published in December 1993.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The staff who provide education services in prison establishments are not employed by the prison service. Decisions on redundancy are a matter for the employer and it is not yet possible to quantify whether and to what extent staff currently employed in delivering education services in prisons may be made redundant following competitive tendering.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Government are concerned to ensure that all fire authorities in Wales conform to the minimum nationally recommended standards of fire cover, and that they do so as efficiently and economically as possible. The primary responsibility for providing an efficient fire service rests with the fire authority and the chief officer of the fire brigade. Each brigade in Wales is inspected annually by Her Majesty's inspectorate of fire services to ensure that fire authorities are operating as efficiently as possible and continuing to meet acceptable standards of fire cover.
Mr. Jack : Information on the number of neighbourhood watch schemes is recorded at police force level and so it is not possible to attribute schemes to individual Welsh counties. The number of schemes recorded by the police at the end of each year in question is given in the following table :
Neighbourhood watch schemes in Wales Number of neighbourhood watch schemes Force |1987 |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Dyfed-Powys |108 |514 |719 |807 |940 |1,102 Gwent |3 |10 |17 |22 |35 |113 North Wales |1,135 |1,572 |1,812 |1,787 |2,061 |2,615 South Wales |500 |510 |638 |546 |821 |1,141 |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total |1,746 |2,606 |3,186 |3,162 |3,857 |4,971
Mr. Jack : The Government attach importance to the work of Victim Support in providing both practical help and advice and emotional support to victims of crime. There are currently about 380 branches and schemes with some 8,000 volunteer visitors covering 98 per cent. of the population of England and Wales. They handle about 800,000 cases a year.
Home Office grant to the national charity Victim Support will amount to £8.4 million this year. This is an
Column 80increase of 15 per cent. over last year's provision, which itself represented a 28 per cent. increase over the previous year's.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, for each police authority in England, for the most recent year for which figures are available, (a) the number of police officers, (b) the number of civilian staff, (c) the population in the area covered and (d) the ratio of officers and staff to population ; and what were the comparable figures for 1978-79.
Force |Police strength |Civilian strength |Force population<1> |Police |authority/population |ratio As at 31 March 1979 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Avon and Somerset |2,825 |686 |1,328,000 |1:378 Bedfordshire |902 |277 |490,000 |1:415 Cambridgeshire |1,064 |302 |564,000 |1:413 Cheshire |1,778 |397 |914,000 |1:420 Cleveland |1,334 |308 |569,000 |1:363 Cumbria |1,056 |250 |474,000 |1:363 Derbyshire |1,563 |636 |897,000 |1:408 Devon and Cornwall |2,660 |752 |1,361,000 |1:399 Dorset |1,128 |281 |583,000 |1:414 Durham |1,312 |505 |608,000 |1:335 Essex |2,461 |686 |1,357,000 |1:431 Gloucestershire |1,076 |231 |493,000 |1:377 Greater Manchester |6,419 |1,415 |2,675,000 |1:341 Hampshire |2,949 |698 |1,564,000 |1:429 Hertfordshire |1,462 |370 |799,000 |1:436 Humberside |1,849 |499 |845,000 |1:360 Kent |2,724 |887 |1,445,000 |1:400 Lancashire |3,097 |879 |1,368,000 |1:344 Leicestershire |1,701 |363 |833,000 |1:404 Lincolnshire |1,171 |314 |530,000 |1:357 Merseyside |4,472 |914 |1,562,000 |1:290 Norfolk |1,223 |248 |675,000 |1:459 Northamptonshire |905 |254 |514,000 |1:443 Northumbria |3,272 |768 |1,465,000 |1:362 North Yorkshire |1,342 |338 |654,000 |1:389 Nottinghamshire |2,117 |561 |974,000 |1:364 South Yorkshire |2,546 |599 |1,304,000 |1:414 Staffordshire |1,978 |571 |994,000 |1:390 Suffolk |1,064 |329 |588,000 |1:422 Surrey |1,440 |360 |726,000 |1:403 Sussex |2,758 |723 |1,278,000 |1:367 Thames Valley |2,639 |970 |1,723,000 |1:477 Warwickshire |841 |204 |467,000 |1:447 West Mercia |1,743 |493 |963,000 |1:431 West Midlands |5,981 |1,418 |2,730,000 |1:369 West Yorkshire |4,727 |1,186 |2,073,000 |1:351 Wiltshire |997 |251 |514,000 |1:412 City of London |829 |275 |6,000 |1:5 Metropolitan |22,214 |12,443 |7,445,000 |1:215 <1> Population figures provided by OPCS June 1977.
Force |Police strength |Civilian strength |Force population<1> |Police |authority/population |ratio As at 31 December 1992 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Avon and Somerset |3,065 |1,120 |1,431,000 |1:342 Bedfordshire |1,119 |391 |534,000 |1:354 Cambridgeshire |1,265 |446 |670,000 |1:392 Cheshire |1,901 |543 |967,000 |1:396 Cleveland |1,492 |473 |558,000 |1:284 Cumbria |1,197 |414 |490,000 |1:304 Derbyshire |1,810 |588 |940,000 |1:392 Devon and Cornwall |2,920 |1,048 |1,515,000 |1:382 Dorset |1,318 |553 |663,000 |1:354 Durham |1,377 |541 |604,000 |1:315 Essex |2,917 |1,088 |1,477,000 |1:369 Gloucestershire |1,148 |373 |539,000 |1:354 Greater Manchester |7,055 |2,539 |2,562,000 |1:267 Hampshire |3,287 |1,089 |1,705,000 |1:390 Hertfordshire |1,688 |594 |843,000 |1:369 Humberside |2,033 |699 |874,000 |1:320 Kent |3,106 |1,107 |1,539,000 |1:365 Lancashire |3,209 |1,071 |1,408,000 |1:329 Leicestershire |1,834 |667 |891,000 |1:356 Lincolnshire |1,191 |483 |593,000 |1:354 Merseyside |4,656 |1,638 |1,441,000 |1:229 Norfolk |1,426 |460 |759,000 |1:402 Northamptonshire |1,203 |436 |587,000 |1:358 Northumbria |3,586 |1,232 |1,433,000 |1:297 North Yorkshire |1,408 |454 |721,000 |1:387 Nottinghamshire |2,329 |742 |1,016,000 |1:331 South Yorkshire |3,000 |960 |1,293,000 |1:327 Staffordshire |2,172 |736 |1,047,000 |1:360 Suffolk |1,237 |520 |662,000 |1:377 Surrey |1,674 |604 |768,000 |1:337 Sussex |2,980 |971 |1,430,000 |1:362 Thames Valley |3,833 |1,458 |1,972,000 |1:373 Warwickshire |1,002 |332 |490,000 |1:367 West Mercia |2,060 |927 |1,099,000 |1:368 West Midlands |6,952 |2,471 |2,619,000 |1:278 West Yorkshire |5,070 |1,878 |2,066,000 |1:297 Wiltshire |1,262 |490 |575,000 |1:328 City of London |805 |309 |4,000 |1:4 Metropolitan |27,812 |14,584 |7,285,000 |1:172 <1> Population figures provided by OPCS June 1991.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reports have been recorded by the police of racial abuse or racial attacks in south-east London in each year since 1987.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The number of racial incidents recorded for 3 Area of the Metropolitan police, which consists of the London boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley, is as follows :
Year |Number --------------------- 1987 |244 1988 |292 1989 |396 1990 |394 1991 |596 1992 |811
Mr. Charles Wardle : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that my right hon. and learned Friend gave to a question from my right hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Sir J. Wheeler) on 31 March at column 225.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the cost of consulting canine experts to determine whether or not dogs at the centre of the Mold Hendre Woods trial are pit bulls.
Mr. Jack : Although I remain ready to consider any arguments which may be advanced in favour of introducing an identity card system, I am not at present persuaded that the case for such a system has been made.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what response he is making to the recommendations in the NSPCC report into "Joint Enterprise and Parents", relating to (a) seeking separate trials in such cases, (b) reviewing the guidelines on what constitutes neglect or cruelty for the purposes of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, (c) making admissible evidence of behaviour of one parent against a child and (d) clarifying the extent to which a trial judge may comment on a defendant's choice not to give evidence.
Mr. Jack : The principal recipient of the NSPCC report into "Joint Enterprise and Parents" was the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice, which is expected to report in the summer. The Government will very carefully consider any proposals the commission may make that have a bearing on the issues raised in this question. A copy of the report was also sent by the director of the NSPCC to my right hon. and learned Friend, who in his reply offered the view thatthere were no easy answers to the problems identified.
Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 March, Official Report, column 169, on corporal punishment, if he will list the evidence referred to in his answer.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I have been considering the report of a working group which was established to look at this recommendation, together with the representations that have been made to me by interested parties.
I have decided against appointing a president of boards of visitors. There is no strong consensus of opinion amongst boards in favour of a president and some concern from them that their local, autonomous and voluntary nature might be compromised by such an appointment. Lord Woolf suggested that a president migh develop more effective methods for recruiting new members to boards and give guidance on good practice to be followed by boards, including the provision of training. These areas are
Column 84already being addressed by my hon. Friend the Minister of State in conjunction with the board of visitors representative bodies and the prison service liaison section for boards of visitors.
Consequently, I am not convinced that the appointment of a president is required.
Boards of visitors have served the Crown and the public for many years and as Lord Woolf pointed out, we have good cause to be grateful to them for the work they do. The many changes that are happening now within the prison service have resulted in boards of visitors being faced with increasing demands upon their time. With this in mind, I have asked that once the prison service agency has had time to adjust to its own new status, consideration should be given to Lord Woolf's other recommendations and conclusions regarding boards of visitors to see whether we can assist boards further in carrying out their important role.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : As I announced on 3 February 1993 at column 204, I have been given approval for advisers to be engaged in preparation for the privatisation of DTELS (formerly the Directorate of Telecommunications). The aim is privatise during 1993-94 by means of a trade sale.
Expenses in connection with the sale will be met from sale receipts. Parliamentary approval of this new service will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Home Office's privatisation of DTELS vote (class VIII, vote 5). Pending that approval, urgent expenditure incurred in advance of the sale will be met by repayable advances, not expected to exceed £1 million, from the Contingencies Fund.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 4 May 1993] : All police forces monitor racial incidents reported to them, and report to HM inspectorate of constabulary each year the number of incidents. The introduction of systematic monitoring of homophobic attacks is a matter for chief officers.