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VAT

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will exempt cultural bodies which have charitable status from VAT on certain cultural services and goods ;

(2) what considerations he has given to EC directives on VAT giving exemptions to certain cultural services and goods ;

(3) whether he will exempt non-profit-making cultural bodies from VAT on certain cultural services and goods ;

(4) what steps he is considering to harmonise the application of VAT to certain cultural services and goods in the United Kingdom with other EC countries.

Sir John Cope : On 22 July, Official Report, column 303, I announced that I would be holding discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage with a view to examining the case for exempting certain cultural services and associated goods supplied by public authorities. Discussions are continuing and when these have been completed a consultation paper will be issued to seek the views of interested parties.

Russia

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums have been disbursed by the International Monetary Fund to Russia.

Mr. Nelson : Russia joined the IMF in June 1992. In August 1992, the IMF disbursed $1 billion under a first credit tranche drawing. In July 1993 a further drawing of $1.5 billion was made under the systematic transformation facility.

European Parliament Pension Scheme

Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to change the payment of death gratuities and dependants' benefits to beneficiaries under the European Parliament (United Kingdom Representatives) pension scheme.

Mr. Portillo : Parliamentary approval will be sought later this year in an order under the European Parliament (Pay and Pensions) Act 1979 to changes to the European Parliament (United Kingdom representatives) pension scheme. These changes will bring the scheme's provisions


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for death gratuities and dependants' benefits into line with those introduced for the parliamentary contributory pension fund by the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 1991. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £700 will be met from repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund. Once the order has been approved, the Contingencies Fund will be repaid upon approval of the Contingencies Fund repayment vote.

Statutory Sick Pay

Mr. Ingram : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide a figure for the number of staff in his departments covered by statutory sick pay.

Mr. Nelson : The number of staff in post at 1 January 1994 in my departments covered by statutory sick pay was 114,052.

Weapons (Customs and Excise)

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many weapons have been seized by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise for each of the past 10 years (a) at each port and (b) by raids on suspects.

Sir John Cope : Customs does not hold central statistics on seizures of weapons that can be broken down in this way. However, the table sets out the number of illegal weapons seized by Customs and Excise nationally in the last 10 years.


Seizures of weapons by HM Customs and Excise                            

over the 10 years to 1992-93                                            

Year     |Hand    |Rifles  |Shot-   |CS gas  |Stun    |Total            

ended    |guns             |guns    |canis-  |guns                      

31 March                            |ters                               

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

1984     |908     |155     |10      |152     |11      |1,236            

1985     |150     |52      |7       |174     |2       |385              

1986     |108     |156     |11      |141     |30      |446              

1987     |1,071   |28      |21      |114     |291     |1,525            

1988     |168     |31      |6       |276     |309     |790              

1989     |130     |55      |28      |395     |73      |681              

1990     |1,489   |144     |44      |414     |301     |2,392            

1991     |253     |535     |49      |1,132   |48      |2,017            

1992     |176     |126     |82      |692     |53      |1,129            

1993     |138     |41      |39      |2,580   |427     |3,225            

         |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |-------          

Totals   |4,591   |1,323   |297     |6,070   |1,545   |13,826           


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Income Support

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a breakdown of the average weekly spending on items in the family expenditure survey of (a) an individual of over 24 years and (b) a family of one parent and two children who are wholly dependent on income support.

Mr. Nelson : The figures in the table are from the 1992 family expenditure survey. The survey has a small number of households in these categories, so the figures are subject to large sampling variations. Figures are rounded to the nearest 50p. The figures refer to households whose gross income is made up of income support, child benefit and one parent benefit where appropriate and up to £2 of other income.


                                               |per week                           

Expenditure Items            |(a) An individual|(b) One adult                      

                             |of over 24 years |and two children                   

                             |£                |£                                  

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

Housing (net)                |11.00            |8.50                               

Fuel light and power         |9.00             |13.00                              

Food                         |14.00            |27.50                              

Alchohol                     |3.50             |.50                                

Tobacco                      |3.50             |4.00                               

Household goods              |7.00             |6.00                               

Household services           |3.00             |4.50                               

Personal goods and services  |1.50             |4.50                               

Motoring                     |2.50             |<1>-                               

Fares and other travel costs |2.00             |3.50                               

Leisure goods                |3.00             |4.50                               

Leisure services             |2.50             |4.00                               

Miscellaneous                |-                |.50                                

                             |----             |----                               

Total expenditure            |65.50            |88.50                              

<1> Data not available as the sampling error is greater than 50 per cent.          

HOME DEPARTMENT

Ethnic Minority Business Grant

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will itemise the expenditure on the administration of the ethnic minority business grant, including printing, advertising and stationery costs as well as worker expenses (a) over the last year and (b) since the scheme was developed.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The ethnic minority business grant is administered by a small number of staff, equivalent to less than one full-time post, who have a range of other duties. The itemised expenditure requested for the last year, and since the scheme was developed, is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will itemise the expenditure on the administration of section 11 grants, including printing, advertising and stationery costs as well as worker expenses (a) over the last year and (b) since the scheme was developed ;

(2) if he will itemise the expenditure on the administration of the ethnic minority grant, including printing, advertising and stationery costs as well as worker expenses (a) over the last year and (b) since the scheme was developed.


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Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

Mr. Enright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial provisions was made in respect of the cost of implementing the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in (a) 1992 and (b) 1993 ; and on which sub- heads of which vote it appeared.

Mr. Charles Wardle : No separate financial provision was made in respect of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Costs have been contained within existing financial provisions.

Prison Visits (Homosexuals)

Dr. Spink : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much public money was used, in the latest year for which figures are available, to fund prison visits for homosexual couples under the assisted prison visitors' scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : None.

Foreign Prisoners

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from either the United States of America or Canada were either remand prisoners or sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 20 January ;

(2) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from each south Asian country were either remand prisoners or sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 20 January ;

(3) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from Hong Kong were either remand prisoners or sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 20 January ;

(4) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from each middle eastern country were either remand prisoners or sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 20 January ;

(5) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from each of the Caribbean countries were either remand prisoners or sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 20 January ;

(6) how many (a) male and (b) female Australian nationals were (i) remand or (ii) sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 24 January ;

(7) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from each south Pacific country, were (i) remand or (ii) sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 24 January ;

(8) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from each south American country, were (i) remand or (ii) sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 24 January ;

(9) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from each of the countries of south-east Asia, were (i) remand prisoners or (ii) sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 24 January ;


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(10) how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals whose nationality was not known, were (i) remand or (ii) sentenced prisoners held in prisons in England and Wales as of 25 January ; (11) how many (a) male and (b) female Chinese nationals were either (i) remand or (ii) sentenced prisoners in prisons in England and Wales as of 25 January ;

(12) what was the number of (a) male and (b) female Vietnamese nationals who were either (i) remand or (ii) sentenced prisoners in prisons in England and Wales as of 25 January.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.


Column 566

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 31 January 1994 : Foreign Nationals--

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your twelve recent Questions asking how many (a) male and (b) female foreign nationals from either the United States of America or Canada, each South Asian country, Hong Kong, each Middle Eastern country, each of the Caribbean countries, Australia, each South Pacific country, each South American country, each South East Asian country, China, Vietnam and unrecorded countries were either remand prisoners or sentenced prisoners being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 20, 24 and 25 January.

The latest available provisional information is for 30 September 1993. The attached table gives a complete breakdown of the prison population by nationality as recorded centrally, including the nationalities specified in your questions.


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Population in Prison Service Establishments, in England and Wales, by type of prisoner and nationality as at 30        

September 1993                                                                                                         

                             Type of prisoner                                                                          

Nationality                  Male                                   Female                                             

                            |Remand      |Sentenced<1>|All<1>      |Remand      |Sentenced<1>|All<1>                   

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

United Kingdom              |10,251      |30,839      |41,090      |365         |1,024       |1,389                    

Irish Republic              |157         |372         |529         |2           |10          |12                       

                                                                                                                       

All foreign natonals        |553         |1,767       |2,320       |70          |185         |255                      

Not recorded                |45          |553         |598         |2           |16          |18                       

                                                                                                                       

Europe                                                                                                                 

Albania                     |1           |1           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

Andorra                     |2           |8           |10          |-           |-           |-                        

Austria                     |1           |4           |5           |-           |-           |-                        

Belgium                     |9           |13          |22          |-           |1           |1                        

Cyprus                      |8           |36          |44          |1           |1           |2                        

Czechoslovakia              |1           |2           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

Denmark                     |-           |3           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

Finland                     |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

France                      |13          |16          |29          |2           |2           |4                        

German Democratic Republic  |2           |2           |4           |-           |-           |-                        

German Federal Republic     |11          |26          |37          |3           |-           |3                        

Gibraltar                   |-           |1           |1           |-           |1           |1                        

Greece                      |1           |11          |12          |-           |1           |1                        

Hungary                     |1           |2           |3           |-           |1           |1                        

Italy                       |19          |43          |62          |-           |4           |4                        

Luxembourg                  |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Malta                       |2           |6           |8           |-           |-           |-                        

Netherlands                 |35          |53          |88          |4           |6           |10                       

Norway                      |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Poland                      |-           |7           |7           |-           |1           |1                        

Portugal                    |13          |14          |27          |3           |-           |3                        

Romania                     |1           |2           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

Spain                       |15          |20          |35          |2           |-           |2                        

Sweden                      |-           |2           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

Switzerland                 |-           |1           |1           |-           |1           |1                        

Turkey                      |16          |54          |70          |-           |1           |1                        

Yugoslavia                  |1           |9           |10          |-           |-           |-                        

                                                                                                                       

Middle East                                                                                                            

Afghanistan                 |1           |2           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

Egypt                       |-           |4           |4           |-           |-           |-                        

Iran                        |2           |22          |24          |-           |1           |1                        

Israel                      |3           |10          |13          |-           |-           |-                        

Iraq                        |1           |5           |6           |-           |-           |-                        

Jordan                      |2           |6           |8           |1           |-           |1                        

Kuwait                      |-           |2           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

Lebanon                     |3           |9           |12          |-           |-           |-                        

Saudi Arabia                |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Sierre Leone                |2           |7           |9           |-           |-           |-                        

Syrian Arab Republic        |2           |1           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

United Arab Emirates        |-           |2           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

Yemen Arab Republic (North) |1           |-           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Yemen Peoples Democratic Republic (South) 1            2            -            -            -                        

                                                                                                                       

India                       |35          |169         |204         |-           |10          |10                       

Pakistan                    |55          |199         |254         |2           |7           |9                        

Bangladesh                  |6           |36          |42          |-           |-           |-                        

Hong Kong                   |-           |5           |5           |-           |1           |1                        

                                                                                                                       

Other Asia                                                                                                             

Burma                       |-           |2           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

China                       |3           |7           |10          |-           |1           |1                        

British India Ocean Terr    |2           |1           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

Korea Republic (South)      |-           |1           |1           |-           |2           |2                        

Malaysia                    |3           |5           |8           |1           |-           |1                        

Nepal                       |1           |-           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Philippines                 |-           |3           |3           |1           |1           |2                        

Sri Lanka                   |3           |12          |15          |-           |-           |-                        

Singapore                   |3           |3           |6           |-           |-           |-                        

Thailand                    |-           |2           |2           |-           |1           |1                        

Vietnam                     |5           |8           |13          |-           |-           |-                        

                                                                                                                       

Africa                                                                                                                 

Algeria                     |-           |7           |7           |-           |-           |-                        

Angola                      |-           |5           |5           |-           |-           |-                        

Benin                       |-           |-           |-           |-           |1           |1                        

Central African Republic    |4           |2           |6           |-           |-           |-                        

Ivory Coast                 |1           |1           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

Ethiopia                    |1           |2           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

Ghana                       |16          |41          |57          |5           |18          |23                       

Gambia                      |-           |4           |4           |-           |-           |-                        

Kenya                       |2           |25          |27          |1           |-           |1                        

Liberia                     |1           |2           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

Libya                       |1           |7           |8           |-           |-           |-                        

Morocco                     |6           |18          |24          |-           |1           |1                        

Mauritania                  |-           |2           |2           |-           |1           |1                        

Mauritius                   |1           |8           |9           |-           |-           |-                        

Malawi                      |-           |3           |3           |-           |1           |1                        

Nigeria                     |37          |134         |171         |14          |48          |62                       

Seychelles                  |1           |4           |5           |-           |-           |-                        

Sudan                       |-           |1           |1           |-           |1           |1                        

St. Helena                  |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Somalia                     |9           |9           |18          |-           |-           |-                        

Tunisia                     |-           |6           |6           |-           |-           |-                        

Tanzania                    |4           |5           |9           |1           |-           |1                        

Uganda                      |4           |15          |19          |-           |-           |-                        

South Africa                |3           |17          |20          |-           |2           |2                        

Zambia                      |4           |3           |7           |-           |1           |1                        

Zaire                       |2           |6           |8           |-           |-           |-                        

Zimbabwe                    |2           |9           |11          |-           |-           |-                        

                                                                                                                       

Caribbean                                                                                                              

Antigua                     |2           |7           |9           |-           |-           |-                        

Barbados                    |2           |13          |15          |1           |1           |2                        

Costa Rica                  |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Cuba                        |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Dominica                    |-           |7           |7           |-           |-           |-                        

Dominican Republic          |1           |3           |4           |-           |1           |1                        

Grenada                     |2           |5           |7           |-           |1           |1                        

Haiti                       |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Jamaica                     |109         |322         |431         |16          |31          |47                       

St. Lucia                   |4           |12          |16          |-           |-           |-                        

Monserrat                   |-           |2           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

St. Christopher and Nevis   |-           |2           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

Trinidad and Tobago         |4           |10          |14          |-           |-           |-                        

St. Vincent and Grenadines  |-           |10          |10          |-           |1           |1                        

                                                                                                                       

United States of America    |15          |40          |55          |3           |17          |20                       

Canada                      |4           |14          |18          |-           |1           |1                        

                                                                                                                       

America (North and South)                                                                                              

Argentina                   |3           |1           |4           |-           |-           |-                        

Belize                      |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Bolivia                     |-           |2           |2           |-           |1           |1                        

Brazil                      |-           |4           |4           |1           |2           |3                        

Cayman Islands              |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Chile                       |-           |4           |4           |2           |-           |2                        

Colombia                    |2           |43          |45          |1           |4           |5                        

Guyana                      |6           |20          |26          |2           |6           |8                        

Mexico                      |-           |1           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Peru                        |-           |6           |6           |-           |-           |-                        

Surinam                     |1           |-           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Uruaguay                    |1           |1           |2           |-           |-           |-                        

Venezuela                   |-           |3           |3           |-           |-           |-                        

                                                                                                                       

Australia                   |6           |18          |24          |1           |-           |1                        

New Zealand                 |3           |11          |14          |1           |1           |2                        

                                                                                                                       

Oceania                                                                                                                

Fiji                        |1           |-           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Guam                        |-           |-           |-           |1           |-           |1                        

Papua New Guinea            |1           |-           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

Solomon Islands             |1           |-           |1           |-           |-           |-                        

<1> Includes Immigration Act detainees, non-criminal prisoners and persons committed in default of payment of a fine.  

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the annual cost to his Department of enforcement of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The Misuse of Drugs Act provides the legal framework for controlling drugs to prevent their misuse and for dealing with social problems connected with their misuse. It also regulates the legitimate trade in drugs. For England and Wales, the cost to this Department of enforcing the provisions of the Act, including police activity and the costs of dealing with convicted offenders, was estimated at about £147 million for the year 1992-93.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of court cases involving the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 are (a) cannabis, (b) cocaine and (c) heroin related.

Mr. Maclean : In 1992, the last year for which figures are available, the percentage of persons found guilty of offences against the Misuse of Drugs Act in respect of each type of drug was : cannabis, 65 per cent. ; cocaine, 3 per cent. ; and heroin, 4.5 per cent.

Drug-related Crime

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the estimated annual cost of drug-related crime ; (2) what have been the changes in (a) the number of drug-related crimes and (b) the percentage of all crime that is drug related since 1979 ;

(3) what is his estimate of the percentage of crime committed annually that is drug related.

Mr. Maclean : The involvement of drug misusers in criminal activity is difficult to quantify. It is not possible to estimate with any accuracy the amount of crime which is drug related or the cost of such crime.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what have been the changes in (a) the number of drug-related crimes involving firearms and (b) the percentage of all crimes involving firearms that are drug related.

Mr. Maclean : The information requested is not available centrally.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in the United Kingdom have a criminal record for possession of cannabis ; and how many police officers in the United Kingdom are solely engaged in combating drug-related crime.


Column 570

Mr. Maclean : Information on the total number of persons who have a criminal record for possession of cannabis is not collected centrally. The number of persons who have been found guilty, cautioned or compounded for possession of cannabis in each year from 1982 to 1992 is given in table 3.3 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin "Statistics of drugs seizures and offenders dealt with, United Kingdom, 1992"--issue 30/93--a copy of which is in the Library. By the end of 1992 over 1,400 police officers were wholly engaged in the investigation of drug-related crime in England and Wales ; in Scotland more than 120 police officers were specifically engaged in drugs work ; and in Northern Ireland some 34 officers were so occupied.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number and proportion of the prison population serving sentences for convictions on drug-related offences.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 31 January 1994 :

Drug Related Offences--

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking what is the total number and proportion of the prison population serving sentences for convictions on drug-related offences.

Figures for the population in Prison Service establishments by offence group are published annually in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales", Table 1.8 of the volume for 1991 (Cm 2157). Provisional information for 30 September 1993 shows that 3,244 prisoners were recorded centrally as being sentenced for drug offences, just over 10 per cent. of the total sentenced population for whom an offence was recorded.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number and proportion of prisoners convicted for drug-related offences who reoffend.

Mr. Maclean : The available information on the reoffending of prisoners is the rate of reconviction within two and four years after discharge from prison.

The latest statistics are for those discharged from prison service establishments in 1987 after completion of a prison sentence for which the principal offence was a drugs offence. Within two years of discharge, 1,136 or 37 per cent. of those discharged had been convicted of a further offence ; within four years, 1,506 or 49 per cent. of those discharged were reconvicted. The numbers exclude the reconviction of a small number of discharges whose criminal histories could not be traced in the offenders' index.


Column 571

Passport Agency

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for the future of the Passport Agency.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The performance and options for the future of the United Kingdom Passport Agency are currently being reviewed in accordance with the normal procedure for triennial reviews of executive agencies. A decision on the future of the Passport Agency will be made in the light of these reviews. An announcement will then be made.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average cost of issuing a passport by (a) the Passport Agency and (b) equivalent agencies in each of the other European Union countries.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The cost of the 10-year standard British passport is £18. I am advised that the cost of the passports of each of the European Union countries is as shown in the table :


               |£          

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

Belgium<1>     |36-48      

Denmark        |40         

France<1>      |40         

Germany        |11.50      

Greece<1>      |19         

Ireland        |43         

Italy<1>       |39         

Luxembourg<1>  | 4         

Netherlands<1> |32         

Portugal       |13         

Spain<1>       | 6         

<1> Passports valid for    

five years.                

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the financial results for the past two years of the Passport Agency and the expected results for the next two years.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The Passport Agency's financial performance is measured by efficiency reductions in the unit cost of passport services. Over the period 1991-92 and 1992-93 the agency has made significant reductions in unit costs amounting to 4.2 per cent. compared with an aggregate target of 3.9 per cent. in this period. In the financial years 1993-94 and 1994-95 the agency expects to achieve further efficiency savings of around 3 per cent. in each year.

Prisons (Drugs)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) those prisons in which there is a problem with trafficking in illegal drugs and (b) those in which there is no problem with drug trafficking.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 31 January 1994 :


Column 572

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about drug trafficking in prison.

The attached figures show establishments where there have been convictions in the last two years for offences of "trafficking" ie selling or delivering controlled drugs and attempting, assisting or inciting the selling or delivery of controlled drugs. The figures also show the number of such convictions. There have been no trafficking convictions at any other Prison Service establishment. The Prison Service is committed to taking all reasonable measures to prevent drugs entering prisons and to eliminate the use of drugs within prisons. Existing programmes include the extensive use of searching and intelligence, as well as support for drug abusers to help them overcome their addiction.


                |Number       

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

Aylesbury       |1            

Birmingham      |1            

Brinsford       |2            

Cardiff         |1            

Deerbolt        |2            

Drake Hall      |1            

Durham          |1            

Elmley          |1            

Feltham         |4            

Glen Parva      |2            

Glen Parva      |4            

Hollesley Bay   |2            

Holloway        |1            

Holme House     |1            

Hull            |2            

Leeds           |2            

Leicester       |1            

Lincoln         |1            

Liverpool       |3            

Low Newton      |1            

Manchester      |1            

Morland         |1            

Norwich         |1            

Onley           |2            

Pentonville     |1            

Pucklechurch    |1            

Rochester       |1            

Rochester       |2            

Shrewsbury      |2            

Stocken         |3            

Stoke Heath     |2            

Styal           |1            

Swansea         |1            

Swinfen Hall    |1            

Wormwood Scrubs |3            

                |--           

Total           |57           

Drugs

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his Department's estimate of the annual expenditure by users on drugs.

Mr. Maclean : Drug misuse is an illegal and, therefore, clandestine activity. It is not possible to produce a reliable estimate of the amount spent annually on drugs by users.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the changes in the consumption of (a) heroin, (b) cocaine and (c) cannabis since 1979.

Mr. Maclean : Reliable information on levels of consumption of the drugs mentioned is not available. Information on the percentage change in the number of recorded seizures of each drug over the period in question is given in the table.


Column 573


United Kingdom  Number of seizures                     

           |1979      |1992      |percentage           

                                 |change               

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

Heroin     |600       |2,968     |+395                 

Cocaine    |348       |2,365     |+580                 

Cannabis   |14,116    |57,663    |+308                 

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many registered addicts are addicted to prescribed drugs in the United Kingdom ;

(2) if he will list the 10 prescribed drugs to which the largest number of addicts are addicted in the United Kingdom and the totals of addicts.

Mr. Maclean : Information on the identity of the drugs, dependence on which requires medical practitioners to notify the Home Office, and the numbers of persons addicted to those drugs, is given in table 2 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin "Statistics of drug addicts notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom, 1992"--issue 15/93--a copy of which is in the Library.

All these drugs are legitimately prescribed or administered on occasion, but the proprietary names of those drugs in the list, where they exist, are : methadone (Physeptone) ; dipipanone (Diconal) ; dextromoramide (Palfium) ; and phenazocine (Narphen). Methadone is the drug normally used to treat dependence on heroin.

Air Guns

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what controls exist on the sale of air guns and air rifles ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The acquisition, possession and use of air weapons are regulated by the Firearms Act 1968 which prohibits their sale of hire to anyone under the age of 17. Young people under 14 may not buy, hire, be given, or own an air weapon and may use one only if they are supervised by someone over 21. Those air weapons which are classified as "specially dangerous" under the Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969 are subject to firearm certificate control. In its second annual report the Firearms Consultative Committee, the independent statutory body established to advise Government on the firearms legislation, concluded that the law as it stands is adequate to deal with current levels of misuse. My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to introduce further controls.

Weapons Smuggling

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has made to other EC Governments concerning the smuggling of weapons into Britain ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : No specific representations have been made. A directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 18 June 1991. All member states of the European Union are bound by the directive which came into effect on 1 January 1993.

Under the directive, movements of firearms are subject to a new licensing system. As before, anyone bringing a firearm into this country must have prior permission. In


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addition to this, though, each transfer of a firearm into this country will be notified to my Department via a new information system. The information will be passed to police and customs officers who will investigate any irregularities.

Secure Establishments

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the secure establishments to which youngsters aged 12 to 14 years will be remanded by the courts while awaiting trial or sentence, giving the number of places available at each and the normal resident age range in each.

Mr. Maclean : I have tabled an amendemnt to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill which will provide courts with the power to remand 12 to 14-year-olds to local authority accommodation with a security requirement. The responsibility for placing a juvenile so remanded will rest with the local authority. The pool of secure accommodation available to local authorities to assist them in discharging this duty will be expanded. The Government will be providing further funding to local authorities for this purpose.

Statutory Sick Pay

Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a figure for the number of staff in his Department covered by statutory sick pay.

Mr. Howard : The number of Home Office staff covered by the statutory sick pay scheme is about 49,500.

Firearms Licences

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria are held by the Metropolitan police to assess the suitability of an individual for a firearms licence.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Before issuing a firearm certificate a chief officer of police must be satisfied that the applicant is not prohibited from possessing a firearm, can be permitted to possess a firearm without danger to public safety or the peace, and has a good reason for having a firearm. These criteria are set out in the Firearms Act 1968 to 1992 and apply equally to all police force areas.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of firearms certificates issued per year for each of the last 10 years by the Metropolitan police ; how many in each year were renewals ; and what was the total number of valid certificates at each year.

Mr. Maclean : The following table shows for the Metropolitan police district for the years 1986 to 1992 the number of new firearms certificates granted, the number of renewals and the number on issue at 31 December. Figures for the years prior to 1986 are not readily available and those for 1993 are not yet available.


Firearm certificates granted, renewed and on issue at 31    

December in                                                 

the Metropolitan police district, 1986 to 1992              

Year        |Granted    |Renewed    |On issue at            

                                    |31 December            

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

1986        |1,066      |2,625      |9,084                  

1987        |993        |2,568      |9,036                  

1988        |738        |2,278      |8,877                  

1989        |825        |2,249      |8,615                  

1990        |864        |2,657      |9,929                  

1991        |746        |2,432      |9,975                  

1992        |855        |2,531      |9,427                  

Young Offenders

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements exist within the Prison Service statistical divisions for providing information on juveniles and young people in prison ; and if he will make a statement.


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