Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans his Department has (a) to utilise the Internet, (b) to make available on the Internet press releases and other departmental information which the public may wish to have access to and (c) to use the Internet as a means of increasing the openness of his Department.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor's Department has no plans directly to utilise the Internet. Press releases issued by my Department through the Central Office of Information are accessible through the Internet via Data-Star Dialog (Europe) and
Mead/Lexis/Nexis. They are also available to subscribers to FT Profile, Reuters Textline and to Polis.
My Department's press releases are also made available through the COI's fax retrieval service.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) portable telephones, (b) pagers and electronic bleepers and (c) car telephones are currently used by his Department ; what are the annual costs of operating this equipment ; and to which personnel it is made available.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The numbers of portable telephone, pagers and electronic bleepers, and car telephones currently used by my Department are respectively 322, 128 and 17. The annual costs of operating this equipment are £190,000. The equipment is used by staff who are required to work away from their office on a regular basis.
Mr. Brandreth : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, which Crown court centres in England and Wales have live television link and video playback equipment for use in the presentation of evidence by child witnesses.
Birmingham (three sets)
Wolverhampton (two sets)
Liverpool (two sets)
Manchester (two sets)
Central Criminal Court
Croydon (two sets)
Maidstone (two sets)
Cardiff (two sets)
Bristol (two sets)
Winchester (two sets)
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the political balance of magistrates in (a) Huntingdon, (b) Norfolk and (c) Hereford, (d) Enfield, (e) Folkestone and (f) Doncaster.
|Conservative|Labour |Liberal |Independent/ |Democrats |not known ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntingdon |23 |9 |11 |12 Norfolk |258 |88 |84 |49 Hereford City |35 |19 |20 |14 Enfield |54 |15 |13 |15 Folkestone |28 |4 |7 |4 Doncaster |101 |62 |23 |6
Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many adjudicator's recommendations at immigration appeals have not been accepted by his Department for each year since 1988, including the current year to date ; and how many of these cases concerned a recommendation of exceptional leave to remain in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Nicholls : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received that those convicted of murder of prison officers and police officers should never be released from custody.
Mr. Maclean : I have received a number of representations to this effect. Under the present arrangements, those convicted of such murders will normally serve a minimum of 20 years in prison. Some will serve longer and some may never be released.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of AIDS have been reported in United Kingdom prisons in each of the past eight years ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Alex Carlile dated 11 May 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to respond to your recent Question about the number of cases of AIDS that have been reported in the last eight years in prisons within the United Kingdom.
The available information, which covers prisons in England and Wales, is as follows :
|AIDS |HIV |(including |AIDS) -------------------------------------------- 1986 |1 |48 1987 |3 |75 1988 |3 |61 1989 |5 |54 1990 |7 |59 1991 |1 |26 1992 |5 |28 1993 |4 |33 |-- |-- Totals |29 |384
The above figures represent only those prisoners confirmed to be HIV positive or as having AIDS. There is no routine testing of prisoners within prison. Prisoners may however request a confidential HIV test for which they will receive pre and post test counselling. Responsibility for prisons in the rest of the United Kingdom lies with the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Charles Wardle : We are aware of 14 incidents since the beginning of 1993 involving firearms which have been identified as being previously deactivated and then reactivated to working condition. The standards to which guns are deactivated are currently under review.
Mr. Maclean : We have received a number of representations from hon. Members and others on the subject of ticket touting, including some from those involved in the organisation and promotion of theatrical, sporting, and other entertainment events.
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill currently before Parliament will make the unauthorised touting of
Column 142tickets for football matches an offence because of the serious consequences such touting may have for the preservation of public order. Similar problems have not occurred at other sporting events or entertainments and the Government have no plans to make touting in general a criminal offence. However, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is considering making regulations under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 to ensure that those who deceive customers as to the value or type of the tickets they sell can be punished appropriately.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what grounds immigration detainees are moved from one detention centre to another or to a prison ; on whose authority this is done ; and what steps the Home Office takes when detainees are moved to ensure that solicitors of detainees are immediately told of their whereabouts.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Transfers are made for a variety of reasons, including the best use of the available accommodation, proximity to ports of departure where removal has been arranged and the behaviour and any medical requirements of individual detainees.
Detainees are transferred on the authority of an officer of at least chief immigration officer grade. The port or office responsible for the initial decision to detain informs legal representatives of any transfer as soon as practically possible.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Prison Service's key targets for the current financial year are set out in its business plan for 1994-95, which is being published today. A copy has been placed in the Library. My right hon. and learned Friend has set the following key targets for 1994-95 :
1. To ensure that the number of escapes from prison establishments and from escorts, expressed as a percentage of the average prison population, is fewer than in 1993-94.
2. To reverse, over the period 1993-96, the rising trend of assaults on staff, prisoners and others, expressed as a percentage of the average prison population.
3. To ensure that in 1994-95 the average number of prisoners held three to a cell in accommodation which is intended for one prisoner is fewer than in 1993-94, subject to ensuring that no prisoners are held in police cells unless this is absolutely unavoidable. 4. To provide 24 hour access to sanitation in at least 3,500 more cells, including new and renovated accommodation, thus ensuring that at least 95 per cent. of prisoners have access to sanitation at all times.
5. To ensure that prisoners spend, on average, at least 25.5 per hours per week in purposeful activity.
6. To ensure that by 31 March 1995 at least 36 per cent. of prisoners are held in establishments where prisoners are unlocked on weekdays for at least 12 hours.
7. To ensure that all prisoners have the opportunity to exceed the minimum visiting entitlement throughout 1994-95.
8. To ensure that the average cost per prisoner place (including places temporarily out of use) does not exceed £24,500.
Mr. Hawkins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what decisions the Government have reached on the recommendations made by the Police Negotiating Board for changes to pay structures, pay levels, overtime and allowances for the police service.
Mr. Michael Howard : I received the Police Negotiating Board's recommendations at the beginning of April and the Secretaries of State for the Home Departments have considered them carefully. The recommendations included proposals for constables and sergeants, inspectors, superintendents and chief officer ranks. We accept the board's recommendations for constables and sergeants : these will be implemented with effect from 1 September.
The board has now put forward further proposals which take account of the decision which I announced on 26 April that the rank of chief inspector should be retained. We are now studying these proposals and looking again at those for the more senior ranks in the light of them. I hope to announce shortly decisions in relation to the ranks of inspector and above.
Mr. Harris : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Dover (Mr. Shaw) of 21 April, Official Report, column 597, if the roll-over of capital allowance balancing charges for merchant ships will apply to fishing vessels.
Mr. Nelson : Between February 1974 and May 1979 the average rate of inflation, as measured by the retail prices index, was 15.4 per cent. per annum. This compares with 4.5 per cent. for the last five years to March 1994, the latest month for which information is available.