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ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Police Computers (Misuse of Information)

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Attorney-General how many police offices have been prosecuted for misusing personal information from police computers in the last year ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : I have been asked to reply.


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The information held centrally on prosecutions under the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Computer Misuse Act 1990 does not include the profession of the defendant. But I understand that the Association of Chief Police Officers is aware of two cases during 1993 of police officers being prosecuted for offences arising from the misuse of computer-held information.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Firearms

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many murders were committed in England and Wales in each of the last three years for which figures are available, and, of these, how many were persons killed by (a) shotguns, (b) handguns and (c) other firearms.

Mr. Maclean : The available information which relates to homicide is published in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", copies of which can be found in the Library, latest edition, 1992, Cm 2410, table 3.4.

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will show for each of the last three years (a) the total number of crimes reported to the police, (b) the number of crimes which were believed to involve firearms, (c) the categories of crimes in which firearms were used, (d) the type of firearms used, (e) the number of persons charged with using firearms in the commission of crime, and (f) how many of those persons had authority to possess the firearms.

Mr. Maclean : The available information is published in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", copies of which can be found in the Library --latest edition, 1992 Cm. 2410, table 2.1--for total offences recorded by the police ; table 3.1 for offences in which firearms were used ; table 3.3 for the type of firearm involved ; and table 3.13 for persons found guilty.

Figures for 1993 are not yet available.

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people charged with causing the death of another person by the use of a firearm of any description in England and Wales had authority to possess that firearm, in each of the last three years.

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

Vehicle Emissions

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have taken place in respect of vehicle exhaust emissions in each of the last five years from (a) freight vehicles, (b) other vehicles and (c) in total ; and how many have resulted in conviction.

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

Red Routes

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made by his Department of the effect of the introduction of red routes in parts of London on the incidence of crime locally.


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Mr. Norris [holding answer 5 July 1994] : I have been asked to reply.

No specific assessment has been made, but there is no reason why red route controls should lead to any increase in crime whatever.

Private Prisons

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what services are provided to his Department by (a) Wackenhut and (b) Wackenhut Corrections Corporation other than running prisons.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The named companies are not under contract with the Home Office to provide any services other than running prisons.

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances there is a bar on awarding contracts for private prisons to companies whose parent companies, subsidiaries or consortium partners have been in breach of the criminal law in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

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 Philippa Drew to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 13 July 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about whether any bar exists on awarding contracts to private companies whose parent companies, subsidiaries or consortium partners have been in breach of the criminal law in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The Prison Service awards contracts in accordance with the Public Services Contracts Regulations 1993 Section IV, paragraph 14(1)(d) of the Regulations, amongst other matters, provides that a contracting authority may treat a services provider as ineligible to tender for, or to be included amongst those persons from whom it will make the selection of persons to be invited to tender for or to negotiate a contract, on the grounds that the services provider has been convicted of a criminal offence relating to the conduct of his business or profession.

An assessment of whether a services provider should be treated in this way would include considering the nature of the service to be provided to the Prison Service and the nature of the business that led to a conviction for a criminal offence.

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what security checks and clearances were made by his Department on (a) Wackenhut and (b) Wackenhut Corrections Corporation prior to the award of the contract to manage Doncaster prison ; (2) what checks were made on (a) Wackenhut and (b) Wackenhut Corrections Corporation by his Department prior to the award of the contract to manage Doncaster prison to Premier Prison Services.

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.

Letter from Philippa Drew to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 13 July 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent


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Questions about security checks and clearances made by his Department on (a) Wackenhut and (b) Wackenhut Corrections Corporation prior to the award of the contract to manage Doncaster Prison.

Checks were carried out in accordance with Part IV, paragraph 14(1) of the Public Services Contracts Regulations 1993 (SI 1993 No. 3228).

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff at Blakenhurst prison have (a) resigned and (b) been dismissed since the prison opened.

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 Philippa Drew to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 13 July 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the number of staff at Blakenhurst Prison who have (a) resigned and (b) been dismissed since the prison opened.

42 staff have resigned and six have been dismissed.

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is the Crown monitor at Doncaster Prison ; and at what grade is the post.

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 Brian Landers to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 13 July 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about who is the Crown Monitor at Doncaster Prison ; and at what grade is their post.

The controller at Doncaster prison, who is a Crown servant, is a Governor Grade 2.

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many managerial staff working at (a) Blakenhurst prison and (b) Doncaster prison are former employees of the Prison Service.

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 Brian Landers to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated

13 July 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the number of managerial staff working at Blakenhurst and Doncaster prisons who are former employees of the Prison Service.

There are nine former employees of the Prison Service working at Blakenhurst prison and eight at Doncaster prison. All are employed in senior or middle management positions.

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what trade unions are recognised by Premier Prison Services Ltd. at Doncaster prison.

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.


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Letter from Brian Landers to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated

13 July 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about which trade unions are recognised by Premier Prison Services Ltd at Doncaster Prison.

It is Premier Prison Services' company policy to allow the staff in each establishment, on a site-by-site basis, to decide whether they wish to be represented by a trade union in discussion on conditions of employment.

However, during the start up of a new operation, representation will be by way of a locally elected staff association. Such a staff association is in the process of being established at Doncaster Prison.

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what trade unions are recognised by United Kingdom Detention Services Ltd., at Blakenhurst prison.

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 Brian Landers to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 13 July 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about which trade unions are recognised by United Kingdom Detention Services Ltd. at Blakenhurst Prison.

It is not UKDS' current intention to recognise any particular union for negotiation of terms of employment for any individual employee or groups of employees. A Staff Consultative Committee has been established to enable representative staff members to meet with senior management on a regular and formal basis.

Prison Service (Performance Bonuses)

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many performance bonuses have been awarded to Prison Service agency officials in 1994 to the latest available date ;

(2) if he will list the Prison Service agency officials who received performance bonuses in 1993.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Director General of the Prison Service has received performance bonuses in respect of the periods 6 January 1993, when he was appointed, to 31 March 1993 and 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994. Other members of the Prison Service have received performance pay increases, where appropriate, in accordance with the arrangements for the civil service generally.

Emergency Arrangements

Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the steps being taken to ensure the introduction of a uniform national early warning public alert system of a kind urged by the Association of County Councils and the professional organisations concerned with civil protection.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : At this stage we are not persuaded that a uniform national public alert system can be justified on threat or cost grounds.

Future national arrangements for warning the public of an air attack will be based around the use of radio and television broadcasts.


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Peacetime Disasters

Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken to enhance the arrangements for the designation of Government Departments and the precise allocation of responsibilities in response to major peacetime disasters in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The designation of Government Departments to take the central Government lead in response to a major peacetime disaster is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office civil contingencies unit. The designations are kept under constant review, as are the responsibilities to be discharged by Departments. The Home Office publication "Dealing with Disaster" explains the role of the lead Government Department and which Departments have been pre-nominated for particular disasters. A copy is in the Library of both Houses.

Obscene Publications Branch

Sir Ivan Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to receive the recommendations of the Metropolitan police review of specialist units in relation to the future of the obscene publications branch.

Mr. Charles Wardle : I refer my hon. and learned Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) on 26 May, col. 265.

Data Protection

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to amend the Data Protection Act 1984 to reduce the bureaucratic burden associated with compliance with the data protection principles ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : We shall consider what amendments may be needed to the Data Protection Act 1984 when the outcome of the negotiations on the draft EU directive on data protection is known.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will list those who contributed to his paper "Costs of Implementing the Data Protection Directive" ; and if he will place in the Library the answers to his Department's questionnaires from data user organisations, if necessary in a form which would not breach confidentiality.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I have placed in the Library of the House a list of those from outside the Home Office who responded to the costings questionnaire. It would not be possible to anonymise all the responses as many of these contain comments which indicate their source. The hon. Member may wish to approach the respondents direct, to ask them for a copy of their response.

Juvenile Crime

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the reoffending rate for young people who complete their sentence in an institution compared with that of young people who undertake community service in the community in the last four weeks of their sentence.


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

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated cost to the Exchequer of the average young person under 24 years who completes a youth custody sentence from the known commencement of his criminal career.

Mr. Maclean : I regret that the available information does not allow any such estimate to be made.

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the comparable reoffending rate for young people sentenced to a young offenders institution and young people sentenced to work in the community.

Mr. Maclean : The available information is given in the table. The comparison reflects not only the effectiveness of the sentences involved but the different characteristics of offenders receiving the sentences. Research to be published shortly by the Home Office has shown that the criminal history, age and sex of the offender are associated with re- offending. Furthermore, the statistics of reconvictions contain a proportion of convictions relating to additional offences committed before the current sentence was passed.


Percentage of offenders aged under 21 commencing Community Service              

Orders in 1987 or discharged from prison in 1987 who were reconvicted           

of a standard list' offence<3> within two years.                                

                    |Those discharged   |Those commencing a                     

                    |from prison service|community service                      

                    |establishments<1>  |order<2>                               

                    |Per cent.          |Per cent.                              

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

Males               |71                 |65                                     

Females             |51                 |43                                     

<1> Source: Prison Statistics England and Wales 1992 (Cm. 2581 HMSO).           

<2> Source: Home Office Statistical Bulletin "Reconvictions of those given      

Probation and Community Service Orders in 1987" (Issue 18-93).                  

<3> Reconviction statistics relate to "standard list" offences as defined in    

Appendix 4 of "Criminal Statistics England and Wales, 1992" (Cm. 2410).         

Money Laundering

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements have been made with the Governments of the Isle of Man and Jersey to harmonise procedures to prevent money laundering.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Isle of Man and Jersey--and Guernsey--have all endorsed the 40 recommendations of the financial action task force against money laundering, established at the G7 summit in Paris in 1989, and have formally agreed to undergo an evaluation exercise, similar to that carried out by the task force in the United Kingdom in 1992, which will submit their anti-money laundering systems to a thorough examination. They have all also issued anti-money laundering notes for guidance to their financial institutions, similar to those issued in the United Kingdom. In addition, all three have criminalised drug money laundering in legislation modelled on the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986.

Immigration

Mr. Duncan Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have chosen to be voluntarily repatriated under the scheme in the Immigration Act 1971, in each year from 1974 to 1986.


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Mr. Peter Lloyd : The voluntary repatriation scheme established under section 29 of the Immigration Act 1971 is operated by the International Social Service of the United Kingdom on behalf of the Home Office. During the financial years 1973-74 to 1986-87 the number of people repatriated under the scheme is as follows :


Year    |Number       

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

1973-74 |239          

1974-75 |156          

1975-76 |219          

1976-77 |110          

1977-78 |130          

1978-79 |178          

1979-80 |131          

1980-81 |142          

1981-82 |218          

1982-83 |152          

1983-84 |144          

1984-85 |81           

1985-86 |72           

1986-87 |65           

Firearms Certificates

Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he now has any firm proposals for increases in the cost of firearm and shotgun certificates ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The fees for the grant and renewal of firearm and shot gun certificates are currently under review. An announcement will be made as soon as possible.

Official Cars

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the value of his official car.

Mr. Howard : The Home Office provides three official cars for the Secretary of State's use. Two were purchased in 1988 at a cost of £27,000 each. A replacement third car was purchased earlier this year at a cost of £19,000.

Uninsured Drivers

Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those convicted of driving without insurance received fines of more than £1,000 in each of the past three years.

Mr. Maclean : Information available to me indicates that five convictions for driving without insurance in 1990 in England and Wales resulted in fines of over £1,000 being imposed, six in 1991 and 25 in 1992.

Figures for 1993 are not yet available.

Contracts

Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what occasions in the last 10 years he or a Minister in his Department has given a direction to civil servants to award a contract against the advice of the civil service ; what was the subject matter of the contract and its value ; and when it was awarded.

Mr. Howard [holding answer 8 July 1994] : There are no known instances during the last 10 years of Ministers in


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the Home Office issuing written instructions in pursuance of paragraphs 13 or 14 of section 6.1.5 of "Government Accounting".


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SCOTLAND

Asbestosis

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the incidence and geographical distribution of deaths in Scotland from asbestosis and related diseases for the last 10 years.

Mr. Stewart : The information requested is given in the tables.


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Asbestos-related deaths and disorders                                             

Table 1-Deaths from asbestosis without mention of mesothelioma for each region    

and health board area of Scotland, 1984-93                                        

                           |1984|1985|1986|1987|1988|1989|1990|1991|1992|1993     

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

Scotland                   |12  |22  |16  |12  |17  |19  |17  |18  |13  |16       

                                                                                  

Borders                    |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Central/Forth Valley       |0   |1   |0   |1   |0   |0   |0   |0   |1   |1        

Dumfries and Galloway      |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Fife                       |1   |2   |2   |3   |2   |3   |2   |2   |3   |1        

Grampian                   |0   |1   |1   |0   |3   |0   |1   |1   |1   |1        

Highlands                  |0   |0   |1   |0   |0   |0   |1   |1   |0   |0        

Lothian                    |2   |4   |2   |2   |0   |1   |1   |3   |0   |2        

Strathclyde                |8   |13  |10  |5   |11  |13  |12  |10  |8   |10       

Tayside                    |0   |1   |0   |1   |1   |2   |0   |0   |0   |1        

Orkney Islands Area        |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Shetland Islands Area      |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Western Isles Islands Area |1   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |1   |0   |0        


Table 2-Deaths from asbestosis mentioning mesothelioma for each region and health 

board area of Scotland, 1984-93                                                   

                           |1984|1985|1986|1987|1988|1989|1990|1991|1992|1993     

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

Scotland                   |3   |4   |4   |7   |7   |2   |6   |0   |5   |4        

                                                                                  

Borders                    |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Central/Forth Valley       |0   |0   |1   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Dumfries and Galloway      |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Fife                       |1   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Grampian                   |0   |1   |0   |0   |0   |0   |1   |0   |0   |0        

Highland                   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Lothian                    |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |1   |0   |0   |1        

Strathclyde                |2   |3   |3   |7   |7   |2   |4   |0   |5   |3        

Tayside                    |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Orkney Islands Area        |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Shetland Islands Area      |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Western Isles Islands Area |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0   |0        

Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development Agency

Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many legal actions were initiated by Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Development Agency which were (a) discontinued and (b) settled out of court for each year in the period 1983 to 1993.

Mr. Stewart : Decisions to initiate, discontinue or settle legal actions are operational matters for Scottish Enterprise and I have asked its chairman to write to the hon. Member. I understand that the Scottish Development Agency did not maintain a record of cases discontinued or settled out of court.


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