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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 29 November 1994

PRIME MINISTER

State Property Inventories

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give the dates on which state property inventories have been checked since 1980.

The Prime Minister: Departments are responsible for maintaining records of property which they hold for their specialised or operational use. Property Holdings maintains a record for the common user office estate. No central record is kept and the information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Lockerbie

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what evidence he has to support the public statement of Mrs. Stella Rimmington that MI5 had assisted in the tracking down and issue of warrants for the culprits of the Lockerbie crime; and if he will place in the Library the report of the conduct and knowledge of MI5 about terrorist threats against airliners in October to December 1988.

The Prime Minister: The greater part of the Security Service's efforts is directed to countering terrorism.

As I made clear in reply to my hon. Friend, the Member for Ravensbourne (Sir J. Hunt), on 14 July Official Report , column 712 , it remains the Government's policy not to provide information on the operations of the security and intelligence agencies. I have, therefore, nothing further to add to what the Director-General has already said.

Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 29 November.

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 29 November.

The Prime Minister: This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.

Zoological Society

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the conduct of the council of the Zoological Society of London in respect of its adherence to its constitution and its performance of its objectives; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: The Zoological Society of London is an autonomous body operating under a royal charter. Ensuring adherence to the charter is not a matter for the Government.


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Government

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Prime Minister how many members there are of his Administration, including Whips, (a) in the House of Commons, (b) in the House of Lords, (c) in neither and (d) in total; and if he will provide comparable figures for November 1989, November 1984 and May 1979.

The Prime Minister: This is a matter of public record. The information requested can be obtained from the Library of the House.

Ministers

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Prime Minister what was the number of Ministers in Her Majesty's Government in each year since 1979.

The Prime Minister: This is a matter of public record. The information requested can be obtained from the Library of the House.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Prevention of Terrorism Acts

Mr. Stott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the exclusion orders placed upon those people under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts, with particular reference to John Matthews; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard: The Government hope that the day is approaching when exclusion orders will no longer be needed but we are not prepared to lower our guard prematurely. There are currently 61 orders in force which I or my predecessors have made and I keep the need for them under review.

Wheel Clamping

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to introduce legislation to regulate those who seek to clamp vehicles parked on private land.

Mr. Maclean: Following the consultation process completed last year, the Government are considering what action it would be appropriate to take in respect of wheel clamping on private land. Our aim is to ensure that any measure introduced to prevent or deter irresponsible and heavy-handed wheel clamping on private land does not prevent sensible measures being taken to control genuine parking problems.

We will make an announcement as soon as possible.

National Criminal Intelligence System

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the total costs involved in the integrated national criminal intelligence system project; which computer company provided the equipment; and what consultants were employed.

Mr. Maclean: From the project's initiation in autumn 1989 to its termination in February 1993 total costs involved in the integrated national criminal intelligence system were £1.447 million. No computer equipment was provided as the project did not proceed beyond the design stage. The private sector firms engaged as consultants


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were Computer Sciences Co. Ltd. Grafton Database Associates Ltd, Hoskyns', PA Consultants, Software AG and World Quality Systems.

Airports (Immigration officers)

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those United Kingdom airports receiving scheduled flights from abroad which do not have permanent, full-time immigration service staff stationed at the airport.

Mr. Nicholas Baker: The airports are Belfast (International), Teeside, Humberside, Biggin Hill, Eastleigh (Southampton), Exeter and Kirkwall (Orkney). At six of these locations arrangements exist to provide immigration coverage from the nearest permanently staffed port or office. The exception is Kirkwall where immigration coverage of scheduled flights is provided by customs officers under the provisions of paragraph 1(1) of schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971.

Probation and Community Service Orders

Mr. Straw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of unexecuted warrants (a) for breach of probation orders and (b) for breach of community services orders in each probation service area in England and Wales, and in total in England and Wales in (i) 1991, (ii) 1992 and (iii) 1993 and on the latest date for which figures were available.

Mr. Maclean: The information is not available centrally.


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Camera Surveillance

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidance is issued to (a) local authorities and (b) police authorities regarding responsibility to display signs warning of the existence of camera surveillance when it is used to monitor on-street activity in city or town centres;

(2) what guidance is issued to (a) local authorities and (b) police authorities regarding the preservation of privacy for domestic and office premises within CCTV field of vision, where closed circuit television is used to monitor on-street activities in city or town centres.

Mr. Maclean: The Government issued good practice guidelines to local authorities and police authorities on the use of closed circuit television in public places earlier this month. Where cameras are not place prominently the guide recommends that there should be clear signs indicating that a CCTV system is in operation. The guide also recommends the development of local codes of practice for each scheme so that due attention is given to issues of privacy.

Police Authority Membership

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of those submitted by the independent selection process for nomination as independent members of English police authorities were (a) women, (b) from ethnic minorities, (c) from the voluntary sector, (d) businessmen, (e) educationists and (f) lawyers; and what proportion (i) of each group and (ii) in total remained on the list after the Home Office review of the suggested names.

Mr. Maclean: Nominations have been received in respect of 36 of the 37 English police authorities. The Home Secretary has considered 35 of these, and the information is as follows:


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                   Selection Panels'                   Home Secretary's                                                       

                   Lists (Total = 686)                 Lists (Total = 342)                                                    

                  |(a)              |(b)              |(c)              |(d)              |(e)                                

                  |Number           |percentage of 686|Number           |Percentage of 342|Percentage of (a)                  

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

Women             |192              |30               |73               |21.3             |38                                 

Ethnic Minorities |52               |7.6              |23               |6.7              |44.2                               

Voluntary Sector  |35               |5.1              |10               |2.9              |28.6                               

Businessmen       |262              |38.1             |167              |48.8             |63.7                               

Educationalists   |114              |16.6             |30               |8.8              |26.3                               

Lawyers           |23               |3.4              |10               |2.9              |43.5                               

It is not possible to calculate a total figure, as many of the candidates fall into more than one of the categories listed.

Hunt Saboteurs

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance has been given to the police in relation to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in particular in relation to their treatment of hunt saboteurs.

Mr. Maclean: On Royal Assent, we issued to all police forces a circular and introductory guide on the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Copies have been put in the Library of the House. The information provided is explanatory rather than interpretative. The application of the provisions in respect of the offence of aggravated trespass is an operational matter for chief officers.


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Adoption

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many babies adopted by British residents in Romania and in India have been (a) granted or (b) refused admission; and how many appeals against refusal have been (i) rejected and (ii) successful in each of the last five years.

Mr. Nicholas Baker: Statistics relating to children entering the United Kingdom with a view to adoption are not collected centrally.

Firearms

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated cost to police in operating the firearms licensing system in respect of each of the categories of firearms fees listed in the table in his answer of 21 July, Official Report, column 282.


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Mr. Maclean: The estimated costs for each category for the year 1993 94 are as follows:-


                                               |£                  

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

Firearm Certificate Issue                      |593,000            

Shot Gun Certificate Issue                     |1,303,000          

Shot Gun Certificate Renewal                   |3,460,000          

Registered Firearm Dealer Issue of Certificate |20,000             

Home Office Club Approval                      |<2>1,650           

<1> Costs vary from year to year according to the number of        

certificates issued.                                               

<2> No certificates for Home Office club approval fell due for     

renewal during 1993-94.                                            

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the best practice costs detailed in the 1991 guidelines issued to chief police officers for (a) the issue and renewal of a firearm certificate, (b) the issue and renewal of a shot gun certificate, (c) the issue of a certificate to a registered firearm dealer and (d) Home Office club approval.

Mr. Maclean: The models of best practice for the administration of the firearms licensing system issued to chief officers of police in 1991 do not include costings.

Costings of best practice are contained in a subsequent study undertaken in 1992 by the independent consultants Ernst and Young. The costings identified, for both uniformed and civilian staff, are as follows:


                           |Uniformed|Civilian           

                           |Procedure|Procedure          

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

Firearm Certificate                                      

Issue                      |55.57    |36.18              

Renewal                    |12.12    |10.23              

                                                         

Shot Gun Certificate                                     

Issue                      |44.11    |28.92              

Renewal                    |11.18    |9.08               

                                                         

Registered Firearms Dealer                               

Issue of Certificate       |124.52   |77.72              

                                                         

Home Office Club                                         

Approval                   |92.26    |57.64              

Young Offenders

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what are the rates for re-offending for those aged under 21 years within (a) two years and (b) four years in each year since 1990 for those punished


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with each of the possible sentences listed in his answer of 20 July, Official Report, columns 267 68, for offences of assault or criminal damage;

(2) what are the rates for re-offending within four years for those aged under 21 years in each year since 1990 for those punished with each of the sentences listed in his answer of 20 July, Official Report , columns 267 68, for the offences of (a) burglary of a dwelling-house and (b) burglary of buildings;

(3) what are the comparable rates for re-offending within two years for those under 21 years in each year since 1990 for those convicted of (i) theft from shops, (ii) theft of a motor vehicle and (iii) theft from a motor vehicle by a sentence of (a) absolute or conditional discharge, (b) fine, (c) bind over of parent, (d) supervision order, (e) attendance centre order, (f) community service order, (g) probation order, (h) combination order and (i) detention in a young offender institution;

(4) what are the rates for re-offending within two years for those aged under 21 years in each year since 1990 for those punished with each of the sentences listed in his answer of 20 July, Official Report , columns 267 68, for the offences of (a) burglary of a dwelling-house and (b) burglary of buildings;

(5) what are the rates for re-offending within four years for those aged under 21 years in each year since 1990 for those punished with each of the sentences listed in his answer of 20 July, Official Report, columns 296 68, for the offences of (a) theft from shops, (b) theft of a motor vehicle and (c) theft from a motor vehicle.

Mr. Maclean: The available information on re-offending is on the rate of reconviction for offenders who commence probation and community service and for sentenced prisoners who are discharged from Prison Service establishments. The latest available information relates to a two-year period following the commencement of an order or the discharge from prison during 1990.

The table gives two-year reconviction rates for those aged under 21 at commencement of their order or aged under 21 when sentenced to a custodial sentence.

These comparisons do not make allowance for the different nature of offenders, with different risks of reconviction, who receive different sentences nor for the fact that for those commencing community penalties there is a greater likelihood of being convicted in the early part of the follow-up period for offences which were committed before the period started. These issues will be addressed in a report in preparation-- "Explaining reconviction rates: a critical analysis", a Home Office research study.


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Two year reconviction rates<1> for those aged under 21 at commencement of probation and community service orders and for those aged    

under 21 when sentenced to a custodial sentence by type of original offence<2> based on samples of offenders commencing order or       

discharged during 1990                                                                                                                 

England and Wales-percentages and numbers                                                                                              

                           |Theft of                                                               |Theft from                         

                           |a motor    |All                    |Criminal   |Burglary in|Burglary of|a motor    |Theft from             

Disposal                   |vehicle<5> |offenders  |Assault<3> |damage<4>  |a dwelling |a building |vehicle<4> |shops<4>               

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

Probation                                                                                                                              

Reconviction rate          |81         |70         |48         |64         |76         |79         |73         |64                     

Number in sample<6>        |446        |3,653      |321        |475        |402        |534        |492        |1,161                  

                                                                                                                                       

Community service                                                                                                                      

Reconviction rate          |75         |67         |66         |65         |67         |75         |65         |73                     

Number in sample<6>        |196        |1,603      |205        |172        |147        |229        |245        |310                    

Young offender institution                                                                                                             

Reconviction rate          |89         |72         |57         |60         |77         |83         |75         |81                     

Number in sample<6>        |528        |5,932      |722        |764        |825        |600        |546        |970                    

<1> Reconviction rates are for offences on the `standard list'. These include all indictable offences and more serious summary         

offences. A definition of standard list offences is contained in Appendices 4 and 5 of "Criminal statistics England and Wales 1993" (  

Cm 2680).                                                                                                                              

<2> The most recent standard list offence recorded in the period up to and including the commencement or discharge date. This may on   

occasions not be the offence for which the sentence is passed.                                                                         

<3> This consists of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm or to resist apprehension, wounding or inflicting grievous bodily 

harm (inflicting bodily injury with or without a weapon), assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault with intent to resist        

apprehension or assault on a person assisting a constable and assault on a constable but does not include common assault as all but a  

few rare subclasses of common assault are not standard list offences.                                                                  

<4> On account of the relatively low numbers for some of the disposals in the samples for offences of criminal damage, theft from a    

motor vehicle and theft from shops the quoted figures are based on pooling samples over the period 1987 to 1990.                       

<5> This consists of theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle and stealing and unauthorised taking of a conveyance.             

<6> The number in the samples are given for information. The reconviction rate based on the smallest sample (ie. that for community    

service and the offence of burglary in a dwelling) could range by chance by about plus or minus 8 percentage points. The rate will be  

generally more accurately determined as the numbers sampled increase.                                                                  

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of 10 to 16-year-olds found guilty or cautioned for each year since 1981.

Mr. Maclean: The information is given in the table.


Number of 10-16 year olds found guilty or cautioned<1> for all                       

offences 1981-1993                                                                   

England and Wales                                                                    

                                                   |Found guilty                     

Year             |Found guilty    |Cautioned<1>    |and cautioned<1>                 

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

1981             |118,260         |108,237         |226,497                          

1982             |110,018         |112,684         |222,702                          

1983             |100,445         |115,437         |215,882                          

1984             |93,271          |119,848         |213,119                          

1985             |82,631          |134,567         |217,198                          

1986             |62,630          |113,496         |176,126                          

1987             |53,597          |114,401         |167,998                          

1988             |46,850          |101,375         |148,225                          

1989             |40,373          |96,627          |137,000                          

1990             |37,255          |112,081         |149,336                          

1991             |32,544          |105,662         |138,206                          

1992             |29,006          |112,867         |141,873                          

1993             |29,260          |99,870          |129,130                          

<1> Excludes motoring offences.                                                      

Special Advisers

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement concerning the cost to public funds of employing ministerial special advisers in his Department.

Mr. Howard: My Department employs two special advisers. Salaries for special advisers are negotiated individually in relation to their previous earnings, and are confidential. They are, however, normally paid on a special advisers' salary spine of 34 points, ranging from £19,503 to £67,609. Appointments are non-pensionable, and the salary spine reflects this.


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Prisoners (Drugs and Alcohol)

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what facilities there are for treating those with drug or alcohol problems who are being held in prison in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Michael Forsyth: 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 Dr. Lynne Jones, dated 29 November 1994:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question on what facilities there are for treating those with drug or alcohol problems who are being held in prison in the United Kingdom. All prisons within England and Wales provide prisoners with access to education, treatment and counselling services for substance misuse via the prison health care centre, the probation service or outside drug agencies. Some but not all of the facilities are already used by both alcohol and drug misusers.

As part of the new Prison Service drugs strategy, to be launched during January 1995, all prison governors will be required to develop and implement local drug strategies which will form part of their contract with their area manager. The local strategies will include provision for education, treatment and throughcare services for prisoners who misuse, have misused or are at risk of misusing drugs. The Prison Service will also be launching the first phase of the implementation of a range of treatment programmes throughout Prison Service establishments during 1995. The different programmes will be evaluated.

The Scottish Office and Northern Ireland Office will be able to provide information on the provision of treatment programmes for prisoners with drug or alcohol problems in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of those with drug or alcohol problems currently being held in prison in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Michael Forsyth: 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 Derek Lewis to Dr. Lynne Jones, dated 29 November 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question on the number of prisoners with drug or alcohol problems being held in prison in the United Kingdom.

During 1993 the Home Office Addicts Index was notified of 3,764 drug addicts identified by prison medical officers within the United Kingdom. Prisoners addicted to alcohol addiction are not reflected within this figure.

There are currently no central records of the number of alcohol addicted prisoners in England and Wales.

Secure Training Centres

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has received to support the need for the creation of secure training centres; and if he will publish these reports.

Mr. Maclean: The Home Office commissioned two pieces of research on persistent young offenders, both of which confirmed the existence of a small number of young people who are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.

The first was a survey of police forces undertaken by the Home Office during 1992. It is contained in annex B to the memorandum of evidence submitted for the sixth report from the Home Affairs Select Committee, Session 1992 93: HC441-II, "Juvenile Offenders". The second was commissioned from the Policy Studies Institute and is entitled "Persistent Young Offenders". Its findings were published in February 1994.

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what bids he has received for the running of the secure training centres.

Mr. Maclean: Twenty-five organisations have indicated an interest in tendering to finance, build or refurbish, operate and maintain secure training centres. We expect to receive firm bids in response to invitations to tender, the first of which will issue within a few weeks.

Criminal Records

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances the new criminal records system, Phoenix, will hold personal data which relate to individuals who have been acquitted, or who are not prosecuted; and if he will make a statement on how long such data are retained.

Mr. Maclean: Data relating to acquittals and to cases discontinued without a caution will be deleted from the Phoenix system within 42 days of the date of notification, save for certain exceptional cases in which the data will be retained for a longer period. Rules closely defining these exceptional cases are currently being produced by the police service in consultation with the Home Office and the Data Protection Registrar, and I shall make an announcement once they have been finalised.

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce legislation which relates criteria for the retention of personal data which describes the analysis of DNA samples, fingerprints and criminal records to the seriousness of the offence; if he will list the current retention criteria; and on what statute the retention criteria is based.

Mr. Maclean: Legislation relating the retention of fingerprints, samples used for DNA profiling, and national


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criminal records to the seriousness of the criminal offence already exists. Under section 27 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, fingerprints may be retained where the offender has been convicted of a recordable offence, and criminal convictions may be retained in national records where the offender has been convicted of such an offence. Recordable offences are defined in the National Police Records (Recordable Offences) Regulations 1985. Records of convictions for offences which are not recordable may be held in local police collections. Under section 64 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, as amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, a sample taken from any person for DNA profiling purposes may be retained if it was taken in the course of an investigation as a result of which a person was convicted of a recordable offence. Samples from persons not convicted of an offence cannot be used in evidence against the person or for any investigation. Their retention is for technical, administrative and legal reasons.

The current practice is that criminal records for recordable convictions are retained by the National Identification Bureau for 20 years, provided that there have been no subsequent convictions; if, however, the conviction involves either homicide or terrorism, the record is retained indefinitely; and if the conviction involves indecency or illicit drugs, or a custodial sentence was imposed, or the record reveals mental illness, the record will be retained until the subject reaches 70 years of age.

Fingerprints are retained until the whole of the associated criminal record is deleted. Rules for the retention of criminal records on the Phoenix application of the police national computer will comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act and are being developed by the police service in consultation with the Government and Data Protection Registrar. Detailed rules for the retention of samples taken for DNA profiling within the statutory framework set out above are currently being prepared, but the work is at an early stage.

Anabolic Steroids

Mr. Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department made of the legal status of anabolic steroids in Spain before he made his announcement of 2 November.

Mr. Michael Forsyth: The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, on whose recommendations the Government's proposals are based, made no specific assessment although were aware of the controls on anabolic steroids in the European Union member states and in a number of other countries. We understand that in Spain, as currently in the United Kingdom, anabolic steroids are subject to the law governing medicines and may be supplied lawfully only on prescription.

Automated Facial Recognition

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his Department's research into automated facial recognition from photographs.

Mr. Maclean: The Department's work aims to ensure that the police are able to make maximum use of both images and eye witness reports in the investigation of


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crime. The first stage will be the provision of images to accompany the textual information on the Phoenix criminal justice record service.

Operational trials have shown that photographs which have been coded by reference to physical features can be retrieved during the interview of a witness significantly more successfully than uncoded photographs. But manual coding is a very labour intensive process and my Department is therefore investigating automatic coding methods. It is also working with facial identification practitioners to establish standards for the analysis and presentation of facial identification evidence to the courts.


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These standards may eventually be embodied in a computer system.

Crime Statistics

Mr. Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a table showing (a) the rate of conviction and (b) the average sentences for cases heard by (i) Tameside South magistrates court and (ii) Ashton-under-Lyme magistrates court in relation to (i) all crimes of theft, (ii) all juvenile crimes and (iii) crimes of theft committed by juveniles, for each of the last five years.

Mr. Maclean: The 1989 to 1993 information is given in the table.


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Conviction rates and average sentence length (months) given for the offence of theft and        

handling stolen goods and all offences in the                                                   

Ashton-Under-Lyne and South Tameside Petty Sessional Divisions by age groups, 1989-1993         

                                  Theft and                  All offences<1>                    

                                  handling stolen                                               

                                  goods                                                         

                                 |10-17   |18+     |All ages|10-17   |18+     |All ages         

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

1989 Ashton-Under-Lyne PSD                                                                      

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |71      |62      |64      |78      |79      |79               

Average sentence length (months) |(1.6)   |(2.4)   |(2.4)   |(2.2)   |2.7     |2.6              

                                                                                                

South Tameside PSD                                                                              

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |(76)    |64      |66      |76      |78      |78               

Average sentence length (months) |(2.3)   |(1.7)   |(1.8)   |(3.3)   |2.3     |2.5              

                                                                                                

England and Wales PSDs                                                                          

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |72      |66      |67      |71      |78      |77               

Average sentence length (months) |3.1     |2.6     |2.7     |3.4     |2.9     |3.0              

                                                                                                

1990 Ashton-Under-Lyne PSD                                                                      

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |74      |61      |63      |78      |76      |76               

Average sentence length (months) |(4.0)   |(1.9)   |(2.0)   |(3.3)   |2.5     |2.6              

                                                                                                

South Tameside PSD                                                                              

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |(67)    |57      |58      |77      |79      |78               

Average sentence length (months) |(3.2)   |(1.9)   |(2.1)   |(2.4)   |2.5     |2.5              

                                                                                                

England and Wales PSDs                                                                          

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |70      |65      |66      |69      |76      |76               

Average sentence length (months) |3.0     |2.5     |2.6     |3.3     |2.8     |2.9              

                                                                                                

1991 Ashton-Under-Lyne PSD                                                                      

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |74      |65      |66      |72      |78      |77               

Average sentence length (months) |(2.5)   |(1.3)   |(1.4)   |(3.0)   |2.1     |2.2              

                                                                                                

South Tameside PSD                                                                              

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |(95)    |66      |70      |75      |79      |79               

Average sentence length (months  |-       |(2.0)   |(2.0)   |(2.5)   |2.9     |2.9              

                                                                                                

England and Wales PSDs                                                                          

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |66      |63      |64      |65      |73      |73               

Average sentence length (months) |3.0     |2.4     |2.5     |3.3     |2.8     |2.9              

                                                                                                

1992 Ashton-Under-Lyne PSD                                                                      

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |83      |65      |68      |75      |73      |73               

Average sentence length (months) |(1.8)   |(1.9)   |(1.8)   |(2.3)   |2.4     |2.4              

                                                                                                

South Tameside PSD                                                                              

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |(84)    |67      |69      |67      |72      |72               

Average sentence length (months) |(2.0)   |(2.5)   |(2.4)   |(3.3)   |2.9     |2.9              

                                                                                                

England and Wales PSDs                                                                          

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |62      |62      |62      |60      |72      |71               

Average sentence length (months) |3.2     |2.4     |2.5     |3.4     |2.8     |2.9              

                                                                                                

1993 Ashton-Under-Lyne PSD                                                                      

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |(64)    |76      |76      |(49)    |70      |70               

Average sentence length (months) |(3.0)   |(2.3)   |(2.3)   |(3.0)   |2.9     |2.9              

                                                                                                

South Tameside PSD                                                                              

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |76      |67      |69      |72      |68      |68               

Average sentence length (months) |(2.0)   |(3.3)   |(3.2)   |(3.1)   |3.3     |3.3              

                                                                                                

England and Wales PSDs                                                                          

Conviction rate (per cent.)      |62      |63      |63      |58      |70      |69               

Average sentence length (months) |3.9     |3.0     |3.1     |3.8     |3.2     |3.2              

<1>All offences-Indictable, summary non-motoring and summary motoring.                          

( ) Percentage based on less than 50 defendants and average sentence length based on less than  

50 offenders aged 14-17 sentenced to immediate custody.                                         

Violent Crime

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will commission research to investigate the effect of violent crime on victims and their families, assess the extent to which families suffer post-traumatic stress and identify the support which should be provided to such families.

Mr. Maclean [holding answer 28 November 1994]: Research of the kind proposed already exists. I have arranged for a copy of Home Office Research and Planning Unit Paper 80, "The long-term needs of victims: A review of the literature", to be placed in the Library of the House.

Special Constables

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many ex-gratia payments were made in each of the last three years to date to special constables or their dependents for being killed or injured on duty; which police authorities recommended ex-gratia payments be made; and what payment was made in each case.

Mr. Maclean [holding answer 28 November 1994]: This information is not readily available and comprehensive figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost. As a policy, all reasonable recommendations are approved. The records available show that three payments were approved in the last year. The largest was for £2,439 to a special constable in Hampshire.


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