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Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many meetings he has scheduled with the Metropolitan police committee; and how frequent those meetings will be;  (2) what sanctions the Metropolitan police committee has if he ignores its advice on policing the capital; 
(3) how many times he has so far met the Metropolitan police committee, how many letters he has received from it; and to what extent he has acted on any advice received from it. 
Mr. Maclean: I refer the hon. Member to the reply to a question from the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on 11 January at column 139-40. The Metropolitan police committee is not yet formally in operation. From 1 April 1995 it is expected to advise the Secretary of State on a range of matters concerning the policing of the Metropolitan police district but it will be for Ministers to decide whether or to what extent they should accept the advice put forward. The question of sanctions does not arise.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps he took to establish that members of the Metropolitan police committee demonstrated knowledge of the workings of the Metropolitan police; 
(2) how many people were interviewed for membership of the Metropolitan police committee. 
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many full-time and part-time staff will be allocated to the Metropolitan police committee; and what will be the cost of those staff; 
(2) what will be the annual cost of the Metropolitan police committee. 
Mr. Maclean: The estimated cost of the Metropolitan police committee for 1995 96 is £399,000. This includes the cost of eight full-time and two part-time staff who comprise its Secretariat, accommodation costs and other expenses.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many members of the Metropolitan police committee are members of a political party; and if he will list those parties;  (2) how many of the members of the Metropolitan police committee (a) are and (b) have been, councillors; and which party they represented. 
Column 139Metropolitan police committee is not collected by my Department. However, I understand that of the two serving councillors appointed to the committee, one is a member of the Conservative party and the other is a member of the Labour party.
(2) how many overseas domestic workers there are currently in Britain. 
Mrs. Wise: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the percentage of (a) husbands and (b) wives seeking to join their spouses initially refused by entry clearance officers in India in 1994; what were the reasons for the differences; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Nicholas Baker: In India in 1994, 45 per cent. of husbands and 20 per cent. of wives were initially refused entry clearance for settlement in the United Kingdom. Some of these applications may be subsequently granted on appeal. Immigration rules for entry clearance for settlement in the United Kingdom apply equally to husbands and wives. Differences in the percentage initially refused reflect differences in individual applications.
Mrs. Wise: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the percentage of (a) husbands and (b) wives seeking to join their spouses initially refused by entry clearance officers in Pakistan in 1994; what were the reasons for the differences; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Nicholas Baker: In Pakistan in 1994, 60 per cent. of husbands and 25 per cent. of wives were initially refused entry clearance for settlement in the United Kingdom. Some of these applications may be subsequently granted on appeal. Immigration rules for entry clearance for settlement in the United Kingdom apply equally to husbands and wives. Differences in the percentage of applications initially refused reflect differences in individual applications.
(2) if he will establish mechanisms whereby London council tax-payers can influence expenditure on the Metropolitan police. 
Mr. Maclean: It is the Government's view that the Secretary of State should remain the police authority for the Metropolitan police district. Like other police authorities, the Secretary of State has overall responsibilities for the efficiency and effectiveness of the force. He answers to Parliament for those responsibilities.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the full names of those private companies which have tendered for, or have been invited to tender for, each individual contract to (a) design, construct, manage or finance any of Her Majesty's prison establishments or (b) manage court or prison escort services, together with the contract involved; 
(2) if he will list the full names of those private companies which have been awarded individual contracts to (a) design, construct, manage or finance any of Her Majesty's prison establishments or (b) manage court or prison escort services, together with the contract involved and its costs. 
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. George Howarth, dated 21 March 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Questions about the private companies that have tendered for, been invited to tender for or awarded contracts to design, construct, manage and finance prisons or to manage court escorting and custody services. You also asked for details of the companies awarded each contract and the cost of these contracts.
Invitations to tender have been issued to five companies or consortia for two prisons (at Bridgend and Fazakerley) to be designed, constructed, managed and financed by the private sector. They are, Securicor Seifert Atkins Consortium, UK Detention Services Ltd, Premier Prison Services Ltd, Securer Care Services Ltd and Group 4 Tarmac Ltd. The closing date for receipt of tenders is 20 March 1995. No contracts of this kind have been let in the past.
To date, tenders have been invited for court escort and custody services in five areas in England and Wales. The first of these tenders was for the East Midlands and Humberside area (Area 7). Six companies bid: Securicor Custodial Services, Securiguard Services Ltd, Burns International Security Services (UK) Ltd, Group 4 Court Services Ltd, Wackenhut (UK) Ltd and Reliance Security Ltd. Group 4 Court Services Ltd were appointed, the estimated cost of the contract is £41 million over five years.
Four companies bid for the contract for the Metropolitan Police District (Area 3); Group 4 Court Services Ltd, Reliance Custodial Services, Securicor Custodial Services Ltd and Pinkerton Court Escort Services Ltd. Securicor Custodial Services Ltd were appointed, the estimated cost of the contract is £96 million over five years. Five companies bid for the contracts for East Anglia (Area 4); Group 4 Court Services Ltd, Premier Prison Services Ltd, Reliance, Securicor Custodial Services Ltd, United Kingdom Detention Services Ltd. Group 4 Court Services Ltd were appointed, the estimated cost of the contract is £47 million over five years.
Four companies bid for the contract for the North West (Area 6); these were Group 4 Court Services Ltd, Premier Prison Services Ltd, Reliance and Securicor Custodial Services Ltd. Group 4 Court Services Ltd were appointed, the estimated cost of the contract is £69 million over five years.
Five companies bid for the contract for the North (Area 8); these were Group 4 Court Services Ltd, Premier Prison Services Ltd, Reliance, Securicor Custodial Services Ltd and United Kingdom Detention Services Ltd. A contract was not awarded. It is still our intention to award a contract as soon as possible. We will be considering how best to re-organise the size and scope of the contract so as to ensure it is both operationally effective and good value for money for the taxpayer.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the net operating cost per prisoner place for each contracted-out prison in England and Wales from 1 April 1994 to 31 March 1995. 
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. George Howarth, dated 21 March 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the net operating cost per prisoner place for each contracted out prison in England and Wales.
The net operating cost per prisoner place for each contracted out prison in England and Wales from 1 April 1994 to 31 March 1995 will be contained in the Prison Service Annual Report, which for that period will be laid before Parliament later this year.
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department has taken to conduct evaluative research into the fear of crime following the Home Office standing conference on crime prevention's report of the working group on the fear of crime, dated 11 December 1989. 
Mr. Maclean: The research and planning unit, crime prevention unit and police research group of the Home Department conduct and sponsor a wide range of research into the problem of criminal behaviour, the effects of which will influence people's fear of crime. More specifically, the Department has conducted a number of pieces of evaluative work on fear of crime, which bear on the recommendations of the fear of crime working group report.
Details are as follows:
(i) "Special constables: Issues for the management and organisation of volunteer police"--research and planning unit paper 88; (ii) "Lagerland Lost?" An experiment in keeping drinkers off the street in central Coventry and elsewhere--crime prevention unit paper 22;
(iii) "The Influence of Street Lighting on Crime and Fear of Crime"--crime prevention unit paper 28;
(iv) "Closed Circuit Television in Public Places"--crime prevention unit paper 35;
(v) "Fear of Crime Findings" from the 1992 "British Crime Survey"--research findings No. 9;
(vi) "Participation in Neighbourhood Watch": Findings from the 1992 "British Crime Survey"--research finding No. 11.
Further research on special constables, community policing and the safer cities programme is forthcoming.
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he has taken to combat the fear of crime following the recommendations of the standing conference on crime prevention contained in the report of the working group on the fear of crime, dated 11 December 1989. 
Column 142Office attaches a high priority to tackling crime and the fear of crime, which we recognise can be just as disabling as crime itself. The Home Office tackles this problem through a number of initiatives, most recently through the partnership campaign "Partners Against Crime" which was launched by my right hon. and learned Friend in September 1994. The campaign encourages individual members of the public to join the police as partners in the fight against crime. Through neighbourhood watch schemes, the special constabulary, neighbourhood constables, street watch, youth action groups and crime prevention panels, individuals can make a difference and gain a sense of empowerment, which in turn helps to reduce the fear of crime. We also welcome the use of technology such as closed circuit television in the fight against fear of crime. Last October, my right hon. and learned Friend announced a competition to set up more schemes across the country and the winners will be announced shortly.
Partnership is the basis of Home Office crime prevention policy, and we continue to work closely with other organisations--such as the Department of the Environment on the single regeneration budget and the safer cities programme; and the Department of Transport who have commissioned a national review of transport-related crime and perceptions of safety.
The Home Office produces practical advice on the measures which people can take to help keep themselves, their families and their property safe. The advice is always carefully worded to ensure that it is not fear-inducing.
Following a specific recommendation made by the working group, crime statistics are now published half yearly, rather than quarterly.
Most recently, to help forces identify those areas which suffer most from fear of crime, we have circulated to every police force a handbook and computer software package which provides a guide to the process of conducting a fear of crime survey.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding extending existing voluntary identity schemes administered by licensed victuallers associations in respect of the 18-year-old public alcohol drinking limit; and what measures he is preparing to increase the take-up of these schemes. 
My right hon. and learned Friend has announced, however, our intention to publish later in the spring a Green Paper on identity cards. This will set out and canvass views on the options for a national identity card scheme, including the possible benefits of identity cards in helping to combat under-age drinking.
Column 143information by the prosecution and the defence in criminal cases.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the existing guidelines in Wandsworth prison in respect of an inmate regarded as a possible suicide risk; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from A.J. Butler to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 21 March 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to our recent Question about the existing guidelines in Wandsworth prison for coping with a prisoner identified as being at risk of self harm.
The Prison Service has introduced an updated strategy called `Caring For The Suicidal In Custody' this year. Wandsworth prison was one of the establishments which piloted this scheme. It moves away from treating suicide as a medical responsibility to involve all staff working towards suicide prevention. Personal officer schemes give prisoners a direct link with a member of staff whom they can turn to in times of distress. All prison officers receive suicide awareness training as part of their induction programme.
Every prisoner who arrives at Wandsworth, as in other prisons, is screened on the initial reception and are interviewed by a medical officer. They are also shown the `Misadvantages Video' which, using a realistic storyline, deals with the issue of custodial suicide. When a prisoner is identified as being at risk of self harm, a standard form known as a F2052 SH is raised. He is then seen by the Residential Unit Manager and a Health Care Officer who make an initial assessment. If appropriate, the prisoner may be transferred to a shared cell where increased contact is used as a preventative measure, or he may be transferred to the Health Care Centre where he will be seen by a doctor. When necessary the prisoner is placed under observation. The desirability of continuous observation must be weighed against any possible psychological damage this may inflict. When the standard form is raised a case review is held and a support plan devised. Further case reviews are held as needed. There are regular discussions with the prisoner as part of his daily supervision and to enable him to feel more in control of his situation. The standard form is only closed when the prisoner appears to be coping.
Wandsworth has established a `Suicide Awareness Group' which co-ordinates the dissemination of information about best practice, reviews the incidents of self harm and death in custody, and inputs this information into the training programme for staff. This is a multi-disciplinary group which includes a representative of the Board of Visitors. Samaritans visit the prison weekly and have trained prisoners to be listeners. There are also strong contact with the visiting consultant psychiatrists.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 17 February, Official Report , column 840 , for what reasons he has made only the executive summary of the Association of Chief Police Officers report on firearms licensing available in the Library; and if he has had access to the full report as prepared by Superintendent Campbell Beattie, including the costings.
(2) how many crimes of actual bodily harm and how many crimes of common assault were recorded in (a) the six months since 1 September 1994 and (b) the six months preceding 1 September 1994; 
(3) what proportion of total crimes committed consist of common assault and what proportion actual bodily harm (a) in the last year for which recorded crime figures are available and (b) in the previous two years. 
The available information relates to recorded offences of "other wounding" of which offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm form part. However, such offences cannot be separately identified and it is not possible to identify what proportion offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm form of the total number of recorded offences.
The latest available information shows that there were 99,482 recorded offences of "other wounding" in the six months to June 1994. Information after this date is not yet available.
Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are taken to monitor the recording of crime by separate police forces and to asssess whether guidelines issued on this matter by the Home Department are followed. 
Mr Maclean [holding answer 17 March 1995]: Statistics of recorded crime are based on rules for classification and counting which are standard for all police forces in England and Wales. A comprehensive set of counting rules is used by police forces in order to maintain the consistency of recording multiple, continuous and repeated offences. Whilst these detailed rules are issued centrally, many decisions still have to be taken locally about the recording and counting of criminal incidents.
Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary regularly looks into recording practices during force inspections. the Home Office also has a police statistics liaison officer who regularly visits statistics officers in the forces to discuss current issues and to monitor current procedures.
Column 145number of sites, but makes no site recommendation. It is available for purchase by the public from the Department of Transport.
The Council took votes on two proposals. The first was on a mandate for the Commission to negotiate on an air transport agreement with Switzerland. The mandate proposed was more restrictive than the Government would have wished, and accordingly I voted against it, as did my Italian colleague. Other member states voted in favour, constituting a qualified majority. The Council approved a mandate for land transport without a vote. Negotiations under these mandates will begin shortly.
The Council also voted on a draft directive requiring undertakings involved in the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail or inland waterway to appoint a dangerous goods adviser. The United Kingdom alone voted against the measure, on the grounds that it would not add significantly to existing safety legislation and that no proper cost/benefit analysis had been carried out. Other member states supported the measure. The Council was thus deemed to have reached a common position, by qualified majority.
The Council reached a common position on a proposed directive aimed at harmonising the certification of inland waterway boatmasters. The Council adopted resolutions on the promotion of rail and combined transport within the Community; on working hours and training of goods vehicle drives, calling on the Commission to report as soon as possible on its study of these issues; and on the use of non-EC aircraft and crew within the Community, on which the Commission is also carrying out a study. Council conclusions on relations in air transport between member states and the US were agreed.
The Council discussed European Community shipping policy, but came to no agreed conclusions. I set out the UK's policy objectives of ensuring open and competitive markets worldwide for shipowners and traders.
Encouraging progress was made on a proposed regulation to apply the international safety management code for roll-on/roll-off passenger ships to all such ships using Community ports. The measure was referred back to the Committee of Permanent Representatives for further discussion.
Other issues considered at the Council included trans-European networks, interoperability of the high speed rail network, transport research, airport ground handling facilities, the collection of maritime statistics, and relations with central and eastern European countries in regard to road and air transport.
Column 146consideration of bids for the contract to build the channel tunnel rail link; when he hopes to announce the name of the winning consortium; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Watts: The four bidding consortiums submitted their tenders on 14 March. The Department and its advisers have begun the process of evaluating the bids. It is our intention to announce a winner in the latter half of this year.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library the explanatory documents, other than those that are commercially confidential, submitted by the four consortiums bidding for the channel tunnel rail link; if he will endorse requests for exhibitions in the Upper Waiting Hall to permit those consortiums to display their plans; and if he will seek to ensure that hon. Members with constituency interests in the project may receive briefings from each of the companies that have bid for the contract. 
Mr. Watts: When we have announced the winner of the channel tunnel rail link competition, I am sure that the successful promoter will wish to give briefings and presentations, and I shall be happy to support that. In the meantime, however, the four bidders are competing for a Government contract in which very large amounts of public funds are at stake. In those circumstances, it would be improper for Ministers, Members of Parliament, officials or others to be subject to lobbying by any of the bidders. I appreciate that many hon. Members and their constituents have interests and concerns about the rail link; the proper forum in which to advance those is in the proceedings of this House on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill. We shall, of course, ensure that all undertakings given by the Government as the Bill progresses are binding upon the successful promoter.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when pulsed fast neutron analysis will be operational in respect of screening freight vehicles using the channel tunnel to the required inspection levels. 
Mr. Watts: Pulsed fast neutron analysis technology is currently undergoing further developing work and it is not therefore possible to give a firm operational date at this stage. However, at the satisfactory conclusion of this work, Eurotunnel will be required to put PFNA in place at both UK and French terminals.