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Crime and Unemployment

Mr. Rooker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the research projects undertaken or commissioned by his Department in each of the past 10 years which included discussion of possible relationships between levels of crime and unemployment; and if he will make a statement. [16405]

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Mr. Maclean: There have been four projects of this description.

These are:


Children's Evidence

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if children can give evidence through video links to the court in all cases that involve child sex abuse in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [16324]

Mr. Maclean: All children in cases of this kind may, with the leave of the court, give evidence by means of a live television link to the court or by means of a video recording of their evidence-in-chief. If a case of this kind arises at a court which does not have the necessary facilities, it can be transferred to one which does.

Police Objectives (Drug Crime)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many representations he has received on the content of the Government's five key objectives for police forces for 1996-97; how many of those representations refer to combating drugs criminality; and if he will make a statement; [16506]

Mr. Maclean: In determining the key objectives for policing for 1996-97, my right hon. and learned Friend took account of the views of the Association of Chief Police Officers, the local authority associations, and colleagues. Three other proposals for additional key objectives were made. None of them related to drugs.

Police Station Closures

Mr. Ian McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations were closed, by constabulary, during (a) 1980 to 1985, (b) 1985 to 1990 and (c) 1990 to 1995. [16613]

Mr. Maclean: The information is not collected centrally.

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Immigration and Nationality Department

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines exist to assist officials in the immigration and nationality department in dealing with correspondence with hon. Members. [17062]

Mr. Kirkhope: Staff in the immigration and nationality department receive training and have instructions on the handling of correspondence from Members of Parliament. There are also published guidelines to assist Members of Parliament making representations in immigration cases, which were most recently updated in April 1994.

Immigration Applications

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 January, Official Report, column 486, when his Department stopped obtaining the figures for refusal of extension of exceptional leave to remain as quoted in his answer of 10 May 1994, Official Report, column 74; and for what reasons. [16947]

Mr. Kirkhope: The precise information requested in the hon. Member's previous question has never been available. The answer given on 10 May 1994, Official Report, column 74, was based on the available information, which now broadly indicates that in 1994 and 1995 no more than some 30 persons in either year were refused an extension of exceptional leave to remain.

Public Bodies

Dr. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of the executive non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department publish (a) annual reports, (b) annual accounts, (c) the minutes of meetings, (d) the agendas of meetings and (e) a register of members' interests, indicating in each case if this is (i) under a statutory requirement or (ii) voluntary. [16824]

Mr. Howard: The information requested is as follows:


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Kani Yilmaz

Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide an answer to the question raised by the hon. Member for Woolwich in his letters of 18 December 1995 and 22 February 1996 regarding Kani Yilmaz; and if he will make a statement. [17750]

Mr. Kirkhope: I replied to the hon. Member's letter of 18 December 1995 on 21 February 1996. I shall be replying to his letter of 22 February shortly.

Commercial Gambling (Advertising)

Mr. Robert Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will be issuing the consultation paper on relaxation of the restrictions on casinos, bingo clubs and advertising of commercial gambling. [18215]

Mr. Kirkhope: We have published today a consultation paper which constitutes a comprehensive review of the law on casinos, licensed bingo clubs and the advertising of commercial gambling, and which restates principles for the regulation of gambling. It proposes a number of relaxations in the law.

Subject to this consultation, we propose to bring forward orders under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 to implement the changes. The paper constitutes formal consultation on some of the proposals for the purpose of section 3(1) of the 1994 Act. Other proposals will need to be the subject of further detailed consultation before implementation. Comments on the proposals are requested by the end of May 1996.

The main proposals on casinos are as follows:


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The proposals on bingo are:



    An end to the requirement that bingo establishments operate as members' clubs with a 24-hour waiting period for membership.
    Abolition of the demand criterion for the granting of licences.
    Removal of restrictions on added prize money and on frequency and prizes in multiple bingo--the national game.
    Payment by debit card.
    Extension of bingo licences from one year to three years.
    Removal of the remaining restrictions on print advertising.

The Government are minded to allow broadcast advertising of bingo subject to the response to the consultation document.

The document also proposes the removal of the ban on the on-site print advertising of gaming machines and the print advertising, but not broadcast advertising, of betting offices.

These measures represent a balanced package of reform which aims to provide new opportunities for the industry and the consumer, while maintaining the effective regulation of gaming.

The timetable for the implementation of changes arising from this document will depend on a number of factors including the response to the consultation and the availability of additional resources for the Gaming Board of Great Britain and the courts.


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