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Metropolitan Police Budgets

Mr. Congdon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis budgets within the Metropolitan police are allocated to divisions. [38283]

Mr. Maclean: The allocation of budgets to individual divisions within the Metropolitan police is a matter for the commissioner and his senior colleagues. I understand that the process is supported by a resource allocation formula which seeks to direct resources in line with objective measures of need and in line with the five core territorial policing functions--traffic, crime, response, partnership and the Queen's peace--undertaken by the Metropolitan police. Headquarters' branches and corporate projects are not funded under the resource allocation formula but receive funding separately through "top slicing".

Theft Act

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will propose amendments to the Theft Act 1968 to reverse the decision in Regina v. Preddy to the effect that a transfer of funds between bank accounts is not a transfer of property. [38221]

Mr. Maclean: The Government are committed to introducing legislation to combat loan fraud, as proposed by the Law Commission in its report, "Conspiracy to Defraud" (Law Comm 228), at the earliest possible opportunity.

Operation Bumblebee

Mr. Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give for each quarter since Operation Bumblebee was first launched the number of (a) people arrested, (b) those arrested who were charged, (c) those charged who were prosecuted and (d) those prosecuted who were found guilty from a (i) guilty plea and (ii) not-guilty plea. [38290]

Mr. Maclean: Detailed information on arrest and the number of people charged is not collected centrally and information regarding plea data is not available.

The table shows the number and percentage of defendants prosecuted and convicted of offences of domestic burglary in the Metropolitan police area from June 1993 to December 1994--latest available.

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Number of defendants prosecuted at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences of domestic burglary in the Metropolitan police area by quarter from April 1993 to December 1994

1993 1994
April-JuneJuly-SeptemberOctober-DecemberJanuary-MarchApril-JuneJuly-SeptemberOctober-December
Prosecutions
= 100 per cent.1,0241,0481,0391,0241,0191,017991
Convictions
Number619674656616615681607
Per cent.60646360606761

The majority of cases held in the earlier part of the period will involve offences committed prior to the instigation of Operation Bumblebee across the Metropolitan police area in June 1993.


23 Jul 1996 : Column: 167

Buckley Hall Prison

Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the annual report of the board of visitors for the year ended 31 December 1995, what plans he has to replace the integral bars in the living accommodation of HM prison Buckley Hall to prevent self-harm by prisoners. [38349]

Miss Widdecombe: 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 Richard Tilt to Ms Liz Lynne, dated 23 July 1996:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about plans to replace the integral bars in the living accommodation at Buckley Hall prison to prevent self-harm by prisoners.


Young Offenders

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are currently available to deal with persistent young offenders; and if he will make a statement. [38681]

Mr. Maclean: The courts have a wide range of powers to deal with persistent young offenders aged 10 to 17 years. These can include community sentences as well as powers to involve parents of offenders. More particularly, courts may impose long terms of detention on 10 to 17-year-olds, up to an adult maximum, for grave offences. courts may also impose sentences of detention in a young offender institution for up to two years for any other imprisonable offence if the young person is at least 15 years old. The Government will also be introducing a new secure training order which will provide a vigorous regime based on care, discipline and education for persistent young offenders aged 12 to 14 years.

Mr. Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of young offenders (a) reoffended and (b) reoffended with a more serious offence in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [38682]

Miss Widdecombe: With respect to (a) the recent information on reoffending of young offenders relates to a sample of young offenders discharged from prison in 1992. Within two years of discharge, 72 per cent. of the males and 51 per cent. of the females had been reconvicted for a standard list offence.

With respect to (b) there is no standard classification of offences, according to their seriousness. Information has, however, been published that relates the type of offence for which offenders were originally convicted with the offence at first reconviction. Table 10.8 in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales 1994" (Cm 3087) contains information on the percentage of first reconvictions in various offence type categories for male young offenders. A copy of this publication has been placed in the Library.

23 Jul 1996 : Column: 168

Alcohol Prohibition Orders

Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in how many local authority areas orders prohibiting the public consumption of alcohol in specified places have been made, in each of the last five years; [38947]

Mr. Sackville: Annual figures are not available, but since its introduction in 1990 33 local authorities have adopted the byelaw which prohibits the consumption of alcohol in designated places.

No representations have been received about its effectiveness.

Mr. Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were prosecuted under byelaws prohibiting the public consumption of alcohol in specified places in each of the last four years in England. [38945]

Mr. Maclean: The information requested cannot be identified separately from other summary offences.

Mohammed Riaz

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a decision is to be taken on the transfer of Mohammed Riaz currently detained in Her Majesty's prison Frankland to a category B prison; and if he will make a statement. [38957]

Miss Widdecombe: 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 Richard Tilt to Mr. Max Madden, dated 23 July 1996:


Betting and Gaming (Deregulation)

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated annual saving to private business and to public funds for the Deregulation (Gaming Machines and Betting Office Facilities) Order.[39155]

Mr. Kirkhope: The industry estimates that the new all cash amusement with prizes machines, and jackpot machines in casinos, will generate £9 million to

23 Jul 1996 : Column: 169

£14 million additional profits and at least £2 million in taxes. Estimates are not available of the effect of the other provisions.

Drugs

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action the Government propose in respect of the import of (a) khat, (b) gammahydroxybutyrate and (c) "cake" to the United Kingdom. [38968]

Mr. Sackville: Neither the khat plant nor the substances gammahydroxybutyrate--GHB--or "cake", which we understand refers to 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-benzylamphetamine, are controlled under the international United Nations drug conventions or under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs considered the misuse of khat in 1988 and advised that there was no evidence of a social problem arising from its misuse in the United Kingdom such as to justify bringing the plant under the controls of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. We have no current plan to bring khat under legislative controls but will continue to monitor the position.

The misuse of GHB is to be review by the advisory council at its next meeting in November.

We are not aware of any reports of misuse in the United Kingdom of the substance known as "cake" but the advisory council nevertheless has under review the question whether this and a number of similar substances should be brought within the scope of the 1971 Act.


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