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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 25 June 1997

HOME DEPARTMENT

Crime Prevention

Mr. Gunnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to give local authorities a statutory obligation to co-ordinate local initiatives to prevent crime and develop plans to make them more effective. [4811]

Mr. Michael: We intend to place a new responsibility on local authorities and the police service jointly to develop statutory local partnerships for crime prevention and community safety and to agree, with the key partners, local community safety targets. Our proposals will be developed on the basis of full consultation with all interested parties. This will be included in the forthcoming Crime and Disorder Bill.

Prisoners (Conditions)

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions he has given to the Prison Service to ensure that wherever possible convicted prisoners should serve their sentences in prisons within reasonable travelling distance of close relatives. [4610]

Ms Joyce Quin: Prison Rule 31 provides that special attention should be paid to the maintenance of such relationships between a prisoner and his family as are desirable in the best interests of both. Circular Instruction 7/1988, a copy of which is available in the Library, sets out the principles governing the allocation of convicted adult male prisoners. Similar instructions exist for women and males under 21 years of age. The needs of the individual prisoner, including the facilitating of visits, is one of four priorities governing allocation.

Wherever possible, prisoners are located close to their home and family. However, security is the primary consideration in a prisoner's allocation and account must also be taken of the need to maintain good order and control and, particularly because of the current population pressures, the need to make best use of the estate.

Internet

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his Department's estimate of the percentage of content providers on the Internet who publish material unsuitable for children but are currently taking part in voluntary self-certification. [4902]

Mr. Michael: Information is not available in the form requested. However, I understand from figures compiled in April by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the independent industry body set up last year, that some 7 per cent. (1,419) if sites which are rated with the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC), the voluntary content ratings system developed by the RSAC

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in the United States of America, are in the United Kingdom. There is no United Kingdom rating system available, although the IWF hope to report shortly on their recommendations for the development of a self-rating system suitable for the United Kingdom, to which major Internet Service Providers would subscribe.

Patrick Nichols

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the tariff recommended by (a) the trial judge, (b) the Lord Chief Justice and (c) the Home Secretary in the case of Patrick Nichols; what length of sentence he has already served; and what are the reasons for his continued detention. [3517]

Ms Joyce Quin: The trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice both recommended 13 years, and that was the period set by the then Home Secretary.

Mr. Nichols has served 22 years in custody. For reasons which have been explained to him, the Parole Board has not considered it appropriate to recommend release. Without such a recommendation, my right hon. Friend has no power to release Mr. Nichols.

Treason and Piracy (Maximum Penalties)

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many years have elapsed since the maximum penalties in force on the statute book for (a) treason and (b) piracy were applied. [4647]

Mr. Michael [holding answer 20 June 1997]: The last execution for the offence of treason was 41 years ago in 1946. In 1945 there were three persons sentenced to death for treason. One of the sentences was commuted to penal servitude. William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) was executed in 1946 for treason. The other offender, Thomas Cooper, who had joined the German army at the age of twenty (his mother was of German origin) was reprieved in 1946 and ended up with a life sentence, of which he served seven years.

Historical records indicate that the last two executions for the offence of piracy took place 167 years ago in 1830.

Immigration Offences

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of prosecutions that have been undertaken against foreign nationals for immigration offices, indicating (a) the offence, (b) the outcomes and (c) the maximum sentences passed for the last 12 months for which figures are available. [5340]

Mr. Michael [holding answer 24 June 1997]: Court data for prosecutions of foreign nationals by the type of immigration offence committed are given in the tables:

Information given is for 1995 (latest available).

Table A. Number of defendants prosecuted at magistrates' courts and convicted at all courts for offences under the Immigration Act 1971 by type of offence and result, 1995
England and Wales

Offence(1) descriptionProceeded againstFound guiltyTotal sentencedAbsolute or conditional dischargeFineCommunity sentenceFully suspended sentenceImmediate custodyOtherwise dealt with
Entering UK in breach of a deportation order [Sec 24 (1) (a)]322--2--------
Entering UK without leave [Sec 24 (1) (a)]241010--8----2--
Overstaying time limit of leave [Sec 24 (1) (b) (i), 24 (1) (c)]11661--1--4--
Failure to observe conditions of leave [Sec 24 (10) (b) (ii), 24 (1) (d)]115532--------
Failure to observe restrictions under Schedule 2 or 3 as to reporting to police or an Immigration Officer as to residence [Sec 24 (1) (e)]93311----1--
Foreign national failing to register with police or to produce documents etc. [Sec 26 (1) (f)]------------------
Failing to supply necessary information when staying at hotels etc. [Sec 26 (1) (f)]1----------------

(1) Principal immigration offence.


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Table B. Number of offenders fined at magistrates' courts for offences under the Immigration Act 1971 by type of offence and amount of fine, 1995
England and Wales

Amount of fine
Offence(2) descriptionTotal fined£50£100£150£200£250£400£500
Entering UK in breach of a deportation order [Sec 24 (1) (a)]21--------1--
Entering UK without leave [Sec 24 (1) (a)]8--3--13--1
Overstaying time limit of leave [Sec 24 (1) (b) (i), 24 (1) (c)]----------------
Failure to observe conditions of leave [Sec 24 (10) (b) (ii), 24 (1) (d)]2--11--------
Failure to observe restrictions under Schedule 2 or 3 as to reporting to police or an Immigration Officer as to residence [Sec 24 (1) (e)]1--1----------
Foreign national failing to register with police or to produce documents etc. [Sec 26 (1) (f)]----------------
Failing to supply necessary information when staying at hotels etc. [Sec 26 (1) (f)]----------------

(2) Principal immigration offence.


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Table C. Number of offenders sentenced to immediate custody at magistrates' courts for offences under the Immigration Act 1971 by type of offence and length of sentence, 1995
England and Wales

Length of sentence given
Offence(3) descriptionTotal immediate custody14 daysOne monthTwo monthsThree months
Entering UK in breach of a deportation order [Sec 24(1)(a)]----------
Entering UK without leave [Sec 24(1)(a)]2------2
Overstaying time limit of leave [Sec 24(1)(b)(i), 24(1)(c)]4--13--
Failure to observe conditions of leave [Sec 24(10)(b)(ii), 24(1)(d)]----------
Failure to observe restrictions under Schedule 2 or 3 as to reporting to police or an Immigration Officer as to residence [Sec 24(1)(e)]11------
Foreign national failing to register with police or to produce documents etc. [Sec 26(1)(f)]----------
Failing to supply necessary information when staying at hotels etc. [Sec 26(1)(f)]----------

(3) Principal immigration offence.


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