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Young Offenders (Mental Health)

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what studies his Department has evaluated into the correlation between attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder and juvenile crime; if he will make it his policy to ensure that juveniles convicted of more than three crimes should be assessed for ADHD by a medical practitioner competent in the pharmacological treatment of this condition; and if he will make a statement; [10506]

Mr. Michael: The incidence of hyperactivity, attention deficit and impulsivity at ages eight to 10 years has been found independently to predict future juvenile convictions. This finding arises from work by the Cambridge study of delinquent development, which was largely funded by the Home Office. Of course, the causes of juvenile delinquency are complex and wide ranging and hyperactivity is only one of many indicators. Research indicates that the following factors are particularly significant: being male; being brought up by a criminal parent or parents; living in a family with multiple problems; experiencing poor parenting and a lack of supervision; poor discipline in the family and at school; experiencing failure and disaffection at school; associating with delinquent friends; and having brothers and sisters who offend.

However, the Government are developing policies to bring about early identification of social and medical factors which may act as a trigger to delinquent behaviour or increase the likelihood of misbehaviour, not least by the inquiries at the "final warning" stage which we intend should lead to targeted intervention. The findings of the Cambridge study and other evidence of delinquent development will be taken into account as we draw up plans for the final warning which we intend to include in the Crime and Disorder Bill later this Session.

Mr. Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the degree of correlation between emotional disturbance among young people and committal to detention centres; what estimate

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he has made of the proportion of the cost of detention centres accounted for by such young people; and if he will make a statement. [10538]

Ms Quin: Detention centres and youth custody centres were replaced by young offender institutions in 1988.

No such assessment has been made. The reports of two surveys of prisoners' mental health undertaken by the Institute of Psychiatry include findings about the prevalence of mental disorder in young men, although data on young women were not collated separately from data on adult women.

The first survey, the report of which was published by the Home Office in 1991 and entitled "Mentally Disordered Prisoners", estimated that 33 per cent. of sentenced male young offenders could be diagnosed as suffering from some form of mental disorder, including harmful or dependent use of substances, excluding cannabis. The corresponding figure for unsentenced young men in the report of the second survey, published by the Home Office in 1996 as "Mental Disorder in Remand Prisoners", was 53 per cent.

No statistics are available centrally on which to estimate the additional costs of caring for, and treating, prisoners with emotional or mental health problems, as distinct from those who do not have such problems.

Official Secrets Act 1989

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make it his policy to seek to amend the Official Secrets Act 1989 by the insertion of a public interest defence; [10608]

Mr. Michael [holding answers 25 July 1997]: The Official Secrets Act 1989 protects only a very narrow range of information and only if the disclosure is likely to cause damage. We have no plans to repeal the Act since this would risk allowing disclosures which might harm the national interest.

With regard to a public interest defence, the 1989 Act is not concerned with embarrassing disclosures; it is concerned with disclosures that give rise to specific kinds of harm to the national interest. It is difficult to envisage how a public interest defence could be appropriately deployed in this narrow and specific set of circumstances. A person who knowingly harms the public interest so seriously that a prosecution under the Act would be justified should be criminally liable and it is difficult to see circumstances in which that harm could be disregarded because of the motives of the individual. If a prosecution is brought, the court is able to consider all the circumstances of the case in imposing an appropriate sentence and motivation would be a factor to be included in that consideration.

There is no question of a Crown servant needing to risk criminal penalties to bring suspicions of wrongdoing to the attention of higher authorities. Under the civil service code, introduced with effect from 1 January 1996, civil servants are required to report wrongdoing to the appropriate authorities. Where a civil servant has reported such a matter and believes that the response does not

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represent a reasonable response to the grounds of his or her concern, he or she may report the matter in writing to the civil service commissioners.


Government Property Lawyers

Mr. Healey: To ask the Attorney-General when he expects (a) to lay before Parliament and (b) to publish the report and accounts of the Government Property Lawyers for 1996-97. [11416]

The Attorney-General: The annual report and accounts of the Government Property Lawyers were laid before Parliament on Friday and are now published.

Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.



Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people subscribed to cable or satellite television in each year since 1979.[10831]

Mr. Fisher: I understand from the Independent Television Commission that data were not collected consistently until 1986. Cable data from the commission for years from 1986 are given in the table. The ITC does not collect data directly on the number of satellite subscribers, but survey estimates of the number of satellite homes from 1989 available from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board are also given:

Cable Satellite
YearHomes connectedYearHomes connected
January 1986127,481----
January 1987188,459----
January 1988249,642----
January 1989272,559March 198967,000
January 1990302,438March 1990681,000
January 1991422,705January 19911,312,000
January 1992490,059February 19921,783,000
January 1993652,366January 19932,297,000
January 1994783,089January 19942,664,000
January 19951,055,362January 19952,970,000
January 19961,419,865January 19963,472,000
January 19971,965,911January 19973,734,000

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many satellite television channels were available in the United Kingdom in (a) 1979 and (b) 1996. [10832]

Mr. Fisher: No satellite channels were available in the UK in 1979. By the end of 1996, the Independent Television Commission had granted licences for 150 satellite television services. The commission estimates

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that about two thirds of these were operational. Viewers in the UK with the necessary reception equipment could also receive a similar number of services from overseas.

Art, Dance and Music (Lottery Funding)

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to provide lottery funding for local authorities to support extra-curricular (a) arts, (b) dance and (c) music classes; and if he will make a statement. [10375]

Mr. Fisher: In the White Paper my Department launched on 21 July, we outlined plans for out-of-school activities which would allow local education authorities and others to seek lottery funding to support a wide range of creative projects. We also gave a specific example of how the new opportunities fund might support schools programmes in music teaching.


Mr. David Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the quangos within his Department's responsibility which he has to date announced his intention (a) to abolish and (b) to make subject to a significant element of democratic accountability. [9673]

Mr. Tom Clarke [holding answer 25 July 1997]: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has announced a review of quangos with the aim of reducing their overall number and proposes to issue a discussion paper on how democratic oversight of unelected public bodies might best be enhanced. We shall consider the future of all the bodies in the responsibility of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part of the departmental spending review.

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