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Cambodia

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further measures the Government plan to take to assist Cambodia in the development of its democratic institutions; and if he will make a statement. [25351]

Mr. Fatchett: We strongly support peace and democracy in Cambodia. We are providing financial assistance through the EU to help the Cambodian authorities prepare their forthcoming elections. We are considering an additional bilateral contribution.

To explore further opportunities for bilateral co-operation in strengthening democracy in Cambodia, we invited the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia to visit Britain on 18-23 January. I met the Deputy Prime Minister and encouraged him to submit specific proposals to help meet Cambodia's needs.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further assistance the Government plan to provide to assist the Cambodian authorities in their efforts to control illegal immigration, and drug trafficking; and if he will make a statement. [25352]

Mr. Fatchett: We support projects to combat drugs abuse and trafficking in Cambodia, through the UNDCP. We stand ready to consider specific proposals from the Cambodian authorities for further bilateral co-operation

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on this, and on illegal immigration, following the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister's visit to Britain this month.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Millennium Compliance

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 8 December 1997, Official Report, columns 433-34, if all police forces have appointed a management team to deal with year 2000 compliance; and what arrangements have been made by each police force to monitor the implementation of actions to overcome year 2000 problems with particular reference to test facilities. [24725]

Mr. Michael: It is the responsibility of each police force to ensure that its information technology systems are Year 2000 compliant. Information about the management structures put in place by each force to address the problem and the arrangement for monitoring the implementation of their action plans is not available centrally. However, we are currently reviewing progress as part of the Government's determination to ensure that Year 2000 problems are identified and dealt with right across the public service. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary will also monitor progress as part of its regular inspections.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what current year 2000 problems have been reported to date by police forces. [24726]

Mr. Michael: The Police Information Technology Organisation is not aware of any incidences within police forces of system failure because of the millennium problem. Forces' own audits and information provided to them by suppliers have indicated potential problems with a number of information technology systems, including Command and Control, Crime Pattern Analysis and HOLMES I. The difficulties with HOLMES I will be overcome with the introduction of a year 2000 compliant HOLMES II, which will be in place before the end of the century. A Ministerial Group is urgently reviewing within Government and outside to ensure that all other systems are also year 2000 compliant.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he notifies potential purchasers of obsolete information technology equipment sold by his Department that such equipment may not be millennium compliant. [25657]

Mr. Straw: Surplus or obsolete information technology equipment is sold to companies, rather than individual consumers. In these instances, the Home Office gives no guarantee or warranty in respect of fitness for use, purpose or merchantable quality.

Crime and Disorder Bill

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the elements of the Crime and Disorder Bill [Lords] which will be piloted before wider implementation stating how long each pilot scheme is expected to last and the expected date of wider implementation; and if he will make a statement. [25052]

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Mr. Michael: Details of the measures which the Government intend to pilot, including the expected implementation date (assuming the Bill receives Royal Assent in the summer) and the likely duration of each scheme, are given in the table. On completion, the pilot studies will be evaluated and, subject to the outcome of the evaluation and to resource constraints, full implementation will take place as soon as possible thereafter.

MeasureClause(s)StartDuration
Parenting order8-10Autumn 199818 months
Child safety order11-13Autumn 199818 months
Local child curfew schemes14, 15Autumn 199818 months
Local provision of youth justice services/formulation of youth justice plans29, 31, 33Autumn 19986 months
Youth offending teams30, 33Autumn 19986 months
Statutory time limits34-37Autumn 199912 months
Case management: Powers of magistrates' courts exercisable by a single justice40, 41Autumn 19986 months
Indictable only cases to start in the Crown Court42, 43Autumn 199812 months
Prison/court television links45Spring 19996 months minimum
Drug treatment and testing order48-51Autumn 199812 months minimum
(Scotland) Drug treatment and testing order72-78Autumn 199812 months minimum
Reprimands and warnings52, 53Autumn 199818 months
Reparation order54, 55Autumn 199818 months
Action plan order56, 57Autumn 199818 months

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the calculations on which the financial effects of the Crime and Disorder Bill [Lords] are based; and if he will make statement. [25053]

Mr. Straw: The calculations used to estimate the financial effects of the Crime and Disorder Bill published in the Financial Memorandum are as set out. Taken as a whole, the Bill is intended to address offending behaviour more effectively and to reduce crime and it is therefore expected that this will produce significant savings to the criminal justice system.

Measures aimed at dealing with youth crime and disorder (child safety orders and parenting orders) will be piloted to enable a detailed assessment of costs. Full year costs are estimated to be £3 million, based on a cost of £180 per order per month and a planning assumption of 5,000 parenting orders per annum typically lasting around three months, and 1,000 child safety orders per annum typically lasting one and a half months.

The introduction of anti-social behaviour orders is expected to lead to additional costs of £3 million to the courts, the Crown Prosecution Service and in legal aid. This is based on an assumption of 5,000 orders annually with the majority of costs falling to magistrates' courts. Additional costs for the police and local authorities are expected to be fully offset by savings arising from the introduction of the new orders.

The proposals relating to new racially aggravated offences and those concerning increased sentences for those offences are expected to result in some additional costs, but the innovative nature of the offences makes it difficult at this stage to estimate their likely financial impact.

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Proposals relating to the local provision of youth justice services and youth offending teams will be piloted before full implementation to enable a detailed assessment of costs. The establishment of a Youth Justice Board assumes a Board consisting of 10 members working part-time for standard daily rates of remuneration and travel and subsistence; and a small secretariat of 10 staff with a small budget for commissioning research and for developing good practice in work with young offenders. On this basis, full year costs are estimated to be in the region of £1 million.

Proposals intended to reduce delay in the criminal justice system include the introduction of statutory time limits and increased efficiency, especially in the Youth Court. These are intended to be cost-neutral, since it is expected that any additional costs will be more than outweighed by the benefits of speeding up the progress of cases through the system. The introduction of statutory time limits may have limited resource implications which will be assessed once piloting has determined the level at which limits should be set.

The final warning scheme, action plan orders and reparation orders will all be piloted to enable detailed costs and savings to be assessed before full implementation. Action plan orders are expected to lead to savings of around £2 million based on 6,000 juveniles per year receiving an order in place of current community penalties. The reparation order is estimated to cost around £1 million if applied to 11,500 juveniles per year.

Initial estimates of the cost of introducing reprimands and warnings, including the costs of rehabilitation programmes, are in the region of £14 million. Around half of this sum is attributable to Youth Offending Teams running appropriate intervention programmes; these costs will not be incurred in every area as some areas already operate analogous "caution-plus" schemes. The other half reflects the impact of the scheme on the number of court cases and the change in sentencing patterns likely to arise from restricting the use of conditional discharge following final warnings.

Proposals relating to improvements to supervision orders are expected to result in additional local authority accommodation costs of around £2 million per year. This assumes that, at most, around 160 juveniles a year might be given a residency requirement. The proposals for detention and training orders for young offenders are not expected to have any significant impact on the numbers held in secure facilities. The associated increased levels of supervision are estimated to result in additional costs

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of around £2 million per year based on an estimated 2,200 young people held under a detention and training order at any one time.

The extended supervision for sex, violent, recalled and returned prisoners will eventually generate net additional probation service and electronic monitoring costs estimated to be about £20 million per year, assuming that this will require around 600 additional probation service staff to supervise 1,100 offenders on extended supervision with 110 recalls to custody (a breach rate of 10 per cent.).

Proposals for drug treatment and testing orders will be the subject of local pilot projects, the cost of which are expected to be in the region of £l million. The findings of the pilot evaluation will inform consideration of the need for resourcing to extend the Treatment and Testing Orders nationwide. Full implementation based on 6,250 orders per year at a cost of £6,400 per order are estimated to be £40 million.

The cost of introducing powers to release short-term prisoners on licence (home detention curfew) depends upon the extent of take-up and the outcome of a commercial competition but, on the take-up rate assumed for planning purposes, is not expected to exceed £26 million per year. Against this, home detention curfew will avoid the need for expenditure on around 3,000 new prison places at an estimated cost of £90 million per year which would otherwise be necessary to accommodate the rising prison population.


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