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Police

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) legislation and (b) other procedures apply to the disclosure of internal reports commissioned by police authorities into their police forces. [24856]

Mr. Michael: With regard to legislation, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to a question from the hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Mr. Willis) on 20 January 1998, Official Report, columns 525-26. There are no other procedures applicable to the disclosure of internal reports commissioned by police authorities into their police forces.

Child Prostitution

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under the age of 16 years have been prosecuted for offences related to prostitution, by age, in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [25050]

Mr. Michael: Information for prosecutions and cautions is given in the tables.

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 139

Table A: Number of children aged 10 to under 16 prosecuted for offences(5)(6) relating to prostitution by age and sex, 1992-96
England and Wales

Ages
101112131415
Offence descriptionYearmfmfmfmfmfmf
Soliciting by a man1992------------------------
[Sexual Offences Act 1956 S32] 19931993--------------------1--
1994------------------------
1995------------------------
1996------------------------
Kerb-crawling1992------------------------
[Sexual Offences Act 1985 S1]1993----------------------1
1994------------------------
1995------------------------
1996------------------------
Common prostitute loitering or soliciting for the purposes of prostitution1992----------1------1--10
[Street Offences Act 1956 S1]1993------------------1--8
1994----------1--3--5--14
1995------------------118
1996----------------------6

(5) Generally, attempting, conspiring, inciting, aiding, abetting, causing or permitting a crime is classified under the heading of the crime itself, though in certain cases it can be a separate offence.

(6) There were no court proceedings against children aged 10 to under 16 for offences of 'Persistent soliciting of women for the purposes of prostitution' Sexual Offences Act 1985 s2); and 'Common prostitute behaving in a riotous and indecent manner in a public place' (Vagrancy Act 1824 s3 and pt s4).


27 Jan 1998 : Column: 141

Table B: Number of children aged 10 to under 16 cautioned for offences relating to prostitution by age and sex, 1992-1996
England and Wales

Ages
10 11 12 13 14 15
Offence descriptionYearmfmfmfmfmfmf
Soliciting by a man1992----------------2--2--
[Sexual Offences Act 1956 S32]1993----------------3------
1994----------------1--1--
1995------------------------
1996------------------------
Kerb-crawling1992------------------------
[Sexual Offences Act 1985 S1]1993------------------------
1994------------------------
1996--------------------1--
Persistent soliciting of women for the purpose of1992------------------------
prostitution1993------------------------
[Sexual Offences Act 1985 S2]1994------------------------
1995------------------------
1996----------------------2
Common prostitute loitering or soliciting for the1992--1------1--1--6141
purposes of prostitution1993--------------5--32--32
[Street Offences Act 1959 S1]1994----------1--5--19--25
1995----------2--4--11127
1996------1--1--5--16--31

(7) Generally, attempting, conspiring, inciting, aiding, abetting, causing or permitting a crime is classified under the heading of the crime itself, though in certain cases it can be a separate offence.

(8) There were no cautions given to children aged 10 to under 16 for the offence of 'Common prostitute behaving in a riotous and indecent manner in a public place' (Vagrancy Act 1824 S3 and pt S4).


27 Jan 1998 : Column: 141

Crime Prevention

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the proportion of his Department's budget spent directly on targeted crime prevention work; and if he will make a statement. [25046]

Mr. Michael: Our manifesto made clear the Government's commitment to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. We also gave an undertaking that, for the first two years, the Government would work within the Departmental spending limits already announced.

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 142

Plans and priorities for spending after the 1998-99 financial year are being examined in the Comprehensive Review of all public expenditure, with a view to ensuring that taxpayers' money is being spent effectively in order to meet the Government's manifesto commitments.

Air Rifles

Liz Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the controls governing air rifles. [24854]

Mr. Michael: There are already laws in place to control the use and possession of air rifles. It is illegal to carry a loaded air weapon in a public place, to discharge an air

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 143

weapon within fifty feet of a road or to use one to shoot birds or other protected animals. We have said that, once the total ban on handguns is in place, we will look at all firearms controls to see whether other measures are needed to safeguard the public. The law relating to air weapons will be included as part of that exercise. We propose to consult widely with all interested parties if further steps are considered necessary.

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 144

Asylum Applications

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum applications were made to and determined by his Department in each month of 1997; and with what result. [25135]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is given in the table.

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 143

Asylum applications(9) received in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, and initial decisions(10) on applications, January to December 1997
Principal applicants

Decisions
MonthApplicationsTotal decisionsGrants of asylumGrants of exceptional leaveRefused asylum and exceptional leave(11)
January2,7153,2602654152,580
February2,4753,0903053752,410
March2,1602,8452951402,410
April2,6653,3902651852,945
May2,5902,8802351552,490
June2,5852,9302351752,520
July3,0703,4802803302,875
August2,9302,9802653552,360
September2,8502,8003102652,225
October2,9903,0353302602,445
November2,3452,9905953052,090
December3,1202,3556051551,595
Total32,50036,0453,9853,11528,945

(9) Figures rounded to nearest 5, with '*' = 1 or 2.

(10) Decision figures do not necessarily relate to applications made in 1997.

(11) Includes those cases refused on the grounds that the applicant had arrived from a safe third country and under Paragraph 340 of Immigration Rules. (For failure to provide evidence to support the asylum claim within a reasonable period, including failure to respond to invitation to interview).


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