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Asylum Seekers

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect on asylum applicants of his decision to withdraw special funding to the Immigration and Advisory Service and the Refugee Legal Centre in 1998-99. [27168]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: A final decision will be taken when representations from both organisations have been fully considered.

A very small proportion of those appealing against the refusal of asylum would be affected by a decision to discontinue the funding under the Spend to Save initiative. This funding is presently provided on an annual basis, in addition to their ongoing grant in aid, to the Refugee Legal Centre (RLC) and the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS). IAS and RLC were aware of the short-term nature of the provision when they accepted it.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Singh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people currently awaiting a decision upon their application for British citizenship have been waiting more than a year since their application form was received by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. [26517]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: On 23 January 1998, there were 37,029 applications for British citizenship in the Nationality Directorate which had been outstanding for more than one year.

Anti-social Behaviour Orders

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legal advice he has received regarding the compatibility of the Anti-social Behaviour Orders proposed in the Crime and Disorder Bill [Lords] with the European Convention on Human Rights; and if he will publish it. [27679]

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Mr. Michael: I am satisfied that our proposals for establishing Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The question of the compatibility of the provisions in the Crime and Disorder Bill for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders with the European Convention on Human Rights has been carefully considered by Government lawyers but it is not normal practice to publish legal advice and we see no reason to breach this principle in this case.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 12 January 1998, Official Report, columns 66-67, on the Crime and Disorder Bill [Lords], if he will make a statement on the compatibility of the proposed legal procedure for the Anti-social Behaviour Order in the Bill with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. [27678]

Mr. Michael: We consider that the legal procedure for the Anti-Social Behaviour Orders in the Crime and Disorder Bill complies with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Application for an order is a civil procedure. An order has prohibitory force only and involves no criminal record. Breach of an order is a criminal offence and carries with it the full safeguards of the criminal law.

Police Cell Deaths

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have died in police cells over the last 10 years in each of Wales's police forces. [27442]

Mr. Michael: The table gives figures on the number of deaths occurring in police stations for each force area in Wales. From the information collected centrally it is not always possible to ascertain how many persons actually died in police cells.

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Deaths in police stations (1987-1996)

YearDyfed-PowysGwentNorth WalesSouth Wales
19870000
19880000
19890001
19900001
19910101
19920020
19930011
19940000
19950000
19960102
Total0236


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Child Prostitution

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce modifications to the law to empower police to take positive steps to arrest and convict child abusers who entrap children into prostitution. [27175]

Mr. Michael: We are very concerned about the existence of child prostitution and the tragedy of the involvement of any child in prostitution. The principal aim of the law in this area is to protect the children concerned and to ensure that all those who seek to exploit children in this way, whether it is those who have unlawful sexual intercourse with a child or those who

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encourage, control or exploit the prostitution of children, are liable in the criminal law. It is, of course an operational matter for the police to investigate any allegations of a crime.

We are satisfied that the law is adequate to deal with the evil of child prostitution. We will, however, consider any particular proposals to tighten the law further in this area if deficiencies are identified.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with chief

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constables on ways in which police forces can more effectively protect children from abusers who entrap them into prostitution. [27174]

Mr. Michael: I have had no specific discussions with chief constables on this particular aspect of child prostitution.

Under section 46(1) of the Children Act 1989, police have powers to take into protective custody any child at risk of significant harm. The child can then be referred to appropriate agencies. The Association of Chief Police Officers has now issued best practice guidelines for the police that emphasise that children caught up in prostitution should normally be treated as victims and in need of help rather than criminals. These guidelines were drawn up in discussion with the Children's Society and other agencies, and the Home Office.

Domestic Violence

Ms Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure local authorities adopt best practice in their measures to tackle domestic violence. [27374]

Mr. Michael: The provisions of the Crime and Disorder Bill will place a statutory duty on local authorities and the police service to develop local crime and disorder reduction partnerships with other agencies. These will assess local crime problems, develop a strategy for tackling them and publish crime reduction targets. In areas where the local crime audits identify domestic violence as a problem, the local crime and disorder reduction strategy should address it.

Care Homes (Crime)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will ensure that crimes committed within care homes are incorporated within the British Crime Survey; [28356]

Mr. Michael: The British Crime Survey (BCS), which the Home Office conducts, is a survey of people living in domestic households in England and Wales. In its present format and structure, it would be inappropriate for the BCS to include offences committed against people who live in residential care homes. This would require a specialist survey. A feasibility study into a possible survey of communal establishments is being undertaken by Social Survey Division of the Office for National Statistics. As yet, no decision has been taken on the types of communal establishment that this would cover, whether victimisation will be covered or the funding arrangements for the survey.

World Cup

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) of 30 January 1998, Official Report, columns 395-96, on policing at the World Cup, if he will provide a list of the

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representatives from Scotland and their organisations who (i) were invited and (ii) will be attending the Blackburn seminar; and if he will make a statement. [27905]

Mr. Michael: Invitations to attend the Blackburn seminar on the policing of football have been sent to a number of Scottish organisations and individuals, including the Scottish Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland), the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Federation of Football Supporters Clubs. I am pleased to say that all these organisations have agreed to send representatives.

Publications

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by title the publications produced by his Department between 1 May 1997 and 31 January 1998. [26325]

Mr. Straw: The list is being placed in the Library. The Home Office is the originating body for all the items listed. The material is either published internally or by a commercial publisher, in most cases the Stationery Office Ltd.

The list includes publications available in print, but excludes audiovisual material, ephemera and the reports produced by the Constabulary, Fire Service, Prisons and Probation Inspectorates between the specified dates for which a separate list is being prepared. New editions and new titles published during this period are listed, but reprints are not. Publications produced by the non-departmental bodies and four executive agencies of the Home Office (Her Majesty's Prison Service, United Kingdom Passport Agency, Fire Service College and Forensic Science Service) have not been included.

The list of Inspectorate reports will be placed in the Library as soon as it is available.


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