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Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applicants made complaints to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate concerning lost passports in each quarter since the second quarter of 1996; and in how many cases the passports were subsequently found. [85486]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: Complaints received by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) are not recorded centrally on the basis of subject matter. Information kept centrally is in respect of the number of compensation claims dealt with as a result of maladministration, the majority of which will have arisen as a result of lost documents. This is a lagging indicator as there is often a considerable gap between an incident

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and the claim for compensation arising from it. The figures for each quarter since the third quarter of 1996 are set out in the table:

First Quarter710622
Second Quarter2717n/a
Third Quarter6518n/a
Fourth Quarter181823n/a

Information on how many passports were subsequently found is not held centrally. Passports which are found once a compensation claim has been paid are, where appropriate, returned to the issuing authority.

Stephen Lawrence

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received on the disappearance of a criminal file from police records relating to Stephen Lawrence; and if he will make a statement. [85630]

Mr. Straw: I have received no such representations, nor is the Metropolitan Police Service or the Secretariat of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry aware of any such missing file. If the right hon. Member would write to me with further details I should be happy to make inquiries on his behalf.

K4 Committee

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 20 May 1999, Official Report, column 445, on the K4 Committee, if he (a) sent details of the agenda items to the Home Affairs Committee and (b) had consultations with United Kingdom bodies concerning mutual recognition of criminal court decisions. [85563]

Mr. Straw: It was not the general practice of the Government to report to Parliament on the business of the K4 Committee, in view of that Committee's role as an interim, problem-solving body whose members were responsible to their respective Ministers. Details of the agenda for the meeting on 29-30 April were not, therefore, sent to the Home Affairs Committee.

I outlined the concept of mutual recognition in a speech at the Avignon Seminar on the European Judicial Space on 16 October last year, which was made available to the press. My hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey), the Under-Secretary of State, gave further details of these proposals in oral evidence to the House of Lords European Communities Committee on 24 March, after which a United Kingdom discussion paper on mutual recognition was tabled in the Article K4 Committee on 29 March, and submitted for United Kingdom Parliamentary Scrutiny on 31 March. The Government intend to carry out further consultations with United Kingdom bodies depending on the progress of discussions in the Council of European Union on the basis of the United Kingdom paper.

Supporting Families

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the results of the consultation on Supporting Families. [86302]

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Mr. Straw: This morning, I placed a summary of the responses to 'Supporting Families' in the Library. Copies of the document are also available from the Vote Office.

Birth Certificates

Mr. Cann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those purposes for which his Department and its executive agencies require a birth certificate to be provided by (a) employees, (b) contractors, (c) those applying for employment and contracts and (d) other persons. [85685]

Mr. Straw: Birth certificates are routinely requested as an optional form of identification for recruitment and pension purposes. They are normally required for the issue of passports and for applications to remain in the United Kingdom on the basis of marriage to a British Citizen. My Department does not normally require existing employees or contractors to provide birth certificates.

Speed Limits

Mr. Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure that the Metropolitan Police have sufficient resources effectively to enforce speed limits. [86077]

Kate Hoey: Effective enforcement of the speed limit is an important police function for which the funding of the Metropolitan Police already provides. The deployment of resources to meet prioritised policing objectives in this area is a matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

Drug Orders

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of drug treatment and testing orders have been revoked since 30 September 1998. [85770]

Mr. George Howarth: As at 2 June 1999, 68 Drug Treatment and Testing Orders had been made, of which 10 had been revoked: 14.7 per cent.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders have been (a) assessed for and (b) made subject to drug treatment and testing orders in (i) Liverpool, (ii) Croydon and (iii) Gloucester since 30 September 1998. [85765]

Mr. George Howarth: The information is shown in the table.

Number of offenders (20) assessed for drug treatment and testing ordersNumber of offenders (20) subject to drug treatment and treatment orders

(20) As at 2 June 1999

Drug Related Offences

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate he has made of

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the proportion of indictable offences which fall into the category of drug related offences in the most recent period for which figures are available; [85764]

Mr. George Howarth: The information requested on the proportion of indictable offences being drug-related is not available for the country as a whole. As I stated in my reply on 27 April 1999, Official Report, column 110, a report was published last year on preliminary research carried out on behalf of the Home Office by the University of Cambridge, which shed light on the links between drugs and crime. Further work is currently being conducted within this programme. The results will be published later this year. This additional work is intended to pave the way for a larger, regular programme.

The research undertaken so far on drug testing of arrestees, based in five locations, indicates that over 60 per cent. of arrestees had recently taken at least one illegal drug prior to arrest. Cannabis was found most often (46 per cent. of cases); heroin/opiates (18 per cent.) and cocaine/crack (10 per cent.) featured quite prominently. These findings confirm the supposition that offenders tend to be heavy consumers of drugs.

Nearly half the arrestees who reported taking drugs within the last year said that their drug misuse was connected with their offending. Among various factors, they emphasised the need for the money to buy drugs. The illegal income of arrestees who said that they had taken heroin and/or crack cocaine during the last three days was particularly high--within a range of £10,000 to £20,000 annually. This compared with £4,000 for other arrestees. Illegal income mainly resulted from acquisitive crimes against property. An estimated 32 per cent. of all illegal income was spent on purchasing heroin and/or crack cocaine.

Whilst this study considerably advances knowledge of drugs-crime links, it will always be difficult to calculate a single percentage figure reflecting precisely what proportion of all crime is drug-related.

Figures on drug offences in 1997 were recently published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin No. 8/99, "Drug seizure and offender statistics, United Kingdom, 1997", copies of which are available in the Library.

Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the terms of reference for the Options Review Team for the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, provide for the financial figures for 1998-99 and projected figures for 1999-2000 to be taken into consideration in forming the conclusions. [85709]

Mr. George Howarth: The terms of reference require an evaluation of the financial and management performance generally of the Fire Service College and specifically by reference to the financial targets and key performance indicators included in the Framework Document and the College's Corporate Plans. The evaluation will be based on relevant evidence including the audited financial accounts of the College and any other validated reliable financial information.

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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the members of the Options Review Team for the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh; how many of them are related to each other; and what resignations there have been and for what reasons. [85708]

Mr. George Howarth: The members of the Review Team are: V. Harris (Home Office); G. Meldrum (Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services); A. Hughes (West Yorkshire Fire Brigade); and G. Fredericks (London Fire Brigade). In addition, I have appointed three expert assessors all of whom are offering their services on a pro-bono basis. They are: J. G. Carr; D. A. Defty; and A. P. Harris. A. P. Harris is the spouse of V. Harris.

At an earlier stage in the review, A. Wroclawski from the Kent Fire Brigade was attached to the team but has now returned to his brigade.

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