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EU Documents

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what draft documents were presented by the Presidency of the European Union to be considered at the European Council in Tampere, on 15 and 16 October concerning any aspect of the Union's area of freedom, security and justice; when these were received by Her Majesty's Government; and what steps were taken by the Presidency to make documents publicly available prior to the meeting. [94363]

Mr. Straw: The Presidency have produced only one draft document for consideration at the European Council itself. This was a paper dated 5 October on the composition and working arrangements for the body to be charged with the preparation of a draft European Union Charter of Rights; I understand that it was not published. In July, the Presidency presented three discussion papers on possible themes for the Tampere European Council intended to assist member states in their preparations. I understand that these documents were not published.

I should add that the Presidency have been happy to make widely known their developing policy towards this European Council. In this regard, for example, they gave oral evidence before Sub-Committee F of the House of Lords European Communities Committee on 6 July, in the context of that Sub-Committee's inquiry into Prospects for the Tampere European Council. They have also placed extensive material on their internet website.

Rapparee Cove, Devon

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 June 1999, Official Report, column 162, regarding the status of the human remains found in 1997 at Rapparee Cove in Devon, if the scientific examination has commenced; and when he estimates it will be completed. [94801]

Mr. Boateng: I understand tests to establish the origin of the remains have commenced, but are not yet completed.

Airguns

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will revise the guidance he has issued to the Firearms Consultative Committee on strengthening the provisions on the ownership and use of airguns. [94839]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government have asked the Firearms Consultative Committee (FCC) to look at a wide range of firearms issues as part of its work programme

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for this year, including the controls on air weapons. The FCC has made clear that its main focus in considering these issues, including the controls on air weapons, is in terms of protecting and improving public safety. We look forward with interest to the FCC's annual report at the end of the year and any recommendations the Committee may make.

Convention on Mutual Assistance in

Criminal Matters

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the procedure for the transfer of persons held in custody under the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (1999/C251/01); if the burden of proof will be equivalent to that required in British courts; and what is the status of this proposal. [95255]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Article 9 of the draft Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters provides that a member state requesting a criminal investigation in another member state may temporarily transfer a person in custody in its own territory to the member state carrying out the investigation to assist in that investigation. Transfer can take place only with the agreement of the competent authorities of both member states concerned, which includes agreement on the date by which the prisoner is to be returned to the requesting member state. Paragraph 3 of the Article would also enable the United Kingdom to seek the prisoner's consent to be transferred. The period of detention in the territory of the requested member state must be deducted from the period of detention that the prisoner would serve in the requesting member state.

Since the transfer is temporary and is not done for the purpose of prosecuting the prisoner in the state to which he is transferred, the question of burden of proof does not arise.

The wording of this Article of the draft Convention has been agreed by all the member states.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate the number of requests he will receive for telecommunications intercepts following ratification of the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between EU states. [95254]

Mr. Charles Clarke: It is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the number of requests likely to be received for the interception of telecommunications under the European Union Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters if it is agreed and ratified.

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The number of requests made will depend on the requirements of other member states. However, requests to intercept the telecommunications of targets in the United Kingdom will not be granted unless all the tests for issuing a warrant under the United Kingdom's domestic interception legislation have been met.

Defence Exhibition

Mr. Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost of policing the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition flotilla this summer in the Isle of Dogs. [94898]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Metropolitan Police Commissioner tells me that the total cost for policing this event was about £331,000.

Ms Snejana Fournadjieva

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a decision will be taken on the applications by Ms Snejana Fournadjieva for leave to remain in the United Kingdom, References F1001194 and PO 15309/99. [95321]

Mrs. Roche: Leave to remain on the basis of marriage was granted to Ms Fournadjieva on 21 October.

Senator Pinochet

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the cost of policing demonstrations in London connected with the arrest and detention of Senator Pinochet. [94899]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Metropolitan Police Commissioner tells me that the cost of policing these demonstrations has been about £94,500.

Immigration

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of the concession to overseas domestic workers have been received by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate; how many of those applicants have now received a decision on their application; and how many of those applications were successful. [95166]

Mrs. Roche: The introduction of a revised concession to overseas domestic workers was announced on 23 July 1998. Some 230 such workers were granted indefinite leave to remain in the period July 1998 to September 1999. Available data on the number of applications received for indefinite leave to remain and the number refused do not separately identify overseas domestic workers.

Metropolitan Police Authority

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria the proposed Metropolitan Police Authority will use in determining whether a police/community consultative group continues to receive approval and support; and what role PCCGs themselves will have in devising an acceptable process for assessing each PCCG's performance. [95167]

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Mr. Charles Clarke: Subject to the passage of the Greater London Authority Bill, it will be the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) (after consulting the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis) to make arrangements for obtaining the views of Londoners about matters concerning policing in the Metropolitan Police District and for securing their co-operation with the police in preventing crime in that area. This responsibility will be identical to that currently falling on police authorities outside London. It will be for the Metropolitan Police Authority to determine what criteria it will use to assess whether and to what extent individual Police/Community Consultative Groups help it to fulfil its statutory responsibility. In assessing the effectiveness of all its arrangements for public consultation, the MPA will be under the duty of Best Value.

Drug Treatment Programmes

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was in total and in respect of each prison and young offender institution in England and Wales (a) the number of prisoners currently taking part in a drug treatment programme, (b) the number of current prisoners who have completed a drug treatment programme and (c) the number of prisoners who are waiting to join a drug treatment programme. [94904]

Mr. Boateng: As an integral part of the £76 million programme to expand drug treatment for prisoners, the Prison Service will be introducing early next year a comprehensive monitoring system to evaluate the effectiveness of both the new services and those already operating. Until then, the information requested cannot be provided.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state in respect of each police force in England and Wales the number of offenders entering drug treatment programmes as a result of arrest referral schemes (a) during 1998-99 and (b) during 1999-2000 to date; and if he will make a statement. [94907]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested is not currently available. Information from Drug Action Teams' plans for 1999-2000, submitted in December 1998, suggested that coverage of custody suites by arrest referral schemes was partial across police forces. We have set targets to double the number of schemes this year, with coverage of all custody suites to be achieved by 2002.

Tackling drug related crime is one of the Home Secretary's Policing Priorities for 1999-2000, and it is accompanied by a supporting key performance indicator concerned with the numbers entering treatment as a result of arrest referral. Police forces will report to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on their performance at the end of this financial year.

To assist the national roll out of arrest referral, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced in July that up to £20 million will be available to police forces to

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accelerate the introduction of arrest referral schemes and to help ensure that treatment is available for those with drug problems identified by these schemes.


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