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Prison Officers

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps have been taken to enhance the role of prison officers since the publication

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of "Prison Disturbances 1990: report of an Inquiry by the right hon. Lord Justice Woolf and His Honour Sir Stephen Tumim". [115617]

Mr. Boateng: Over the past 10 years, prison officers have become involved in a wider range of tasks, relating in particular to the rehabilitation of prisoners.

The personal officer scheme has sought to develop the relationship between staff and prisoners. The personal officer discusses and agrees a sentence plan with the prisoner; and also contributes to the risk assessment processes associated with release on temporary licence and with home detention curfew.

Prison officers play a key role in identifying those at risk of suicide or self-harm; and in supporting them through closer supervision and multi-disciplinary progress reviews. They act as tutors to the Prison Service's accredited offending behaviour programmes, where their training is integral to the accreditation process. Within the Service's drug strategy, they contribute to the multi- disciplinary counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare (CARAT) teams and to the voluntary testing units, which support prisoners who wish to live in a drug-free environment.

The development of the prison officer's role has been supported by a range of training programmes, including in sentence management, substance awareness, suicide awareness, race relations and combating bullying. The Prison Service has developed a National Vocational Qualification in custodial care, which provides a systematic map of the range of skills and knowledge an officer needs. The enhanced role of an officer is reflected in rigorous job simulation selection procedures, now used to select and promote all officers.

Prisoners (Voting Rights)

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are in place to enable (a) eligible remand prisoners and (b) people imprisoned for (i) contempt of court and (ii) failing to pay a fine to exercise their right to vote in the elections for a London mayor. [115624]

Mr. Boateng: Prison Service Instruction which will explain how eligible prisoners can exercise their right to vote in the elections for a London mayor will shortly be sent to prison establishments.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) which officials would be seconded to Eurojust under the terms of the proposals agreed at Tampere; [115553]

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Mr. Charles Clarke: I welcome the decision taken at the Tampere Special European Council to set up Eurojust, as a means of improving judicial co-operation with the European Union. There is very little connection or similarity between Eurojust and the proposals in the "Corpus Juris" document: the Government's view, in line with the Tampere conclusions, is that the role of Eurojust will be to facilitate and support investigations and prosecutions by national authorities, not to act as a European Prosecutor in its own right. The European Council mandated the Justice and Home Affairs Council to adopt the necessary legal instrument establishing Eurojust by the end of 2001.

In line with the conclusions of the Tampere European Council, Eurojust is to be composed of

I do not believe that it would be necessary or appropriate for the United Kingdom Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator to join in Eurojust's operational work in relation to individual investigations. It would, however, be open to him to make contacts with Eurojust on the same basis as contacts he has made with other international organisations, in pursuing his strategic role.

Schengen Convention

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department further to his answer of 6 March 2000, Official Report, column 545W, on bogus drug deals, if he will deposit in the Library a copy of the document referred to in Community Document 10846/99, page 8, on the Schengen Manual on Bogus Drugs Deals. [115575]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I understand that the Manual on bogus drugs deals referred to in the 1998 Annual Report on the implementation of the Schengen Convention (10846/1/99 REV 1 CATS 23 ASIM 36 COMIX 223) is a confidential document which has been made available only to states which currently participate in the provisions of the Schengen Convention. The United Kingdom has yet to participate in any of the provisions of the Convention. In the circumstances, it will not be possible to lodge the Manual in the Library.

Freedom, Security and Justice

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy on the Scoreboard on the Creation of an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in the European Union. [115576]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government consider the "scoreboard", requested at the Tampere European Council, to be of central importance as a means to monitor progress, prioritise the work and provide greater transparency in the implementation of an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union.

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Prostitutes' Cards

Mr. Caplin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department from which organisations he has received submissions in response to the consultation paper, "New Measures to Control Prostitutes' Cards". [115589]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We have received 60 responses to our consultation paper, "New Measures to Control Prostitutes Cards in Phone Boxes". Those who submitted comments include:

    advertisers--the Advertising Association, Outdoor Advertising Association, Phonesites, and the Committee of Advertising Practice;

    groups representing sex workers and Europap, the Sexual Freedom Coalition, and the Praed Street Project;

    the organisation CARE;

    residents associations representing areas badly affected by the presence of cards, a number of local businesses and concerned members of the public.

Mr. Caplin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the financial impact of measures to control prostitutes' cards on (a) the police, (b) local authorities and (c) telecommunications operators in the last 12 months. [115588]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office consultation paper 'New Measures to Control Prostitutes' Cards in Phone Boxes' invited respondents to submit information about the existing and potential costs caused by the nuisance of prostitutes' cards.

A number of organisations including some local authorities and telephone operators responded with figures. Their responses referred to the costs incurred in cleaning the boxes and removing cards and the cost of court action against carders. They also included lost advertising revenue, although this was not calculated separately. The total figure amounted to around £750,000, but not all those likely to incur costs at present responded to the question in the consultation paper.

Police (Wandsworth)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were police numbers in the London Borough of Wandsworth (a) on 1 March, and (b) on

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1 March in each of the previous four years; and if he will make a statement. [115550]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that the number of police officers in the London Borough of Wandsworth was 570 on 1 March 2000; 576 on 1 March 1999; 605 on 1 March 1998; 630 on 1 March 1997; and 662 on 1 March 1996.

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