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Mr. Charles Clarke: The new guidance booklet, "Anti-Social Behaviour Orders: Guidance on drawing up Local ASBO Protocols", which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary launched on 28 June, gives advice on partnership working which should assist registered social landlords and other bodies in the consultation process leading up to an ASBO application. A copy of the guidance is in the Library.
Mr. Charles Clarke: On-the-spot fines are not currently available as a penalty for a criminal offence in England and Wales. The Government take the problems posed by anti-social behaviour very seriously and are considering what new means of dealing with this type of behaviour are necessary.
Mr. Straw: The future of the Marsham street site rests on the outcome of a public private partnership project to provide modern offices for Home Office and Prison Service staff. Bids from two private sector consortia are being evaluated and I expect to announce the outcome shortly.
27. Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the correlation between the number of police officers in a police area and the level of crime. 
30. Mrs. Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the correlation between the number of police officers in a police area and the level of crime. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: I refer my hon. Friends to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Great Yarmouth (Mr. Wright) on 13 July 2000, Official Report, columns 668-74W. This presented an assessment by my Department of the relationship between changes in police numbers and crime rates at police force level over the last few years. It showed that at level of individual forces, there seems little obvious link between performance and police numbers.
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Under the Police Act 1996, it is for Chief Constables to determine the number of police officers in their force from within their available resources, but the Government recognise the importance of ensuring that forces have the funding for sufficient officers to provide an effective service.
Rural areas will benefit from the Crime Fighting Fund, which will provide for an additional 9,000 officers over and above those whom forces planned to recruit in the three years 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03.
In addition, £15 million was made available through the Budget, for assistance specifically to police forces in rural areas this year. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Mr. Miller) on 20 July 2000, Official Report, columns 320-21W.
31. Mr. Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact of the racially aggravated offences introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: This is the subject of a research project commissioned by the Home Office. Results are expected towards the end of this year and a report will be published early next year. The research is designed to look in detail at the operation of the legislation and the extent to which it is being used. It includes questionnaire surveys of key personnel in the police, Crown Prosecution Service and courts, in-depth interviews in five local areas and a thorough analysis of the available statistics.
Mr. Charles Clarke: Rural areas will benefit from the Crime Fighting Fund, part of which will be used to provide funding for 9,000 officers over and above the number forces in England and Wales have already planned to recruit in the period 2000-03.
In addition, £15 million was made available through the Budget for assistance specifically to police forces in rural areas this year. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend, the Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston, (Mr. Miller), on 20 July 2000, Official Report columns 320-21W.
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Association of Chief Police Officers and with individual chief officers on several occasions. A number of forces have raised the question of affordability of the project. I refer the hon. Member, to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary's Statement on 19 July 2000, Official Report, columns 376-91.
36. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders have been released from prison on the Home Detention Curfew Scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
37. Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much financial support from central Government has been made available to victim support in each of the last five financial years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: On launching the White Paper on 10 April this year, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary told the House that it would be helpful to have responses to the White Paper proposals by 31 July. Since then, up to 12 July, hon. Members had written 143 times on behalf of constituents. In addition, representations had been received from 271 members of the public; 65 licensing justices; 55 local authorities; 19 petrol stations; 11 businesses within the hospitality and leisure industry; nine residents associations; eight passenger boat companies; seven church organisations; six non-profit making registered clubs; two solicitors; one police authority; and one fire authority. A full analysis of these replies and any others received after 12 July will not be completed until after the closing date of 31 July.
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Mr. Charles Clarke: There are no plans for changes to legislation at present. We are considering, in consultation with the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what changes are necessary to the current joint guidance on unauthorised camping, to clarify it and ensure there are no misconceptions arising from the use of the term "toleration". We expect to make an announcement shortly.
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