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Bus Lanes

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been in the Metropolitan Police Area for violation of bus lanes in each of the last three years. [132840]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The very few court proceedings brought for violation of bus lanes cannot be distinguished, in centrally collected statistics, from other offences connected with neglect of traffic directions or obstruction, waiting and parking.

However, the overwhelming majority of bus lane offences are dealt with by fixed penalty notice, and information obtained from the Metropolitan Police shows that 14,936 fixed penalties were issued by them for driving in a bus lane in 1997, 14,107 in 1998 and 12,527 in 1999 (an estimated figure which includes 3,247 detected using video technology and dealt with by way of conditional offer of fixed penalty).

Travel Documents

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will set a target time for dealing with all new travel document applications; [132895]

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Mrs. Roche: The target for processing new travel document applications is six to eight weeks. This is already being met, on average, with applications submitted after September 1999. Applications submitted before this date, between January and August 1999, were taking in excess of nine months to process. However, there are now fewer than 300 of these applications left to process, all of which should be cleared over the next few weeks.

Since Autumn 1999 the number of staff in the Travel Document Section has increased from 20 to more than 90. These extra staff were needed to handle the increasing numbers of new applications and to process the older ones. There are approximately 5,000 new applications still awaiting consideration with staff currently processing those received in early June. The aim is to clear the bulk of these by the end of September.

CS Gas

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police forces are not equipped with CS gas; and if he will make a statement. [132887]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Two forces in England and Wales do not issue CS spray to officers: Northamptonshire and Sussex.

I understand that Nottinghamshire police are currently making arrangements for the use of CS spray by their officers.

Police (Injuries)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of police officers were injured on duty in the most recent year for which figures are available, broken down by police force. [132888]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information is not held centrally in the form requested. The table shows:

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Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is in respect of police prosecutions of cyclists (a) going through traffic lights at red, (b) going the wrong way down one-way streets, (c) using footpaths designed for pedestrians, (d) riding on pavements, (e) exceeding the speed limit and (f) failing to carry lights. [132095]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Enforcement of the law in respect of cycling offences is an operational matter for individual chief officers of police. The hazards caused by cyclists who break road traffic laws are recognised by chief officers and appropriate action is taken where such offences are detected.

Public Safety Radio Communications System

Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the value for money represented by the full funding of the 19 year contract for the Public Safety Radio Communications System in all police forces. [132377]

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Mr. Charles Clarke: The Public Safety Radio Communication Service is designed to replace the current range of force-specific radio systems with a national service which meets the needs of modern-day policing.

Throughout the planning stages, as well as the contract negotiations, every effort has been made to keep the costs of the service down. The Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO), which is responsible for managing the Police Service Radio Communications Project (PSRCP), has regularly challenged and validated earlier assumptions and plans. Mechanisms such as benchmarking have been built into the main service contract to help ensure that both initial and future services remain Value For Money. Both the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities have concluded that the PSRCP meets technical requirements and offers value for money at a national level.


Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 11 July 2000, Official Report, column 538W, on xenotransplantation,

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what happened to those primates who were not euthanased; and if he will make a statement. [132081]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Xenotransplantation includes the transplantation of organs, such as hearts and kidneys, between different animal species and from animals into humans. Organ transplantation is a hugely successful medical procedure--one that has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people across the world. The critical shortage of human donor organs has led scientists to investigate xenotransplantation as an alternative potential source of organs. This is a policy on which the Department of Health leads.

As I indicated in my reply to my hon. Friend on 11 July 2000, Official Report, column 538W, almost all of the primates used in xenotransplantation research in the years 1995 to 1999 were euthanased. The majority were killed when they began to show clinical or biomedical evidence of terminal organ failure or when their clinical condition began to give rise to concern and some were euthanased when the procedure reached its pre-determined time point for completion. I understand that a small number of animals died unexpectedly before reaching the planned end point of the xenotransplantation procedure.

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