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Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the additional costs relating to the establishment of the Electoral Commission will be met in advance of Royal Assent to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill. 
Mr. Straw: The Government intend to press ahead with obtaining Royal Assent in the spill-over and putting the controls in place at the earliest opportunity. I said on second reading of the Bill on 10 January 2000, Official Report, column 45, that I wanted the Electoral Commission established before the end of the year with the aim of having the new regime operating early next year. I believe that timetable can still be met. To that end urgent expenditure estimated at £1.5 million will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund. This is in addition to the sum of £300,000 I announced in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard) on 27 March 2000, Official Report, columns 3-4W.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have consulted widely on the recommendations in the prior options review of the Fire Service College and considered carefully all the representations we have received. I have noted in particular, the value that fire service interests place on the work of the College and their wish that it should continue. The Government's objective is to secure both in the short and longer term efficient and effective central training arrangements for local authority fire brigades which meet their operational needs and fully accord with the principles of Best Value.
We believe this is most likely to be achieved by drawing from the skills of both the public and private sectors. There have been widespread agreement that in continuing to assess the available options and deciding how best these diverse skills can be harnessed, the essential next step is to draw up in outcome terms a clear operational specification of the fire service's future central training requirements. I am asking for this work to be put in hand straight away. The work will be done in consultation with the Fire Service and the College and we will use consultants to assist in the task and to ensure it is completed by this autumn.
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The operational specification for future firefighting training needs will, with the agreement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, also include a specification of training requirements currently met at the Ministry of Defence Fire Services Central Training Establishment at Manston. The Government remain committed to co-operative working between Departments to secure the most modern and efficient services and Ministry of Defence colleagues will be fully involved in this further work.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women committed suicide (a) among the Asian community and (b) in the white community in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to commission research into the extent to which people with mental health problems are denied access to the criminal justice system. 
We have no plans to commission research into this issue. Standard one of the National Service Framework for Mental Health states that health and social services should combat discrimination against individuals and groups with mental health problems, and promote their social inclusion. We shall be monitoring implementation of that standard to ensure that health and social services work with a range of agencies locally, including those in the criminal justice system, to ensure fair treatment of people with mental health problems.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration detainees, at the latest available date, had been held for (a) less than one week, (b) less than one month, (c) less than three months, (d) less the six months, (e) less than one year and (f) more than one year. 
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Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many deaths were recorded in each of the past five years of asylum seekers (a) at the port of entry, (b) on the coast or in UK territorial waters and (c) in custody; 
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests there have been for Communications data and its equivalent under the Interception of Communications Act 1985 in the last year by the (a) Customs and Excise, (b) Inland Revenue, (c) Department of Social Security, (d) Metropolitan Police and (e) Egg Inspectorate. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The provision of communications data is not covered by the Interception of Communications Act 1985. The law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies currently rely on arrangements governed by the Data Protection Act 1998. A central record of requests is not kept by the Home Office. In order to provide greater safeguards for the provision of communications data Part 1, Chapter II of the Regulation of the Investigatory Powers Bill ensures that requests for such data are made in a closely controlled manner and for a number of limited specific purposes.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the private security industry with respect to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill and its provisions for dealing with surveillance. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: There have been no discussions with the private security industry regarding the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Bill which deal with covert surveillance only in respect of public authorities.
Part II of the Bill has been introduced as a result of the incorporation into United Kingdom law, in the form of the Human Rights Act 1998, of the European Convention on Human Rights. Section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act makes it unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right. Part II of the RIP Bill provides a permissive regime whereby specified public authorities may seek authorisation for a range of activities, including covert surveillance, to ensure they are carried out in accordance with the Convention.
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However the Radiocommunications Agency of the Department of Trade and Industry advise that although they have no records of prosecutions against those using surveillance devices before 1990, records since then show that a conviction was secured in 1991. This was under section 1 of the 1949 Act and against a taxi firm owner using a bugging device to monitor employees.
Mr. Charles Clarke: Since May 1997, four bids for closed circuit television (CCTV) funding were submitted from partnerships in The Wrekin under the Home Office CCTV Challenge Competition. None were successful.
Under the current round of the CCTV Initiative, I understand that three bids for communities within the Wrekin area are being prepared by local crime and disorder reduction partnerships for submission.
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