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Access to Children (French Initiative)

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what his policy is towards the Initiative of the French Republic for a draft Council

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Regulation on the mutual enforcement of judgments on rights of access to children; and if he will make a statement. [135730]

Mr. Lock: The Government recognise the importance, as well as the difficulty, of enforcing access or contact arrangements in both domestic and international cases. Accordingly, we broadly support this initiative and will take a full part in the negotiations on this proposal, but recognise that further work is needed to ensure that the details are acceptable to the Government.

Land Registry Projects

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what reports or research or projects have been undertaken for the Land Registry in the last three years by Demograph. [135474]

Jane Kennedy: The Land Registry has had no reports, research or projects undertaken on its behalf by Demograph in the last three years.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Bicycles

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to require bicycles to be fitted with bells. [134523]

Mr. Hill: I have been asked to reply.

My Department is proposing to make bells on bicycles compulsory on bicycles at the point of sale and will be carrying out a public consultation on the draft regulations shortly.

Crime Statistics (Taunton)

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted in respect of (a) murder, (b) indictable offences and (c) non-indictable offences in each year since 1979 in the Taunton constituency. [134320]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Available information taken from the Home Office Court Proceedings Databases are given in the table. Due to disproportionate cost selected years only are given.

Number of offenders convicted at Taunton Deane Petty Sessional Division (PSD) or at the Crown court (where the committing magistrates court was Taunton Deane PSD) for certain offences, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1993-1999(18)

Offence
MurderIndictable offencesSummary non-motoring offences
1979--571704
1984--724924
1989--510823
1993--505683
1994--497688
1995--450781
1996--479828
1997--566792
1998--533929
1999(18)--5761,019

(18) Provisional


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Crime and Disorder Act 1998

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what responses he has received to his letter to local authorities and chief constables of 15 October 1999 on the powers included in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; if he plans any amendment to the Act in the light of the responses; if he will place the responses in the Library; and if he will make a statement. [134871]

Mr. Straw: My letter of 15 October 1999 was an informal request to chief executives and local authorities asking whether there was anything to be learned from their experiences in using provisions contained in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and whether any good practice could be shared. I would not normally place copies of routine correspondence of this sort in the Library. As a result of that correspondence the Home Office and the Local Government Association jointly held 10 regional seminars to help spread good practice in using anti-social behaviour orders. The seminars also served as a consultation exercise for the issue of a model agreement, or protocol, for effective local co-operation in tackling anti-social behaviour. I launched this guidance on 28 June. Both the guidance and the seminars were well received, and indicated a widespread willingness to use anti-social behaviour orders.

We have given a commitment to review the operation of anti-social behaviour orders within two years of implementation. The review will start in the new year and its findings and recommendations will be published. We will decide whether it is necessary to make any amendments to the legislation once we have seen the research report.

Mental Health

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to instigate research into the extent to which people with mental health problems are denied access to the criminal justice system. [133810]

Mr. Boateng: We are not aware of a need for any such research.

Police Officers (Essex)

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many funded police officers there are in the Essex Constabulary; and what is the total number of police officers in the force. [134246]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I understand from the Chief Constable that the Essex Police have a funded establishment of 2,970 police officers and that on 15 October the force had 2,841 officers. In October Essex Police had 35 more officers than it had in March.

The Essex Police expect to recruit around 190 police officers this year which should allow them broadly to reach their target by the end of the financial year.

Animal Experiments

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many animals, broken down by

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species, were used in experiments in the United Kingdom during each of the last five years for which figures are available; [134281]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The number of animals, listed by species, used in scientific procedures in the United Kingdom for each of the last five years for which figures are available, is given in Table 1a in each of the publications Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain, and Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Northern Ireland, copies of which are in the Library. The same table for Great Britain also shows the number of primates used in scientific procedures each year (primates are not separately identified in the Northern Ireland statistics) but the statistics do not give any information on the number of primates killed during their use in scientific procedures.

The number of scientific procedures performed on living animals in the United Kingdom for each of the last five years for which figures are available, is given in Table 1 in each of the publications Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain, and Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Northern Ireland, copies of which are in the Library.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the compliance of Imutran with the terms of the special dispensation licensing their use of primates in scientific procedures in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [134279]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Section 5(6) of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 provides that a project licence authorising the use of cats, dogs, primates or equidae shall not be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that no other species are suitable. I am aware of concerns about the use of primates in xenotransplantation research carried out under authorities granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and I am considering the issues raised. I am not in a position to comment further at this stage.

Race Relations (Walsall)

Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding has been given by his Department in the last 12 months for which figures are available to organisations in Walsall, including the local authority, to improve race relations and to enhance ethnic minority businesses and employment. [134259]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A total of £119,208 was paid to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council in March 2000 under the former section 11 grant programme. This was to enable the Council to employ additional staff to help members of minority ethnic communities in Walsall overcome disadvantages of language, culture and religion

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and to play a full part in the economic and social life of the local community. No other payments have been made during the past 12 months.

Special Advisers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special advisers were on his Department's pay roll in each of the past three years; and what the cost to public funds was. [134643]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: There have been two special advisers on the Home Office payroll in the three financial years since the 1997 General Election. The annual cost to the Department in each of those years was:

£
1997-98(19)108,065
1998-99108,933
1999-2000114,704

(19) From 6 May 1997


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