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Mr. Boateng: It is not possible to identify "drug dealers" on the central prison database as it is not a standard coded item. The available information on receptions into and discharges from prisons in England and Wales for all coded drug offences is given in the table.
|Drug possession with intent||2,535||2,576||2,521|
|Drug unlawful import/export||958||1,016||1,072|
|Other drugs offences||61||70||80|
|Drug possession with intent||2,076||2,475||1,547|
|Drug unlawful import/export||637||719||700|
|Other drugs offences||60||75||54|
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of responsibilities between the EU and the UK Government, and the method of voting in the Council of Ministers, on immigration policy; 
(3) what his policy is on the balance of responsibilities between the EU and the UK Government, and the method of voting in the Council of Ministers, on asylum measures; 
(4) what his policy is on the balance of responsibilities between the EU and the UK Government, and the method of voting in the Council of Ministers, on measures on refugees and displaced persons; 
(5) what his policy is on the balance of responsibilities between the EU and the UK Government, and the method of voting in the Council of Ministers, on rules on visas; 
(6) what his policy is on the balance of responsibilities between the EU and the UK Government, and the method of voting in the Council of Ministers, on rules and arrangements for border checks. 
Mrs. Roche: The United Kingdom has, by way of its Protocols to the Treaty establishing the European Community, reserved the right not to be bound by Community law unless it decides to opt into the adoption of measures falling within Title IV of the Treaty (visas, asylum and immigration). We have indicated our general intention to participate in all measures which do not adversely affect the United Kingdom's ability to maintain our frontier and immigration controls.
On 12 March 1999, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced the basis on which the United Kingdom would participate in the adoption of measures under Title IV. On that basis, the United Kingdom has opted into: the Eurodac Regulation, setting up the exchange of fingerprints of asylum seekers and some illegal entrants; the draft temporary protection Directive; the negotiating mandate for an agreement with Norway and Iceland parallel to the Dublin Convention; the Council Decision establishing the European Refugee Fund; and measures aimed at combating illegal immigration and trafficking. The latter measures include: a draft Council Directive defining the facilitation of unauthorised entry, movement and residence; and a draft Council Directive about harmonisation of financial penalties imposed on carriers transporting into the territory of the member states third-country nationals not having the documents necessary for admission.
Article 67 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community provides that, during a transitional period of five years following the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam, the Council of Ministers shall act unanimously on measures adopted under Title IV.
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Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes involving firearms were recorded in each of the last five years; how many involved use of a firearm; how many resulted in a death; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Details of firearms (excluding air weapons) used in offences, the number of occasions fired or used as a blunt instrument, and the number of homicides resulting from the use of these firearms, are given in the following table.
|Year||Total number of offences in which firearms were used||Number of occasions fired/used as blunt instrument(20)||Number of homicides|
(20) Figures of firearms fired or used as a blunt instrument in 1994, 1995 and 1996 are on the basis of returns made in those years. Because the totals of firearm offences for those years were revised upwards due to late returns by one force, figures of firearms fired or used as a blunt instrument are slight underestimates.
|Year||Total number of offences in which air weapons were used||Number of occasions fired/used as blunt instrument(21)||Number of homicides|
(21) Figures of firearms fired or used as a blunt instrument in 1994, 1995 and 1996 are on the basis of returns made in those years. Because the totals of firearm offences for those years were revised upwards due to late returns by one force, figures of firearms fired or used as a blunt instrument are slight underestimates.
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Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost was of the raid by prison officers on Blantyre Prison; and if he will give the cost of damage caused during the raid. 
Mr. Boateng: The total cost of the search operation at Blantyre House on 5 May was £22,784.85, of which £2,242.20 represents the cost of the materials needed to repair damage that occurred during the search.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the use of armed police officers on foot patrols; whether police authorities have to be consulted before armed police are used on routine patrols; how many forces use armed police officers for routine patrols; what assessment has been made by his Department of the effectiveness of the use of armed patrol officers; what guidance has been issued by (a) his Department and (b) the Association of Chief Police Officers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The issue and use of firearms is an operational decision for chief officers of police, working within the legal framework and operational guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers. (The guidance has not been published as it could be of assistance to armed criminals.) Firearms operations do not require the agreement of Police Authorities. The Home Office monitors the police use of firearms through annual statistical returns, which are published. The guidance does not permit the use of armed officers on routine foot patrols as opposed to specific operations, and there has therefore been no assessment of effectiveness.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many specially trained firearms police officers there were (a) in each force and (b) in total (i) at the latest available date and (ii) in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
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|England and Wales||6,554||6,738||6,355||6,411||6,262|
|Avon and Somerset||157||165||161||153||150|
|City of London||120||88||81||55||73|
|Devon and Cornwall||140||151||147||82||119|
30 Oct 2000 : Column: 321W
30 Oct 2000 : Column: 321W
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