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Ministerial Engagements

Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his answer of 30 October 2000, Official Report, column 331W, on ministerial engagements, if he will list the total number of engagements (a) accepted, (b) cancelled and (c) where an official attended in his place. [136177]

Mr. Chris Smith: My hon. Friend the Minister for the Arts attended 200 engagements with non-governmental bodies in the year to 31 October. On eight occasions he was obliged not to fulfil engagements, and on three of these an official attended in his place.

Whistleblowers

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what procedures exist in his Department for a civil servant to report actions which (a) are illegal, improper or unethical, (b) are in breach of constitutional convention or a professional code, (c) may involve possible maladministration and (d) are otherwise inconsistent with the civil service code. [136056]

Mr. Chris Smith: Paragraph 11 of the civil service code outlines the circumstances in which civil servants may report actions which fall under (a), (b), (c) and (d). In my Department the code is operated under the grievance/complaints procedures which are set out in the DCMS staff handbook.

Individuals making a complaint are encouraged to report the matter to their line manager and divisional head within one month of the incident or action of which they are reporting. If staff are not satisfied with their findings, they may appeal to the personnel director (in the first instance) and, ultimately, to the permanent secretary. Alternatively, staff can report the matter to the head of personnel and central services division.

If after this staff are still not satisfied with the response, they may appeal under section 12 of the civil service code to the Civil Service Commissioners.

Film Classification

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the proposed changes to film classification in respect of (a) sex and (b) violence. [134704]

Mr. Straw: I have been asked to reply.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) published its revised classification guidelines in respect of film and video on 14 September. The guidelines reflect the outcome of an extensive consultation and research exercise into public opinion undertaken by the Board. Under the new guidelines, the Board will be more restrictive in the lower classifications on violence, drugs and bad language.

2 Nov 2000 : Column: 591W

In respect of material classified in the Restricted 18 (R18) category, which is only available in licensed sex shops to those aged 18 and over, the hon. Member may recall that, on 24 July, the Government published a consultation paper to consider whether there were any additional steps that could be taken to protect children from exposure to sexually explicit material contained in videos given an R18 classification by the Board. The consultation period closed on 31 October.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Omagh Inquest Inquiry

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total cost to date of the Omagh inquest inquiry. [135857]

Mr. Lock: I have been asked to reply.

The total cost to date, inclusive of VAT, of the Omagh inquest is £1,402,000. This represents accommodation and IT costs only.

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the agreed legal fees to barristers and solicitors involved in the Omagh inquest inquiry. [135855]

Mr. Lock: I have been asked to reply.

The legal fees payable from the extra-statutory scheme for representation at the Omagh inquest for the families which sought public funding were based on existing legal aid rates. It is anticipated that £216,787.50 will be paid in fees in respect of the 12 families represented at the inquest.

Probation Board for Northern Ireland

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will publish the Probation Board for Northern Ireland's Annual report for 1999-2000. [136779]

Mr. Ingram: The Probation Board's Annual Report for 1999-2000 was published on 2 November 2000.

A copy of the Report has been placed in the Library.

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will publish the Probation Board for Northern Ireland's Business Plan for 2000-01. [136778]

Mr. Ingram: The Probation Board's Business Plan for 2000-01 was published on 2 November 2000. The Plan sets out the Board's key performance targets for the year. Copies of the Plan have been placed in the Library.

Terrorists Incidents

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for each Police Division in Northern Ireland, how many (a) bomb scares or warnings, (b) car-bombs recovered by the security forces, (c) arson and bomb attacks on premises, (d) cases of intimidation

2 Nov 2000 : Column: 592W

and (e) shooting incidents there were (1) from 1 January to 30 September and (2) in October to date, indicating (A) how many were related to (i) Loyalist terrorist organisations and (ii) Republican terrorist organisations and (B) how many deaths and injuries were involved and what damage to property resulted from such activity. [134295]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is not held in a form which allows all of these questions to be answered. However, the following tables show for the period mentioned the number of hoax bombing incidents, bombing incidents, shooting incidents, recorded arson attacks on churches, chapels, schools, orange halls and GGA/AOH property, the number of deaths and the number of injuries recorded as a result of the security situation in Northern Ireland. Only in the case of deaths can attribution be given. No records of intimidation are available.

Hoax Bombing Incidents

Police Division1 January to 30 September 20001 October to 19 October 2000
A4--
B5--
D15--
E3--
G2--
H2--
J16--
K41
L3--
N2--
O6--
P6--
Total681

Note:

Includes all hoax bombing incidents which were attended by Ammunition Technical Officers.


Bombing Incidents

Police Division1 January to 30 September 20001 October to 19 October 2000
A41
B21
D211
E11
G3--
H9--
J10--
K4--
L2--
N2--
O142
P102
Total838

Notes:

1. An individual bombing incident may involve one or more explosive devices. Incidents recorded include explosions and defusings. Incidents involving hoax devices, petrol bombs or incendiaries are excluded.

2. Year 2000 statistics are provisional and may be subject to minor adjustment.


2 Nov 2000 : Column: 593W

Shooting Incidents

Police Division1 January to 30 September 20001 October to 19 October 2000
A282
B265
D985
E71
G72
H5--
J16--
K4--
L----
N16--
O141
P151
Total23616

Notes:

1. The following types of incidents are included:

shots fired by terrorists

shots fired by the security forces

paramilitary-style attacks involving shootings

shots heard (and later confirmed)

other violent incidents where shots are fired (e.g. armed robbery).

2. Year 2000 statistics are provisional and may be subject to minor adjustment.


Arson attacks on properties from 1 January to 19 October 2000

Police DivisionChurches/ ChapelsSchoolsOrange hallsGAA/AOH
A1------
B26----
D833--
E--2----
G--11--
H----1--
J3--3--
K1--3--
L--341
N--1----
O1--13
P5422
Total2120186

Notes:

1. Excludes incidents which were due to vandalism where there was no Sectarian motive. Details of arson attacks on other types of property (e.g. dwellings) are not available at present.

2. Year 2000 statistics are provisional and may be subject to minor adjustment.


Deaths

1 January to 30 September 2000 1 October to 19 October 2000
Police Divisionby Loyalistby Republicanby Loyalistby Republican
A--1----
B------1
D4------
E--------
G--------
H2------
J1------
K--------
L--------
N--------
O--1----
P1------
Total82--1


2 Nov 2000 : Column: 594W

Injuries

Police Division1 January to 30 September 20001 October to 19 October 2000
A955
B12811
D23019
E391
G322
H255
J161--
K20--
L7--
N76--
O81
P324
Total85348

Notes:

1. Includes all injuries as a result of the security situation and serious public disorder.

2. Year 2000 statistics are provisional and may be subject to minor adjustment.



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