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Mr. Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many sex offenders subject to the Sex Offenders Act 1997 have been placed on the home detention curfew scheme since 28 January 1999. 
7 Nov 2000 : Column: 204W
Mr. Boateng: Further to my reply to the hon. Member for Bromsgrove (Miss Kirkbride) of 26 June 2000, Official Report, column 377W, in which I stated that as of 31 May 2000 only two prisoners subject to the provisions of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 had been granted Home Detention Curfew, I have since been informed that a third sex offender subject to the 1997 Act has been placed on the scheme.
The offender was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment. He was considered as a candidate for Home Detention Curfew in view of the exceptional circumstances that he was a registered blind person and it was his first offence. He had a suitable address and was judged at an enhanced risk assessment board to pose a low risk of re-offending. He was placed on the scheme on 11 July 2000 until his conditional release date of 8 September 2000. He successfully completed the curfew and is not known to have been arrested, charged or convicted of any further offence since.
Under existing arrangements, sex offenders subject to the 1997 Act may be released only in exceptional circumstances and then only with the personal authorisation of the Director General of the Prison Service. In this case, as in the other cases previously notified, I regret that this requirement was not followed by the establishment. Although I am satisfied in this particular case that the risk to the public was remote, I have asked the Director General for a report into the circumstances of the release.
Under the amendment to the Criminal Justice and Court Services Bill which the Government brought forward on 12 June 2000, sex offenders subject to the notification requirements of part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 will be excluded from the Home Detention Curfew scheme altogether. This amendment will prevent the re-occurrence of any further errors of this kind as they will automatically be excluded on the local inmate database system (as in the case for other statutory exclusions, for example deportees).
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many investigations have been carried out under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993; and what was the average length of time taken to complete an investigation. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 31 October 2000]: Section 8 of the Charities Act 1993 came into force on 1 August 1993. In the calendar years from 1994 to 1999, inclusive, 2,595 investigations under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993 have been completed. The Commission has changed its reporting from calendar to financial years. Where appropriate both are shown in this breakdown:
|2000 (to 30 September)||234|
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Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many investigations under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993 have taken more than 12 months to complete; and what percentage of section 8 investigations this represents. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 31 October 2000]: The figures for the length of time taken to conclude investigations in the years 1993-98 are not held centrally. The figures for the most recent years are:
|Number of investigations completed||260||255||130|
|Number of investigations taking more than 12 months to complete||68||82||26|
|Percentage of investigations taking more than 12 months to complete||26||32||20|
(23) April to September
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many charities were removed from the Charities' Register following an investigation under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993 in each year since the Act came into force. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 31 October 2000]: Removal from the Register is not one of the remedial or protective powers available to the Charity Commission under section 18 of the Act (which applies to section 8 investigations). The Commission's remedial powers include the suspension, removal and appointment of charity trustees, and the freezing of bank accounts. These measures are designed to protect the assets of a charity under investigation and ensure they are applied properly in the future.
In exceptional circumstances, where it is clear these statutory measures are insufficient to secure the charity's future the Commission can propose the transfer of assets to another charity and the winding up of the original charity. Historical statistics are not held centrally but in the six months April-September 2000, nine charities were removed in these circumstances and proposals to remove a further nine remain under consideration.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (1) prosecuted for drinking and driving in each of the last five years; what proportion of those prosecutions were in the months of November, December and January; and if he will make a statement; 
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Based on the two years 1998 and 1999, the proportion of prosecutions completed in the months of November, December, and January was 9 per cent., 7 per cent., and 9 per cent. respectively, or 25 per cent. for the three months combined.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what, based on information contained in British Crime Surveys and police recorded crime figures was the percentage of crimes committed against individuals and their property which (a) were reported, (b) were recorded by the police, (c) were cleared up, (d) resulted in a caution or conviction, (e) resulted in a conviction and (f) resulted in a custodial sentence in (i) 1997, (ii) 1998 and (iii) 1999; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 30 October 2000]: Information on attrition within the Criminal Justice System in 1997 is detailed on page 29 of "Digest 4--Information on the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales" published by the Home Office in October 1999. A copy of this publication is available in the Library.
The 2000 British Crime Survey measures crimes against people living in private households. It also provides estimates of the proportion reported to the police and recorded by them. This is detailed on page 6 of the "2000 British Crime Survey--Home Office Statistical Bulletin 18/00" published by the Home Office in October 2000. The survey does not include data on the other requests.
Figures for 1997 and 1999 are not directly comparable due to changes in the Home Office rules on counting and classification of recorded crime on 1 April 1998. Further details of the changes, and the way in which they have affected the notifiable offences series, are shown in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 18/99.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were on long-term sick leave in (a) each English police force and (b) each Metropolitan police divisional force for the last year for which such statistics are available; what
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proportion of total establishment officer strength this represents in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The information is given in the tables. It is based on the number of officers who have been on sick leave for more than 28 days on the particular date mentioned.
|Forces||Police officers on long-term sick leave on 31 March 2000||Percentage strength on long-term sick leave|
|Avon and Somerset||53||1.8|
|City of London||16||2.2|
|Devon and Cornwall||99||3.5|
Figures for Cleveland and Hampshire are not available
|London borough||Number of officers on long-term sick leave at 31 July 2000||Percentage of total strength|
|Barking and Dagenham||8||3.0|
|City of Westminster||34||2.2|
|Kensington and Chelsea||7||1.3|
|Kingston upon Thames||6||2.4|
|Richmond upon Thames||5||1.8|
7 Nov 2000 : Column: 208W
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