Previous Section Index Home Page

Corporate Killing

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many responses to the consultation on involuntary manslaughter were received from (a) hon. Members, (b) trade unions, (c) employers organisations and (d) members of the public; in each case, how many (i) broadly supported and (ii) broadly opposed the creation of a new offence of corporate killing; and if he will make a statement. [136937]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We received 166 responses to the consultation paper we published in May this year. Of these, 11 were from hon. Members, five from employers associations, three from trade unions and 27 from members of the public. The remainder were contributions from individual undertakings, pressure groups, other representative bodies, lawyers and other Government Departments.

Of these, five hon. Members broadly supported the creation of an offence of corporate killing. The other six confined their comments to the reform of the individual offence. Four of the employers associations indicated their broad support; one was opposed to the creation of a new offence. All trade unions that responded were in support of an offence of corporate killing. Of the members of the public who contributed to the consultation, all who commented on corporate killing were in broad support of the proposals.

We are now carefully considering all responses and will publish a digest of them in due course.

Crime Statistics

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the level

13 Nov 2000 : Column: 538W

of crime per 1,000 of population in (a) rural and (b) urban areas; and which category of crime is commonest in (i) rural and (ii) urban areas. [136832]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Estimates of the number of crimes per 1,000 population in rural and urban areas can be derived from the 2000 British Crime Survey (BCS). The 2000 BCS interviewed a core random sample of 19,411 adults (those aged 16 and over) living in private households in England and Wales about their experience of crime during 1999.

There is no commonly agreed definition of rural areas. The definition of rural areas used in the BCS is based on those parts of England and Wales falling within A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods (ACORN) categories 1 to 9, and 27. These categories were developed by CACI Ltd. and classify areas according to the demographic, employment and housing characteristics. They account for an estimated 24 per cent. of the adult population in 1999. Estimated crime rates per 1,000 population are given in table 1. BCS data have been used in this answer, rather than recorded crime data, owing to the better division of rural and urban areas in the BCS.

Table 1: Estimated number of crimes per 1,000 population(43) in England and Wales in 1999


(43) Based on results from the 2000 British Crime Survey. Estimates of adults per household, based on figures supplied by CACI Ltd., have been used in forming these estimates. In both urban and rural areas the estimated average number of adults per household is two in rural areas and 1.9 in non-rural areas.

Full details of the offences covered by the British Crime Survey are given in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 18/00, which has been deposited in the Library.

Vandalism and vehicle-related thefts are the most common types of offences against households in both rural and urban areas, according to the BCS. The most common type of crime against the person is common assault, again in both areas. These are assaults in which there is either no injury or at most minimal injury.

The incident rates for these crimes are shown in table 2. For household crimes, rates are quoted per 1,000 households.

Table 2: Incident rates for most common crimes per 1,000 population or households(44)

Personal crimes
Incident rates per 1,000 adults
Common assault583553
Household crimes
Incident rates per 1,000 households
All motor vehicle-related thefts(45)143109135

(44) Based on results from the 2000 British Crime Survey.

(45) Include theft of or from motor vehicles, including attempts.

(46) Vandalism of motor vehicles is included within vandalism.

13 Nov 2000 : Column: 539W

Huntingdon Life Sciences

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review the licence of Huntingdon Life Sciences. [137071]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I have no plans to do so.

Police Station Closures

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations have closed down in (a) England and (b) Wales in each of the last 10 years in areas defined as rural and areas defined as urban. [136720]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 6 November 2000]: Estimates by police forces of the number of police stations opened or closed in England and Wales between 31 March 1990 and 31 March 2000 are set out in the table. Overall, it is estimated that 309 new stations have been opened and 939 closed.

Year endOpenedClosedNumber changeTotal stations open
Total changes309-939-630--

A table of figures by force area has been placed in the Library. (There is no formal definition of "rural" or "urban" forces).

The force-by-force analysis suggests significant variations in force policy in relation to police stations. The figures reflect the changing pattern of policing as Chief Constables and Police Authorities have responded to changing patterns of demand for services and have sought improved efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery.

Many police premises which have been closed or replaced will have deteriorated or have been inadequate for the demands of modern policing. Many will have become little used by the public. The Audit Commission report, "Action Stations--Improving the Management of the Police Estate" (1999) makes a strong case for further rationalisation of the police estate.

I do, however, understand the concern of those who live in areas which have lost a permanent policing presence. Accordingly, I am discussing, with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities, how each police authority might better inform the public about the steps it is taking to maintain and improve police visibility and effectiveness in all parts of England and Wales.

13 Nov 2000 : Column: 540W


Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research the Government have undertaken into the effect of CCTV in towns on crime levels in neighbouring rural areas. [136679]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 6 November 2000]: Police operational experience and various research studies show that Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) has significant crime reduction and detection potential, particularly when used as part of a wider strategy. As with any crime reduction measure, there is a possibility of some displacement, but this is by no means inevitable. Schemes funded under the Crime Reduction Programme CCTV Initiative will be evaluated to build up the knowledge base of what works best in what context. The evaluations will address the issue of displacement.

The deadline for receipt of outline applications for funding under the second round of the £153 million CCTV Initiative has been brought forward to 22 December 2000. The application prospectus for the second round was issued in march 2000. It was amended from the first round to give increased emphasis to bids aimed at reducing crime and the fear of crime in rural areas and small community shopping centres where absolute crime levels may be lower, but fear of crime is having a significant adverse effect on local communities.

A copy of the application prospectus is available on our website:

Metropolitan Police

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what data he has collated for the Ealing division of the Metropolitan police of the number of ethnic minority officers and civilian staff in each of the past five years and the number of complaints and employment claims of unfair treatment made by ethnic minority staff. [137206]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested has been provided by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and is shown in the table:

Police officers from ethnic minority groups5969678080
Civilian staff from ethnic minority groups5054606463
Grievances instigated by ethnic minority staff0(47)1002
Employment tribunals instigated by ethnic minority staff00103

(47) This grievance relates to a member of the civilian staff at Ealing who raised the issue of an incident that occurred in another division in the Metropolitan police

Next Section Index Home Page