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Life Sentences (Murder)

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department since 1983 (a) how many people have been given life sentences for murder and (b) of these how many remain in detention; and what are the reasons for the difference between the two figures. [101341]

Mr. Boateng: In the 16 years from 1983 to 1998, a total of 3,360 persons were received into Prison Service establishments in England and Wales under sentence for murder. Of these, 2,652 are currently still in custody. The remainder have died or been discharged and these are set out in the table.

Persons sentenced to life imprisonment for murder discharged from prison 1983-98

Type of dischargeNumber
Release on licence250
Successful appeal146
Transfer to psychiatric hospital144
Transfer to a non Prison Service establishment50
Transfer to another establishment outside England and Wales14
Total discharges708

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Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will offer United Nations investigators the use of DNA testing equipment and trained staff to identify the killer of a Serb killed on Flag Day in Kosovo Polje; and if he will make a statement. [101163]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We are doing all we can to support the peacekeeping process in Kosovo and help the International Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) investigate crimes against humanity and will continue to do so. It is for the United Nations investigators involved in this particular case to decide whether DNA evidence may be of value to their investigation. In that event, we would be happy to consider how we might be able to help.

Jury Trial

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the savings from the implementation of his proposals to change the law relating to election for trial by jury. [101371]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) on 24 November 1999, Official Report, column 125W.

Drug-related Offences

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many successful prosecutions there have been for drug-related offences in the Peterlee and Seaham police sub-division in each year since 1995. [101424]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Data are collected on drug offences only, not on offences which may have been committed owing to drug taking. Nor can information be provided at police sub-division level. There is readily available information on proceedings in the Easington Petty Sessional Division for possession of class B drugs. (These drugs are essentially cannabis and amphetamines, and probably account for about 80 per cent. of all drug offences.) In 1995, out of the 25 persons proceeded against in the magistrates court, 22 were sentenced by that court; none were committed for trial to the Crown court. The following year, 1996, 35 out of 39 proceeded against were sentenced by the magistrates court; one person was committed for trial. In 1997, the latest year for which published data are available, 15 out of 18 proceeded against were sentenced in the lower court, while two were committed for trial.


Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) agreements and (b) contracts with consultants have been agreed since 1 July for future work, giving in each case the name of the consultants and the project concerned. [101456]

Mr. Straw: The details are as follows.


Technical Support for Emergency Communications Network ManagementBritish Telecom
Fire Service Control and Communications StudyMott McDonald
Support to Immigration and Nationality Enquiry BureauCall Centre Consultancies
Risk AnalysisParity Solutions
Management Development SupportDavid Mathew
QA Testing Programme of Case Work Information Technology System Philip Littleleavon
Provision of Advisory ServicesPriceWaterhouseCoopers
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary report on the Metropolitan Police Services StrategyMichael Briggs
To Provide advice in the Setting up of the Criminal Records BureauKermon Contract
Police aviation workCapt. M. Kenworthy
Call handling studySimon Beresford
Cost Benefit analysis of 'cluster' colleges for TrainingRaytheon Systems Ltd.
Encryption Products--International StandardsR. Thorogood
Therapeutic Community Aspect Design Construct Manage and Finance Projects Elaine Genders
Evaluation Panel support for Doncaster/BuckleyA. de Frisching
Comparison of Alternatives for New PrisonsMouchel Consulting
Efficiency ReviewCapita Business Services
Development of Sex Offender Treatment ProgrammeDr. Anna Salter
Management of Suicidal PrisonersLondon School of Hygiene
Evaluation of Video Links between Prisoners and CourtsPlotnikoff & Woolfson
Review of Prison Service TrainingMouchel Consulting
Production of Purchasing ManualCapita Business Services
Review of Inter-prison Transfer ControlErskine Management

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7 Dec 1999 : Column: 505W

National Minorities Convention

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisations responded to the consultation on his Department's (a) draft and (b) final report to the Council of Europe on the Convention for National Minorities; and what issues they raised. [101505]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A very large number of issues were raised and, therefore, I will write to the hon. Member and set out what is a lengthy list.

Parking Spaces

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the number of parking places at prisons in England and Wales and of the use made of these by prison officers and civilian staff. [101838]

Mr. Boateng: No central record is kept of the number of staff car parking places which exist on the prison estate or of the frequency of use. The Prison Service recognises the need to reduce dependency on the private motor vehicle and endeavours to ensure that car parking at new prisons being planned is kept to the minimum level operationally acceptable.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the extent of parking places at police premises in England and Wales and of the use made of them by police officers and civilian staff. [101839]

Mr. Charles Clarke: None. The information requested is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

An Audit Commission report published in March this year recommended that all police forces undertake a strategic review of their estate with a view to identifying efficiency savings through rationalisation and better use

7 Dec 1999 : Column: 506W

of resources. Such reviews are likely to include the availability of parking spaces for operational and staff vehicles.


New Deal (Heywood and Middleton)

Mr. Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people from ethnic minorities have joined the New Deal in Heywood and Middleton constituency since its launch nationally. [100296]

Ms Jowell: By the end of September 1999, 34 young people in Heywood and Middleton constituency who identified their ethnic background as from an ethnic minority group had started on the New Deal. The Government are committed to ensuring that New Deal actively promotes equality of opportunity and outcome for young jobseekers of all ethnic and racial groups, and has published their strategy for engaging ethnic minority jobseekers and businesses in the New Deal.

Ethnic Minorities

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many London local authorities are receiving Section 11 funding. [101044]

Jacqui Smith: In November 1998, the Government announced a new grant, the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG), to replace the education element of the Home Office's Section 11 Grant. EMAG was established to raise standards for those ethnic minority and Traveller pupils particularly at risk of underachieving and to meet the particular needs of pupils for whom English is an Additional Language. All London local authorities received funding through EMAG for 1999-2000. Details of individual allocations, which mirrored Section 11 allocations in 1998-99, are set out in the following table.

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Ethnic minority achievement grant 1999-2000: Allocations to local authorities in London

Local education authorityGrant
City of London108,500
Kensington and Chelsea1,177,506
Kingston upon Thames222,389
Richmond upon Thames76,785
Tower Hamlets8,125,390
Waltham Forest2,054,111

For 2000-01, £162.5 million will be available to local education authorities to improve the attainment of ethnic minority, Traveller and refugee pupils, an increase of 7 per cent. on the amount available for the same purposes in 1999-2000. Provisional allocations for the newly merged Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Grant for 2000-01 were announced in October 1999.

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