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Convention on Human Rights

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training is being given to (a) the police service and (b) the Prison Service on the implications for their work of the incorporation of the Convention on Human Rights into United Kingdom law. [101979]

Mr. Boateng: Training in Human Rights issues is already included in a number of courses provided by National Police Training (NPT) including the Probationer Training Programme, when recruits to the police service are made aware of the extent and limitations of their powers as police officers. Human rights issues are also covered in the Strategic Command Course and the Accelerated Promotion Course which are delivered by NPT at Bramshill, and NPT have also held executive seminars for senior officers at Bramshill.

The majority of police training (about 87 per cent.) is delivered in forces. NPT is working with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on an audit of ACPO policy which may identify service-wide training needs. Work is almost complete on the development of a Human Rights competency framework and further work is under way on the identification of the generic and role specific training needs of officers up to inspector. All NPT courses will be reviewed to ensure that Human Rights awareness is incorporated. Role specific training will focus on those roles, such as that of Custody Officer, which are most likely to be exposed to Human Rights issues.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will estimate how many people claiming political asylum arrived in the United

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Kingdom in each of the last five years for which figures are available; [102210]

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Mrs. Roche: Information on persons applying for asylum on or after entry to the United Kingdom is given in the table. Information on the number of asylum applications and decisions received in 1999 can be found on the Home Office internet site at:

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Applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, and initial decisions, 1994 to 1998 (8)

19941995199619971998 (9)
Total decisions20,99027,00538,96036,04531,570
Recognised as a refugee and granted asylum8251,2952,2403,9855,345
Not recognised as a refugee but granted exceptional leave3,6604,4105,0553,1153,910
Refused asylum and exceptional leave16,50021,30031,67028,94522,315

(8) Figures rounded to the nearest five

(9) Provisional

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Electoral Costs

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the cost of a person voting by post at a (a) parliamentary and (b) local government election. [102543]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: In England, Wales and Scotland (a) for parliamentary elections, no separate records of the administrative costs of processing postal votes are kept; and (b) local authorities are responsible for the cost of conducting local government elections and this information is not collected centrally.

In Northern Ireland the cost for a person voting by post is estimated to be £1.27 both for parliamentary and local elections.

2 Marsham Street

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 6 December 1999, Official Report, column 391W, on 2 Marsham Street, if he intends to maintain the current rate of expenditure in 2000. [102193]

Mr. Straw: A large proportion of the costs are for reactive maintenance rather than routine preventive maintenance. This makes it difficult to finalise a firm budget until part-way through the year. However, at present, we anticipate that next year's cost will not exceed the current budgeted cost for the year ending 31 March 2000.

Hemp Seed

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the proposal for a Council regulation amending Reg(EC) No. 1251/99 on the use of hemp seed. [102496]

Mr. Boateng: Representations regarding the application of Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 licensing controls under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 have been received from Hemcore Ltd. and the National Farmers Union. I also understand that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department in the lead for Regulation (EC) No. 1251/99, is considering representations from the Hemp Food Industries Association and others.

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Drug-misusing Offenders

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proportion of the money awarded to police forces in England and Wales to fund arrest referral schemes for drug-misusing offenders is to be derived from (a) his Department's office budget and (b) the overall drugs misuse strategy and UK National Plan budget; how much money this will be; and if he will make a statement; [102567]

Mr. Boateng: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced on 14 July, at the Association of Chief Police Officers summer conference, that an extra £20 million was to be made available to police forces to support the spread of arrest referral schemes across all custody suites in England and Wales. This £20 million is part of the Government's Crime Reduction Programme and is in addition to the money that is committed to the delivery of the anti-drugs strategy, Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain.

Police forces, with the support of their local Drug Action Teams, were invited to bid for matched funding to help meet the cost of arrest referral workers and to bid for a contribution to the anticipated costs of providing treatment for drug-misusing offenders picked up by arrest referral schemes. Initial bids were received from 39 forces who are now being asked to prepare more detailed action plans. The initial allocations to the forces concerned, which were announced on 3 December, total of £19.7 million over the period up to March 2002.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reasons underlie the length of time taken by his Department to consider the urgent request to a Minister for permission to visit the UK in the case of the Sengunes family. [102598]

Mrs. Roche: I am sorry it has taken so long to consider the hon. Member's urgent request to consider the Sengunes family's request to be given indefinite leave to

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remain in the United Kingdom on compassionate grounds. This is a complicated case which has needed careful consideration. An interim reply was sent on 1 December and I wrote substantively today.

Port of Liverpool Police

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his duties and responsibilities in respect of the Port of Liverpool Police. [101678]

Mr. Hill: I have been asked to reply.

The Port of Liverpool Police were established under the Mersey Docks and Harbour (Police) Order 1975. The provisions of the Order impose no specific duties or responsibilities on the Government.


Military Exports

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which (a) Ministers and (b) officials discussed the export of Hawk aircraft to Indonesia with representatives of British Aerospace between 23 August and 16 September, indicating the dates; and if he will make a statement. [100838]

Mr. Byers: There were no discussions in this period between DTI Ministers and British Aerospace regarding the export of Hawk aircraft to Indonesia. As far as DTI officials are concerned, on 15 September the Director of the DTI's Export Control Organisation did ask British Aerospace if the three Hawk aircraft exported from the UK on 31 August under a licence issued by the previous Administration had been delivered to Indonesia.

Motorway Services

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received about excessive charges for items for sale at motorway service areas. [100912]

Mr. Byers: I have received a number of letters from MPs on behalf of their constituents and from members of the public about prices at Motorway Service Areas (MSAs).

Those letters have been passed to the Director General of Fair Trading who, under UK competition law, has in the first instance responsibility to investigate allegations of anti-competitive behaviour. The Office of Fair Trading are currently investigating the levels of prices charged at MSAs to determine whether they are the result of anti-competitive practices or exploitation of a monopoly position.

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