|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he has taken to encourage the (a) use of community beat officers and (b) assigning of named officers to patrol neighbourhoods; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 December 2000]: The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 put police participation in local crime and disorder partnerships on a statutory footing and the Government have made it clear that they see this local partnership approach as the way forward in fighting crime. The use of community beat officers is an important part of delivering this. In his thematic inspections "Winning the Race" and "Winning the Race Revisited", in 1997 and 1999, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary endorsed the use of community beat officers responsible for problem solving within their local areas. Progress on implementing those recommendations will be assessed in a further thematic inspection report to be published in January.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on recent Court of Appeal judgments relating to the use of mandatory sentences under the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 15 December 2000]: On 9 November 2000, the Court of Appeal gave judgment in the cases of Matthew Offen, Peter McGilliard, Darren McKeown, Christova Okwuegbunam and Stephen Saunders. The first four cases were appeals, while the last, Saunders, was referred by the Attorney-General under his powers to refer for unduly lenient sentences. In all the cases challenges were made to the lawfulness of the automatic life sentence provisions introduced as section 2 of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 (now contained in section 109 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000) on the grounds that the imposition of such a sentence was incompatible with rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as protected by the Human Rights Act 1998.
Section 109 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 provides that an offender committing any of a list of certain offences (either sexual or violent) on two separate occasions should receive a mandatory life sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances relating to either of the offences or to the offender which would justify it not doing so.
In giving the judgment of the Court, the Lord Chief Justice confirmed the compatibility of the legislation with the rights protected by the ECHR. It therefore remains the position that a life sentence must be given to a person
18 Dec 2000 : Column: 58W
who commits a second of the serious sexual or violent offences covered by the provision unless there are exceptional circumstances which would make it unjust to do so.
The court upheld Offen and McKeown's appeals, substituting determinate terms of three years in place of a life sentence; dismissed Okwuegbunam and McGilliard's appeals, confirming their automatic life sentences; and found in favour of the Attorney-General in the Saunders case, quashing the 12-year determinate sentence and imposing a new automatic life sentence.
The detailed matters for consideration relate to what should constitute "exceptional circumstances". We are currently giving consideration to these aspects of the judgment and their implications for sentencing policy.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he is undertaking to improve (a) retention and (b) recruitment of police officers; and if he will make a statement. 
been considering whether changes to those Regulations are required and we will be consulting the police service about the precise terms of revised Regulations shortly;
set a target of 2 per cent. for reducing sickness absence in police forces in England and Wales as poor management of sickness absence may be a precursor to unnecessary medical retirement. In 1996-97 the average number of days sickness per police officer was 12.80. This declined to 11.55, or by 1.25 days per officer by 1999-2000.
The Police Negotiating Board is currently looking at whether there should be an allowance for officers in any other forces, and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary awaits any recommendations it may make on this or any other issues in relation to police pay and allowances.
Wastage rates from the police service are very low--4.8 per cent. of total strength in 1998-99, 4.7 per cent. in 1999-2000 and 2.3 per cent. for the six months to 30 September 2000. Police recruitment is rising. In the six months to 30 September 2000, for the first time since March 1997, the number of officers recruited into the service exceeded those leaving it.
18 Dec 2000 : Column: 59W
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) anti-social behaviour orders, (b) sex offender orders, (c) parenting orders, (d) child safety orders, (e) reparation orders, (f) action plan orders, (g) supervision orders and (h) detention and training orders (i) have been made, (ii) have had appeals made against them and (iii) have been breached; and if he will make a statement. 
18 Dec 2000 : Column: 60W
Anti-social behaviour orders have been taken out by the police and local authorities in a variety of cases and with considerable success in tackling the crime and disorder that can blight the lives of the community. Police forces and probation services have welcomed the new sex offender orders and regard them as a useful tool.
18 Dec 2000 : Column: 59W
|Type of order||Made up to 31 May 2000||June 2000(9)||Appealed against||Breached (up to 30 June 2000)(9)|
|Anti-Social Behaviour Order(10)||104||9||(16)--||19|
|Sex Offender Order(11)||32||4||(16)--||(16)--|
|of which given at:|
|Civil and family proceedings courts||--||1||--||--|
|Child Safety Order(12)||--||--||(16)--||(13),(17)--|
|Action Plan Order(12)||--||263||(16)--||42|
|Detention and Training Order(15)||1,791||460||(16)--||4|
(10) Implemented from 1 April 1999.
(11) Implemented on 1 December 1998.
(12) Piloted from 30 September 1998 and implemented nationally from 1 June 2000.
(13) If the child fails to comply with any requirement, the court may, on application of the responsible officer, discharge the order and make in respect of him a care order under s31(10(a) of the Children Act 1989. To date X such care orders have been recorded.
(14) S71 and 72 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 amended the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 strengthening the existing community penalty of a supervision order for serious young offenders. Data given in the first column covers all types of supervision orders and all young offenders. It covers the period from 1 January 1999 up to 31 May 2000.
(15) Implemented from April 1999 but data collected centrally from July 1999 onwards.
(16) Not available.
(17) Not applicable.
18 Dec 2000 : Column: 59W
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) reprimands and (b) warnings under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 have been issued in each month since their introduction; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 December 2000]: Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, reprimands and final warnings replaced cautions for young offenders. They were introduced in seven pilot areas from the end of September 1998 until 1 June 2000, when both reprimands and final warnings became available nationwide. During the final quarter in 1998, 1,126 reprimands and 576 final warnings were recorded (these data were collected as part of the pilot). Centrally recorded data for 1999 are given in the table. We also show provisional data for the first two quarters of 2000.
(19) Data given for Quarter 2 2000 cover the whole of England and Wales for the last month in the quarter as both reprimands and final warnings were introduced nationwide as from 1 June 2000.
It is thought that the centrally recorded data for these new disposals may be subject to a small amount of under-recording.
18 Dec 2000 : Column: 60W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|