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Correspondence

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the hon. Member for Walsall, North will receive a reply to his letter (ref. 19449/0). [142733]

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Mrs. Roche [holding answer 14 December 2000]: I wrote to the hon. Member about this matter on 18 December 2000. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library.

Police (Avon and Somerset)

Mr. Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations have (a) opened and (b) closed in Avon and Somerset in each year since 1979. [142861]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the question from the hon. Member for South Suffolk, (Mr. Yeo) on 13 November 2000, Official Report, column 539W.

Asylum Support Vouchers

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in the review of the voucher support system being conducted by the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche), what consideration is being given (a) to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's aim of making the UK a less attractive destination for economic migrants by limiting the benefits available to them and making the conditions attached to such benefits more restrictive; and (b) the aim of making minimal cash payments to asylum seekers, as stated in the IND Business Plan for 2000-01; what plans he has to amend these aims; and if he will make a statement. [142790]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 14 December 2000]: The review I am conducting is of the operation of the voucher scheme for destitute asylum seekers, looking at the evidence for the various criticisms that have been levelled at the scheme. Our asylum policy is aimed at ensuring that we fully discharge our international commitments to genuine asylum seekers, while at the same time minimising the attractiveness of the United Kingdom for those whose applications for asylum are unfounded. In determining what action to take as a result of the vouchers' review, we shall have regard to this aim. We have no plans to change the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's Business Plan at this stage.

Immigration Officers

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about his policy of charging ports for the services of immigration officers. [142805]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 14 December 2000]: The power to charge for the provision of additional immigration officers is contained within section 9(4) of the Immigration Act 1988.

Section 26 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 will, upon commencement, replace section 9(4) of the Immigration Act 1988. It is designed to clarify existing provisions by providing for charges to be made for immigration officers in addition to those needed to provide a basic service. The "basic service", the definition of which is to be prescribed in Regulations, will provide a baseline against which additional services might be measured.

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The definition of "basic service" is yet to be determined, and is the subject of ongoing consultation with industry.

Implementation of the provision will not be effected before April 2002.

Court Orders

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) reparation orders, (b) parenting orders, (c) child safety orders and (d) action plan orders have been granted by the courts under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; how many orders in each category have been (i) breached and (ii) revoked; and if he will make a statement. [143008]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The latest information available from the Youth Justice Board on the number of orders made under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is set out in the table. It covers the period from April to October 2000 and is drawn from the statistical returns so far received from 130 of the 154 youth offending teams across England and Wales.

Further to my answer of 25 October 1999, Official Report, column 685W, I will write to the hon. Member with the further information he requested about breaches of parenting orders as soon as it becomes available.

April-October 2000

Number of orders made
Parenting Order:
Crime297
Other112
Reparation Order2,148
Action Plan Order2,408
Child Safety Order0

Police Stations

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the police stations in the Metropolitan Police area which closed in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999 and (d) 2000. [142986]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 December 2000]: The decision to close police facilities is an operational matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. I understand from the Commissioner that the following police stations have been closed:















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The general position for England and Wales in total was given in a reply given to a question from the hon. Member for South Suffolk, (Mr. Yeo) on 13 November 2000, Official Report, column 539W.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations open to the public there were in England and Wales on 1 December; and how many there were in (a) 1999, (b) 1998 and (c) 1997. [142987]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 December 2000]: I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for South Suffolk, (Mr. Yeo) on 13 November 2000, Official Report, column 539W.

Former Prison Inmates

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy that when a hostel in an hon. Member's constituency is to be used for the housing of high-risk former prison inmates, that the hon. Member will be informed of this intention; and if he will make a statement. [143424]

Mr. Boateng: The planning and establishment of hostel accommodation for offenders, including those assessed as potentially high risk, is carried out by the agency responsible for management of the facility. As part of this process, it is recognised as good practice that the hon. Member for the constituency where the accommodation is located will be informed of the development, and that the hon. Member's views on the development will be taken into consideration.

Rape

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by court and case number and initial of offender those cases where a person who had been jailed as a result of a charge of rape under

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(a) remand and (b) sentence was freed from prison due to the withdrawal of the accusation of rape by the accuser. [143425]

Mr. Boateng: I regret the information is not available and could not be obtained except at disproportionate cost.

West Midlands Police

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to improve the resourcing of the West Midlands police. [143111]

Mr. Charles Clarke: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has recently announced the provisional police funding settlement for 2001-02. Under the settlement, West Midlands police authority is set to receive central Government supported funding of £409.8 million, an increase of £17.1 million or 4.3 per cent. over 2000-01. West Midlands will also receive in 2001-02 (on present estimates) £6.87 million from the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) in addition to the £2.67 million expected in 2000-01. Details of funding for 2002-03 is not yet available but will include the annual cost of earlier recruitment under the fund. The CFF is a targeted initiative that will allow forces to recruit additional officers over and above any previously planned recruitment levels. Under this scheme the West Midlands will be able to recruit an additional 523 officers over the years 2000-01 to 2002-03. There is flexibility within the CFF for forces to accelerate or defer part of their allocation between 2000-01 and 2001-02. West Midlands police have bid to accelerate 49 CFF recruits from their 2001-02 allocation into 2000-01. Funding for the CFF is provisional and is dependent on forces meeting the continuation criteria.

West Midlands police authority has also benefited this year from a £3.3 million grant from the £20 million anti-robbery fund, a targeted initiative to tackle robbery in metropolitan areas.


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