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Unfit Meat

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) convicted of selling unfit meat to the public and (b) sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of (i) one, (ii) two, (iii) three, (iv) four and (v) five years and over, in each year since 1990. [145002]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Section 8 of the Food Safety Act 1990 refers to the sale of food not complying with food safety requirements. This includes selling food that is unfit for human consumption.

However the data held centrally on the Home Office's Court Proceedings Database, which only identify offences under S8 of the Act from 1992, do not distinguish the particular offence of selling food that is unfit for human consumption from the other offences given under this section of the Act. There may also be prosecutions under the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995, but we are again unable to identify specific offences.

The table shows the number of persons convicted under S8 of the Food Safety Act 1990. The type of sentence and the numbers of persons sentenced to a term of imprisonment, broken down by length of sentence, is also given. Only two offenders were sentenced to imprisonment, one for three months and one for four months.

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Persons convicted for selling food not complying with safety requirements contrary to section 8 of the Food Safety Act 1990, by sentence, England and Wales

Length of sentence
YearNumber convictedAbsolute or conditional dischargeFineCommunity Service OrderFully suspended sentenceNumber sentenced to immediate custody3 months4 monthsOtherwise dealt with

(27) One offender was not sentenced in 1999 but was held over for sentence in 2000

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Drink Driving

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of drink driving were reported by police in Merseyside from 20 December 2000 to 2 January 2001. [144915]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested is not available centrally.

However, information collected and published by the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (ACPO) shows that 509 breath tests were given following collisions attended by the police in Merseyside during the period 18 December 2000 to 2 January 2001, of which 15 were positive.

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Electoral Register

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if a consultation on regulations for the commercial use of the electoral register will be conducted by his Department. [145607]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 15 January 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 2 May 2000, Official Report, column 78W. We are currently considering the representations already received. The draft regulations will be ready by Easter and will be made available on the Home Office website for comment.

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Police Funding (Floods)

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what payments (a) are available and (b) have been made to police authorities in respect of demands on the police during the floods in 2000. [145559]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: There are no specific payments available from the Home Office to police authorities in respect of demands on the police during the floods in 2000, and no payments have been made.

The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions administers the Bellwin scheme that provides assistance to meet an undue financial burden of the immediate costs of tackling exceptional natural disasters or similar events. I am informed by that Department that no applications have been received, and no payments have been made, to police authorities for costs incurred from the floods.

Police Recruitment

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the (a) capacity of each police training centre in respect of new recruits, (b) the number of new recruits entering training in each month from and including April 2000 and (c) the estimated future monthly (i) training capacity and (ii) number of recruits at each centre. [145555]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: The information requested is as follows:


With the assistance of up to seven satellite centres (Bramhill, Harrogate, Padgate, Wethersfield, Heythrop, Hutton Hall, Tally Ho) the total NPT intake capacity for the last 10 courses has been:

Start dateIntake capacity
14 February526
20 March508
25 April508
30 May544
3 July526
7 August562
11 September634
16 October624
20 November639
8 January714

(b) Intakes to foundation training operate on a five-weekly cycle, not a monthly cycle. Metropolitan police intake dates to the training school at Hendon are slightly different from those for

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National Police Training's Police Training Centres. The number of recruits starting training with NPT and at Hendon on each intake since April 2000 was as follows:

Provincial forces(28)NumberMetropolitan policeNumberTotal
25 April46617 April97563
30 May47422 May99573
3 July52126 June96617
7 August51731 July85602
11 September5904 September96686
16 October6099 October122731
20 November63714 November131768
8 January69718 December137834

(28) Includes officers from Channel Islands, Isle of Man, British Transport Police and Royal Parks Constabulary

(c)(i) The Metropolitan Police Service will make the capacity available at Hendon to match the planned number of recruits for each future intake.
National Police Training plans to provide about 640 places per training intake during 2001-02. The distribution of these places between NPT centres is expected to change in the course of the year as development proceeds at some sites and the need for leased satellite premises is reviewed.
The number of places provided can be increased if demand exceeds forecasts, provided forces are able to identify and second suitable staff to act as trainers.
(c)(ii) On each of the two remaining training intakes in 2000-01 (in January and March 2001), the Metropolitan police plan to recruit 200 officers. In 2001-02 the Metropolitan police plans to recruit 247 officers for each of the 10 intakes to the training centre.

The total intake of recruits to NPT centres for each of the remaining two intakes in 2000-01 (in February and March 2001) is expected to be 642, utilising all the available capacity. In 2001-02, it is estimated that there will be an average of about 635 recruits per intake to NPT.


Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his plans for licensing liberalisation will include conditions of fire exits, safe capacities and noise restrictions for licensed venues. [145443]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We envisage that licences for premises selling alcohol or providing public entertainment or late night refreshment should include such conditions as the licensing authority consider necessary, in the light of the views of the police, fire authority and local residents, to ensure public safety and to reduce the risks of crime, disorder and public disturbance.

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the Cranfield University study, 'Licensing Law Liberalisation: The Scottish Experience', on the link between licensing liberalisation and binge drinking and alcohol-related violence. [145442]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We share the view of the Scottish Executive that the report of the study should be approached with a considerable degree of caution, and that it does not support the conclusion that changes to licensing law in Scotland made in 1976 have caused more violence or binge drinking. The report is in any event of limited relevance to our proposals for reforming the licensing laws in England and Wales, which do not involve reproducing the Scottish arrangements.

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