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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fires in (a) houses, (b) sheltered accommodation and (c) residential care homes took hold in upholstery which had not been treated with fire retardants in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is contained in the table. The information provided by fire brigades distinguishes between upholstery containing combustion modified foam, which would comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, as amended, and upholstery containing other foams and fillings which do not. It is not possible to give a figure for the number of fires which may have started in upholstery treated with any form of proprietary flame retardant treatment. The information in the table relates to fires attended by local authority fire brigades in 1999 where upholstery furniture was the material first ignited.
|Location||Total upholstery fires||Fires involving non-fire retardant upholstery(22)|
|Residential care homes(24)||820||818|
(21) All figures are based on sample data, weighted to brigade totals. figures include late call, heat and smoke incidents.
(22) Refers to any upholstery which contains foams or other fillings which do not comply with Regulations.
(23) Dwellings include caravans, boats and other non building structures used solely as a permanent residence.
(24) Includes elderly persons homes, children's homes, homes for the disabled, charitable hostels, and other types of welfare and charitable establishments.
8 Feb 2001 : Column: 672W
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 do not prescribe a form to be used to apply for an absent vote, but regulation 51 sets out the information required in an application. We shall be circulating to Electoral Registration Officers in mid-February a suggested formulation of an application form for postal votes. The requirements for a proxy vote have not changed and so no new form is necessary.
The use of animals in scientific procedures is strictly regulated by what is widely acknowledged to be the toughest legislation of its kind in the world. We are working to ensure that the highest possible standards of animal welfare are applied and that animals are used only where it is fully justified--where the benefits outweigh the costs and where there are no suitable alternatives. To this end we are promoting the fullest application of the 3Rs--the replacement of procedures with others which do not use animals, the reduction of the number of animals used, and the refinement of procedures to minimise pain and suffering.
In addition to our commitment to the 3Rs, the other main individual measures this Government has introduced since the election to ensure that animals are used only where fully justified are as follows. We have:
increased the budget made available to the Animal Procedures Committee to sponsor research on alternatives by 45 per cent. to £265,000 for 2000-01;
increased the size of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate from 18 to 21, and recruited seven new inspectors to fill these and other vacancies;
introduced a requirement that all establishments licensed under the 1986 Act have local ethical review processes as a complement to the existing controls under the Act;
announced our intention never to allow the use of great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, pygmy chimpanzees and orang-utans);
announced the phasing out of the use of ascitic animals in certain forms of monoclonal antibody production; and
ended the licensing of the LD50 test and of tests for skin corrosivity and phototoxic potential where valid alternatives exist.
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backing a Private Member's Bill which became the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, a measure aimed at tightening regulation of commercial dog breeding establishments, and issue to local authorities of related detailed guidance;
preparation, with the Association of Circus Proprietors, of a code of practice on the care and welfare of animals in travelling circuses;
making an order that allows for an indefinite prohibition of the culling of seals on the east coast of England; and
participating in the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group which was established last year to ensure that the UK's overall animal welfare strategy is effectively co-ordinated.
Mr. Charles Clarke: Recorded crime details are not collected centrally on a daily basis. The latest available data on recorded crime are for the year ending September 2000. These showed that there were 5,221,416 recorded crimes in England and Wales in that year.
Mr. Charles Clarke: Details of recorded crime are no longer collected monthly. Comparisons of recorded crime figures between different dates are normally made using annual totals. The figures for the requested categories of crime, for the years ending March 1997 and September 2000, which is the most recent published data, are as follows:
(25) Theft of and from vehicles
(26) Owing to the change in counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, direct comparisons cannot be made between data before and after this date. However, it has been estimated that the change in counting rules increased the number of thefts of and from vehicles counted by 1 per cent. and all burglaries by 0.1 per cent.
8 Feb 2001 : Column: 674W
Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many designations have been made to date under section 16(1) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; and how many directions have been given under section 16(2) of that Act. 
Section 16 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 provides the statutory basis for truancy operations which are conducted in partnership by the police and local education authorities. Designations in accordance with section 16(1) and directions in accordance with section 16(2) are made for the period of the truancy operation only. There is no requirement on either the police or the local education authority to conduct these operations at specified intervals, or to report to Government Departments when they do so. We have, however, recommended that they jointly review the truancy problem in each local education authority area and conduct truancy operations each term as appropriate.
Section 16 operations are an important tool in helping both to reduce truancy and the potential that young people will be drawn into crime or other anti-social behaviour when they should be at school.
Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many Sex Offender Orders have been made to date in each police force area in England and Wales; how many have been (a) discharged and (b) breached; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how many Parenting Orders have been made to date in each police force area in England and Wales; how many have been (a) discharged and (b) breached; and if he will make a statement. 
8 Feb 2001 : Column: 673W
|Number up to 31 May 2000||Nationally from 1 June to 30 September 2000(27)||Discharged||Breached (up to 30 June 2000)(27)|
|Sex Offender Order(28)||(29)32||11||(30)(5)--||(31)--|
|Of which given at:|
|Civil and family proceedings courts||--||18||(31)--||--|
|Child Safety Order(32)||(31)--||(36)--||(31),(35)--||(36)--|
|Care Order for Non-compliance with Child Safety Orders||(31)--||(36)--||(31)--||(36)--|
(28) Implemented on 1 December 1998
(29) Data by area for Sex Offender Orders only available from 1 June 2000
(30) Subsection 2(7) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 provides that 'except with the consent of both parties, no sex offender order shall be discharged before the end of the period of five years beginning with the date of service of the order'
(31) Not available
(32) Piloted from 30 September 1998 and implemented nationally from 1 June 2000
(33) Data for parenting orders given at criminal courts up to 30 June 2000 only
(34) Breach recorded in Dyfed-Powys police force area in 1999
(35) 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
(36) Not applicable
8 Feb 2001 : Column: 675W
8 Feb 2001 : Column: 675W
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