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Mr. Cann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department was informed of allegations about an incident involving Robert Thompson which took place on 16 January 1997; what action was taken; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Boateng: The alleged incident was first brought to our notice in The Sunday People newspaper on 11 February 2001. The High Court considered the allegation in the course of judicial review proceedings and concluded in its judgment on Friday 16 February that the allegation was without foundation.
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new form for postal votes being sent by his Department to electoral registration offices includes a request that those aged 70 years or over should tick a box. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: There is no requirement or any proposal for electors aged 70 years or over to declare their age when applying for a postal or proxy vote. I recently circulated to all Members two application forms: one for use when registering under the new rolling registration system and one for use when applying for a postal vote. The registration form asks those who are over 70 to tick a box. This is standard registration procedure and allows those electors to avoid being called for jury service from which they are exempt. The postal vote form makes no mention of age.
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British crime survey the percentage of each tenure group classified as (a) owner occupiers, (b) social renters and (c) private renters who are victims of crime in each region and nation of the United Kingdom. 
The BCS estimates that 30.5 per cent. of adults in England and Wales were victims of crime in 1999. It is possible to provide a breakdown of victimisation figures for each type of tenure on a regional basis. However, some caution should be exercised when interpreting the results for the private rented sector category, as the regional sample sizes for this group are comparatively small.
|Percentage victims once or more|
|Government Office Region||Owner occupiers||Social renters||Private renters(66)||All tenures|
|York and Humberside||31.2||40.4||49.7||34.9|
|England and Wales||28.6||30.8||39.6||30.5|
(65) Victim of a personal crime or lived in a victimised household.
(66) Private rented sector (includes tied to job, rent free and squatting).
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in each of the last five years in the Metropolitan Police area have been (a) prosecuted and (b) cautioned for making hoax 999 calls. 
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Mr. Charles Clarke: Hoax 999 calls fall within section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that where an individual is identified as a "persistent 999 hoax caller" the normal practice is for the Metropolitan Police Service to pass the details of the calls and caller to the service providers, who then deal with the case individually.
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has informed me that when a 999 call is received at New Scotland Yard, an entry is made on the Computer Aided Despatch System and the telephone number recorded on the entry.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes have been made to (a) procedures, (b) methods and (c) equipment for drug testing in prisons since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
|Prison Service Order (PSO)||PSO number|
|Mandatory Drug Testing||3,601|
|Procedures for the Independent Analysis of Mandatory Drug Test Samples||3,605|
|Voluntary Drug Testing Units and the Framework for Voluntary Drug Testing||3,620|
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons who are subject to a community court order are (a) male and over 65 years of age and (b) female and over 60 years of age. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Information on the number of persons subject to a community sentence at any one time is not collected centrally. However, information taken from the Home Office's court proceedings database is given in the table and shows the number of males over 65 years of age and females over 60 years of age sentenced to a community sentence by all courts in England and Wales during 1998 and 1999.
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|Type of sentence|
|Sex, age and year||Probation order||Community service order||Combination order||Curfew order||Other order||Total|
|Males aged more than 65|
|Females aged more than 60|
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Mr. Boateng: 3,558 women were electronically tagged in England and Wales between the start of the current electronic monitoring contracts on 28 January 1999, and 31 January 2001. At midnight on 31 January 2001, a total of 264 women were still being monitored.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the correspondence sent by his Department in 2000 to chief constables asking them to submit claims for special grants to cover costs incurred by the petrol crisis. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: My officials wrote to police authorities and to chief officers of police on 18 September and 15 December 2000 inviting claims for additional policing costs necessarily incurred during the fuel distribution emergency last year. Guidance was given that costs should be reasonable, proportionate to immediate local need and that claims should be audited in due course.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners had successfully completed (a) an offending behaviour programme and (b) a sex offender treatment programme by the most recent date for which figures are available; 
Mr. Boateng: The Prison Service estimates that between 1 April 2000 and 31 March 2001 there will be 6,512 completions of accredited offending behaviour programmes, of which 849 will be of the Sex Offender Treatment Programme (by 31 January there had been 4,034 completions, 332 of the Sex Offender Treatment Programme). However, these figures precede the annual round of audit and quality assurance, which determines the final number of formally recognised completions.
Between 1992, when the Prison Service introduced accredited offending behaviour programmes, and 31 March 2000 there have been 13,986 completions of formally audited and quality assured programmes, of which 4,094 were of the Sex Offender Treatment Programme.
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