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Chief Constables

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) general guidance and (b) specific instructions are issued to chief constables on the contacts they may have with hon. Members in the run up to a General Election by (i) him and (ii) other organisations. [155733]

Mr. Charles Clarke: No such guidance or instructions are issued by the Home Office. I understand that the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers has written to Chief Constables' colleagues requesting that they facilitate visits to forces and local police stations by parliamentary candidates during a general election campaign.

Asylum Support

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the review into the workings of the asylum support system will be concluded; and if he will make a statement. [156092]

Mrs. Roche: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard) on 8 January 2001, Official Report, column 413W.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers are being supported by NASS in each area of the country; and if he will make a statement. [156089]

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Mrs. Roche: The number of asylum seekers (including dependants) allocated support by National Asylum Support Service (NASS), as at the end of February 2001, were as follows:

RegionAllocated accommodationAllocated voucher support onlyTotal
East Midlands1,2002201,420
East of England40810840
Greater London4208,1208,540
North East4,010304,040
North West5,1002205,320
North Ireland40(43)--40
South Central2701,5301,790
South West520180700
West Midlands2,3302102,540
Yorkshire and Humberside5,1801005,280

(43) Indicates between 1 and 4. All figures rounded to the nearest ten so may not add up to totals.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the fraudulent use of vouchers will be part of the review of the working of the voucher support system; and if he will make a statement. [156090]

Mrs. Roche: A number of respondents to the review of the operation of the asylum voucher scheme have commented on the fraudulent use of vouchers and their comments will be taken into consideration.

Thouria Zaghali

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department received an application from Mrs. Thouria Zaghali (reference B469820-2) for leave to settle in the United Kingdom as the spouse of a British citizen; and when he will take decision on the application. [156085]

Mrs. Roche: Mrs. Zaghali's current application for leave to remain was made in December 1999. It has now been decided to grant her leave to remain on the basis of marriage.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to establish a more secure method of delivering passports to UK citizens who have had their passports renewed. [156000]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 22 March 2001]: The United Kingdom Passport Agency regularly reviews the methods it uses to send passports to its customers. The vast majority of the five million passports the Agency issues annually by first class post arrive safely at their destinations. The Agency has no plans to change its present arrangements, but is working closely with the Royal Mail to improve security of passports in the post.

Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his current policy is with regard to the licensing under the Animals (Scientific

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Procedures) Act 1986 of the production of monoclonal antibodies by the ascites method; and if he will make a statement. [156757]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We announced in November 1997 our decision to phase out the licensing under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 of monoclonal antibody production using ascitic mice unless exceptional scientific justification exists. Under this policy, new licences are not issued unless clear evidence is presented that in vitro attempts at production have failed or that the use of animals is justified for specific diagnostic or therapeutic products. An outright ban is not possible without primary legislation, and it is recognised that monoclonal antibodies have particular value in the diagnosis of infectious diseases and in the treatment of some types of cancer.

Only three new authorities have been issued for this work since this policy came fully into effect on 1 January 1999. I shall personally consider any future proposal to grant a licence using this procedure.

Departmental Policies (North Cornwall)

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the North Cornwall constituency, the effects on North Cornwall of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [156125]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office is working to build a safe, just and tolerant society in which the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and communities are properly balanced, and the protection and security of the public are maintained. Detailed information on the impact of Home Office policies across the full range of responsibilities is set out in Home Office Annual Reports. A copy of the most recent report is available in the Library. Information on recorded crime and policing is also published. 'Recorded Crime England and Wales, 12 months to September 2000' and 'Police Service Strength England and Wales, 30 September 2000' can be found in the Library. The recorded crime statistics include information on recorded crime by Basic Command Unit and Crime and Disorder partnerships.

The impact of Home Office policies and actions is not normally examined by constituency and the statistics which the Department collects, such as recorded crime, cannot be matched in the way requested although set out are examples relating to the North Cornwall constituency or the immediate locality:

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Restormel borough council in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary were awarded £70,000 under round 1 of the CCTV Initiative for a mobile scheme consisting of one vehicle and two cameras. This will compliment the existing town centre schemes at Newquay and St Austell allowing crime and anti-social issues to be targeted in a borough council area which is predominantly rural.

Targeted Policing Initiative

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary were awarded £950,000 under round 2 of the Targeted Policing Initiative for a project to reduce violent crime linked to alcohol abuse (Operation Amethyst). The project will provide

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immediate support to victims of domestic violence at hospital Accident and Emergency Departments. It will tackle on and off licensed premises selling alcohol to those under the legal age limit. A media campaign will be launched to publicise the negative effects of alcohol. Youth workers will be provided to work with those people misusing alcohol. Other aims of the project include: creating an Alcohol Assessment Stabilisation Programme in conjunction with an arrest referral scheme; management of the licensing environment; creation of a Safety Advisory Group to provide guidance and advice, and provide education about alcohol.

Reducing Burglary Initiative

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in partnership with North Cornwall District Council were awarded approximately £5,000 for a project in Launceston aimed at elderly residents. The proposed interventions include training for dealing with callers, a media campaign, life-line alarms and other security upgrades and community awareness training.

Youth Offending

North Cornwall is covered by the Cornwall Youth Offending Team (YOT). The YOT directly provides assessment and intervention work in support of: final warnings; bail support and supervision services; supervision of youth court orders and throughcare and post release supervision for young people sentenced to custody. The YOT also provides responsible officers for child safety and parenting orders. The YOT also manage the delivery of services supplied by other agencies including: drugs misuse assessment and intervention accessed through the RAPIDLY project, which is funded with the assistance of the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and the Health Action Zone; and the Hot Spot project dealing with young fire setters, which operates as a collaborative venture involving the Fire Service, Dreadnought and Social Services. The YJB are contributing approximately £197,000 to the RAPIDLY project. This project aims to reduce youth offending by rapid intervention with persons who are offending through substance misuse. The objective is to reduce young people's involvement in substance abuse, directly and indirectly related to youth offending, improve their health, education and employment. The level of intervention varies ranging from information and education, counselling and an activity based programme to medical treatment. The YJB is also contributing £125,000 to a Bail Support Scheme. This project aims to enable more young offenders to remain in the community or in non-secure accommodation prior to sentencing.

More generally, all of the policies of the Home Office will impact on the residents of North Cornwall to a greater or lesser extent. For example:

Information on the Home Office and its policies is also published on its website (

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