Previous Section Index Home Page

CCTV (Chorley)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what effect CCTV cameras in Chorley have had on the reduction of crime in Chorley; and if he will make a statement on crime levels in Chorley in each of the past five years. [156696]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Police operational experience and general research studies show that Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) has considerable crime reduction and detection potential, particularly when used as part of a wider strategy.

Lancashire Police statistics show a reduction of 34 per cent. in the overall crime levels in Chorley town centre in the year following the installation of cameras in December 1996.

An independent assessment into the impact of the Chorley borough mobile CCTV system implemented in May 1999 will be carried out shortly.

2 Apr 2001 : Column: 75W

Schemes funded under the Crime Reduction Programme CCTV Initiative will be evaluated to build up the knowledge base of what works best in what context. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships will also be evaluating schemes locally.

Crime levels for local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, including Chorley, have been collected and published for the last 18 months for six types of crime: violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, burglary dwelling, theft of motor vehicles and theft from motor vehicles.

The latest figures are contained in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 1-01 "Recorded Crime England and Wales: 12 months to September 2000".

Departmental Files

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the file reference N194181/2 will be released from the enforcement section of IND. [156727]

Mrs. Roche: Further inquiries are being made in this case and a decision will be made as soon as the relevant information has been received.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to revise the system whereby the awards made to victims of crime are reduced if they have previous medical conditions. [156361]

Mr. Charles Clarke: If an injury sustained by a victim of a crime of violence exacerbates a pre-existing medical condition, any award made under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in respect of that injury will only reflect the degree of exacerbation. There are no plans to change this.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to revise the current Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority tariffs system. [156362]

Mr. Charles Clarke: In March 2001 Parliament approved, under the affirmative resolution procedure, a package of significant improvements to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, costing some £20 million in a full year. These included both presentational changes and changes of substance to the tariff of awards. The changes came into force on 1 April 2001.

No further changes to the scheme are planned at this time.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the Passport Office regarding the security of passports processed by the Post Office. [155998]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 29 March 2001]: Officials in the United Kingdom Passport Agency have recently held discussions with the Royal Mail about the security of passports in the post. The Passport Agency is concerned about the number of passports which are reported as "lost in the post" and is seeking to work more closely with the Royal Mail to combat this problem.

2 Apr 2001 : Column: 76W

Police and Fire Service Training

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to improve the quality of Operational Command Training in the Police and Fire Services. [155779]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The main elements of operational command training for the police service in England and Wales are the Command Team Programme, the Strategic Command Course, and the Chief Police Officers Development Programme.

The Director of National Police Training will be leading a fundamental review of senior officer training and development over the next few months. That review will take account of the work to develop a national competency framework for the police service, which is nearing completion, and the establishment of a Police National Training Organisation (NTO) in May 2001.

In the fire service, training in Operational Command is provided partly on a local basis in brigades and at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh. At present the training provided at the Fire Service College is based on the current ranks and roles of the Fire Service. These ranks and roles are currently under review and part of this work is the development of National Occupational Standards for Operational Command.

Guidance has also been issued to the Fire Service on Incident Command. In 1999, Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate produced the Fire Service Manual on Incident Command to ensure national unity in the command systems used by all the United Kingdom Fire Brigades.

Emergency Powers Legislation

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what criteria are applied in deciding whether to declare a state of emergency; [156204]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 30 March 2001]: The Emergency Powers Act 1920 (as amended in 1964) specifies in Section 1(I) that:

Once a State of Emergency has been declared regulations may be made, by Order in Council, to secure that essentials of life, and these may confer or impose powers or duties on a Secretary of State, Government Department, or others, to preserve the peace, secure and regulate the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel, light and other necessities; maintain the means of transit or locomotion, and for any other purposes essential to the public safety and the life of the community.

2 Apr 2001 : Column: 77W

Parliament needs to be sitting (or recalled within five days if adjourned or prorogued) as both Houses need to approve any regulations that have been made within seven days, otherwise they lapse. There is no reference in the Emergency Powers Act 1920 to local or general elections.


Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply substantively to the letter of 24 September 2000 from the hon. Member for Hereford, ref. 1597/1; and if he will make a statement. [154073]

Mr. Boateng [holding answer 16 March 2001]: I replied to the hon. Member's letter on 29 March.

Isho Judgment

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the Isho judgment. [156519]

Mrs. Roche: I assume the hon. Member is referring to the judgment by the Court of Appeal last December in the case of Isiko. This was a welcome and important judgment, and represents a helpful clarification of the legal position. Consideration of those cases which had been held pending the outcome of this case has now been resumed.


African Meat Imports

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 12 March 2001, Official Report, column 482W, when he was first informed of the risks to animal health of meat imported from Africa. [154213]

Ms Quin: [holding answer 16 March 2001]: The possible animal health risk arising from the disease situation in some African countries has been known for many years. That is why long-standing import controls remain in place.

Foot and Mouth

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many suspected foot and mouth disease cases have been reported in Cambridgeshire in the past three months; and, in each case, how much time elapsed between notification of the suspected case and the visit of a Ministry veterinary surgeon. [155070]

Ms Quin [holding answer 22 March 2001]: In the past three months there has been one suspected case of foot and mouth in Cambridgeshire which proved negative. The case was notified to MAFF, investigated and resolved on 9 March 2001.

2 Apr 2001 : Column: 78W

Mr. Ruane: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the countries that have endemic foot and mouth that have exported beef to the UK in the past year. [155291]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 March 2001]: The importation of meat is permitted from a limited number of countries where foot and mouth disease is present and where the veterinary authorities have contained the disease in specific regions. EC rules permit imports from those regions of the relevant countries which are not considered to pose a risk to human or animal health. Fully matured boneless beef, which does not pose an FMD risk may be imported from other regions subject to veterinary certification. Countries to which these controls currently apply are Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay. Imports of beef have arrived in the UK from all of these countries in the past year with the exception of Colombia where there are no EC approved establishments. Because of their FMD situation prohibitions are currently in place on imports of meat of FMD susceptible species from South Africa, Swaziland and Argentina. All meat imported from third countries is subject to veterinary checks at Border Inspection Posts to ensure that import requirements are met.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures he has in place to prevent the spread of the foot and mouth infection back from France to Britain. [155991]

Ms Quin: On 15 March 2001 the Government acted to make it illegal to import meat and other products of FMD susceptible species from France, unless they comply with the conditions for the export of such products from France set out in Community law.

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many zoos in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland have been temporarily closed since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. [156329]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not held by central Government. However, we understand from the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland, which represents most of the larger zoos in the country, that 39 of its 61 members have been closed or part closed because of foot and mouth. Eight of these have recently re-opened, or are about to re-open. The remaining Federation zoos have either remained open throughout or have been closed for other reasons, such as flooding or the winter season.

Next Section Index Home Page