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Closed Circuit Television Initiative

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were received for the

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crime reduction programme closed circuit television initiative round 2; how many have been invited to bid for the final stage; and how many successful bids can be accommodated within the budget provision. [157383]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Under round 2 of the crime reduction programme's closed circuit television initiative over 800 initial funding applications worth more than £200 million were received from crime and disorder reduction partnerships. On 26 March, 339 schemes with a potential award total of around £108 million were shortlisted as suitable for further development. Within the budget provision there is scope for all of the shortlisted bids to be funded providing that proposals meet the necessary criteria as outlined in the initiative's prospectus.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, by county, those applicants who have been invited to the final bid stage of the closed circuit television initiative round 2. [157379]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Under round 2 of the crime reduction programme's closed circuit television initiative, 339 schemes with a potential award total of around £108 million were shortlisted as suitable for further development. A list, by county, of those applicants that have been invited to the final stage of the initiative has been placed in the Library.

Firearms (Police)

Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place a copy of the January 2001 Association of Chief Police Officers manual of guidance on the police use of firearms, in the Library. [157319]

Mr. Charles Clarke: A copy of this document in the version which is available to the public was placed in the Library on 20 February. Certain tactical and training information contained in the full manual must remain confidential because of its potential value to armed criminals.

Abandoned Vehicles

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to strengthen the powers of the police and local authorities to deal with illegally abandoned cars. [157257]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Local Government Association has set up a working group, in partnership with the police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, to look at the related problems of vehicle theft, vehicle excise duty evasion and abandoned vehicles. The Government will consider carefully any recommendations arising from the work of this group, including any proposals for additional powers to enable the police and local authorities deal more effectively with abandoned vehicles.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vehicles removed by (a) the police and (b) local authorities have been declared a hazard in the past five years. [157389]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested is not collected or held centrally.

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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vehicle-keepers have been prosecuted for illegally abandoning their vehicles in the past five years. [157388]

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

Abandoning a motor vehicle is an offence under section 2 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, but information contained in the Home Office's Court Proceedings Database does not distinguish between motor vehicles, anything which formed part of a motor vehicle or anything other than a motor vehicle being abandoned. Nor does it distinguish vehicle keepers from other persons.

Persons proceeded against for all offences under section 2 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 in England and Wales are as follows:

Year Number
199488
199598
199677
199778
199871
1999108

Figures for 2000 are not yet available.

Criminal Records Bureau

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate the cost to public funds of exempting volunteers from fees for criminal record checks. [157348]

Mr. Charles Clarke: It remains our intention that the Criminal Records Bureau will be self-financing by means of the charges that it makes for the disclosures that it issues.

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to ensure that information held by the Criminal Records Bureau is as accurate as possible before checks become available to employers; and if he will make a statement. [157171]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) will rely on a number of data sources, according to the nature of the case. The CRB has been liaising with all those responsible for the data sources in question. We fully recognise, and entirely share, concerns that have been expressed about delays in inputting data on to the Police National Computer, and errors and omissions in some of the data. Indeed, these were highlighted by reports commissioned by the Government. We have been working closely with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO), the Information Commissioner and other concerned parties to tackle these problems. Police forces are now working to a compliance strategy that has been drawn up by ACPO. This sets quantified performance indicators for key aspects of both quality and timeliness, including the prompt inputting of data both in the initial stages of a case and following the conclusion of trial proceedings. There are also agreed programmes to

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tackle backlogs. Performance data for all forces are being routinely collected by PITO, and HMIC will be auditing performance. HMIC will be disseminating to all forces, through conferences and other means, information on good practice in relation to business processes in order to eradicate avoidable delays. Work is also being undertaken to produce revised protocols for weeding out old records, and the development by PITO of programs for the automated implementation of these protocols will be given priority.

Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what investigation there has been of the aircraft accident involving the Chief Commisisoner of the Metropolitan Police by (a) the Air Accident Investigation Branch and (b) the Police; and if he will make a statement. [157362]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I understand that the circumstances surrounding the emergency landing made by an aircraft piloted by Sir John Stevens at Newcastle- upon-Tyne airport on 3 February have been investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the Department of Trade and Industry. The results of the AAIB investigation will be published in the AAIB monthly bulletin. There has been no investigation of the incident by Northumbria Police.

Firearms Compensation Payments

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions his Department has accepted liability for interest on late firearms compensation payments. [157262]

Mr. Charles Clarke: None.

Road Traffic Penalties Consultation

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many responses he has received to the Road Traffic Penalties consultation paper; and when he will report on these to the House. [157416]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We have received approximately 1,100 responses to the consultation paper on Road Traffic Penalties. Some individuals have responded more than once, for example by e-mail, fax, letter or through their Member of Parliament. This duplication will be taken into account in the final collation of responses and the final number of respondents will be correspondingly lower. We hope to publish a report on the responses in the summer.

Huntingdon Life Sciences

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent investigations he has carried out into the activities at Huntingdon Life Sciences; and if he will make a statement. [157422]

Mr. Charles Clarke: A number of police forces in the Eastern Region are pooling resources and working together on investigations relating to attacks by animal extremists. This joint working includes investigating personal attacks on directors and shareholders of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) and other research centres; a shared approach to preparations for national days of action at the HLS site and other sites in the

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affected force areas; investigating the organisers and other key individuals in the many cross-border demonstrations which take place; and linking evidence where necessary.

The Government are absolutely determined to tackle the sort of criminal behaviour perpetrated by animal rights extremists, many of whom do not hesitate to use violence and intimidation to achieve their aims. Both the Government and the police are determined to ensure that people should be allowed to go about their legitimate business without being subject to violence and intimidation. We are introducing a range of measures aimed at combating such intimidation, including important new provisions in the Criminal Justice and Police Bill currently before Parliament.


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