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12. Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to encourage safe havens for clubbers. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Following the sad deaths of three young men in Norwich, we welcome and support the local initiative to provide a refuge for vulnerable young people who are affected by alcohol on busy clubbing nights; we will see what wider lessons can be learned from it.
13. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 9 March 2001, Official Report, column 386W, on Hilda Murrell, if he will make a statement on the staged examinations of samples being carried out by the Forensic Science Service. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: West Mercia constabulary and the Forensic Science Service are working together on a structured approach to the examination of all potential DNA-bearing material relating to this case. This has involved setting up a staged process applying the DNA techniques in a priority order so as to conserve as far as possible samples for future analysis if the current tests are unsuccessful. The examinations have been carefully prioritised and are being undertaken in a sequential manner using the latest DNA techniques such as Second Generation Multiplex Plus and the more sophisticated Low Copy Number.
As I indicated in my answer of 9 March 2001, Official Report, column 386W, so far the test results have provided no positive results. The samples currently under examination are being processed as a Major Crime Service priority using the Low Copy Number method. The results of these tests are expected in the week beginning 23 April.
14. Liz Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the police regarding powers to close disorderly licensed premises. 
9 Apr 2001 : Column: 457W
15. Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with licensees and pub managers about police powers to close disorderly licensed premises. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have discussed on a number of recent occasions with both the Association of Chief Police Officers and the licensed trade the relevant provisions of the Criminal Justice and Police Bill.
16. Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what initiatives his Department has supported in Tower Hamlets to combat the drugs problem. 
Mr. Boateng: We have supported the work of the Drugs Action Team with:
some £64,000 for this year as the Home Office contribution to supporting services for young people under Drugs Action Team planning requirements;
£180,000 over the next three years for a community development project on the Ocean Estate;
over £76,000 last year and likely the same this for arrest referral schemes;
some £580,000 this year for treatment provision, to which the Home Office has made significant contribution.
17. Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice and assistance his Department offers to business watch schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: We do not provide any direct formal or financial assistance to business watch schemes, and there are no central records available as to the number of such schemes. We do, of course, welcome any such initiatives to combat crime. Among the projects to assist business to reduce crime is Business Crime Check which seeks to create, maintain and promote a database of information relevant to those who wish to reduce crime against business.
The Home Department is also intending to launch later this month a Business and Retail Crime Toolkit. This is one of 22 Toolkits that are designed to help provide local crime and disorder partnerships, and the wider community, with information about different crimes and ways to help tackle them. As well as outlining the main crimes affecting business this will include a guide to best practice in combating such crimes. It will also include information on how to go about setting up a project to tackle a problem as well accessing possible sources of funding.
18. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress made in agreeing protocols between health authorities and police on information exchange regarding individuals with severe personality disorders. 
9 Apr 2001 : Column: 458W
Mr. Boateng: It is vital for the effective protection of the public that there should be effective arrangements for information-sharing, between all the agencies involved, about anyone who may pose a serious risk to others because of a personality disorder or other mental disorder. In some parts of England and Wales health authorities do take part in the work of Multi-Agency Risk Panels and Public Protection Panels. In others, concerns about breaking professional codes of practice relating to patient confidentiality have prevented them from doing so. In the White Paper "Reforming the Mental Health Act", published on 20 December last year, we made it clear that new mental health legislation will create a statutory duty covering the disclosure of information between agencies in these circumstances.
19. Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 for the maintenance of law and order. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Human Rights Act will help the maintenance of law and order by the development of a culture of rights and responsibilities across the United Kingdom.
20. Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he is taking to reduce the number of robberies committed in England and Wales. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: We are determined to reduce the number of robberies. That is why we have given the five metropolitan forces an additional £20 million specifically to assist their efforts in tackling robbery, and have set them the challenging target of a 14 per cent. reduction of robbery in our principal cities by March 2005. The additional funds have enabled those forces to introduce a number of new initiatives and to reinforce good practice.
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has also launched a separate initiative with the police and the mobile phone industry to crack down on robbery of mobile phones. We have also published a Robbery Toolkit which is available to all forces and those involved in crime reduction and community safety and will help them to work as effectively as possible in tackling robbery.
21. Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make extra funds available to police forces to advise on drugs education programmes. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Drugs education in schools is a matter for the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. The police can, and do, support schools, but this must come from existing and planned provision.
22. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the number of applications for political asylum in the last 12 months. 
9 Apr 2001 : Column: 459W
Mrs. Roche: There were 75,720 asylum applications made from March 2000 to February 2001.
25. Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers who were refused asylum were deported in 2000. 
Mrs. Roche: 8,980 failed asylum seekers were removed or left voluntarily in 2000.
30. Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received on the criteria for assessing asylum applications. 
Mrs. Roche: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department receives a number of representations on a wide range of asylum issues, including the application of the 1951 Convention criteria for determining asylum claims.
Each application for asylum is considered on its individual merits to determine whether the applicant can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in a particular country for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
31. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the numbers of asylum seekers in the United Kingdom whose addresses are not known by his Department. 
Mrs. Roche: The precise number of asylum applicants whose address is not known could only be determined by examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost. However, in most cases a contact address is likely to have been given.
32. Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on choice of area for the placement of asylum seekers on the basis of local economic conditions. 
Mrs. Roche: Areas that are to be used as clusters are researched centrally by the National Asylum Support Service and there is a full consultation process to enable local authorities, usually through the Regional Consortia, to have input into the decision making process. Each area is considered on its own particular merits and factors such as economic conditions are taken into account. It is not the intention to exacerbate local economic difficulties but to achieve a fair and equitable dispersal.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers there are in the United Kingdom who have not yet had their application accepted. 
Mrs. Roche: The number of outstanding asylum applications awaiting an initial decision at the end of February 2001 was 49,690.
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