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Illegal Trafficking (Prostitution)

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers he has to prevent the trafficking of women and girls in to the United Kingdom for sexual exploitation and prostitution; and what action is being taken at international level to combat such exploitation. [157527]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 10 April 2001]: The Sex Offences Review recommended to Government in "Setting the Boundaries" that there should be a specific new offence of trafficking for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation for reward. The Government are considering that recommendation in the light of the responses to the report. The Home Office is also co-ordinating a wide range of work by various Government Departments in relation to establishing trafficking offences. These measures support and supplement work being done internationally both in the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). The United Kingdom has already signed the UN Protocol on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children; and is taking part in discussions within the EU on proposals to establish common offences and penalties in relation to preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, paying particular attention to the sexual exploitation of women and children.

The EU funded STOP programme exists to encourage, support and reinforce practical co-operation to tackle trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation in children. The International Organisation for Migration, of which the United Kingdom is a full member, is also engaged on work in this field.

Apart from prosecution for other offences, traffickers who attempt to facilitate the illegal entry of their victims may be prosecuted for the offence of facilitation which now carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.

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Alternatively, or in addition, such traffickers who are also foreign nationals may also be refused leave to enter the United Kingdom.

Apart from prosecuting traffickers, the National Crime Squad, National Criminal Intelligence Service, Immigration Service, Police and Europol are all actively involved in the gathering and dissemination of intelligence on trafficking and people smuggling. This work has been co-ordinated through a multi-agency taskforce entitled Project Reflex. The establishment of a network of Immigration Liaison Officers at strategic locations will further facilitate the exchange of information. The announcement by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in his reply to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Cleethorpes (Shona McIsaac) on 5 April 2001, Official Report, column 256W, of an additional £90 million over three years to combat organised crime includes an additional £22.5 million in support of Project Reflex. This new money will enable further work to be carried out to combat trafficking and people smuggling, including the establishment of a joint team drawn from the National Crime Squad and Immigration Service. The EU is working closely together, drawing upon existing co-operation, to tackle the criminals responsible for this horrific trade.

Departmental Policies (Cannock Chase)

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Cannock Chase constituency, the effects on Cannock Chase of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [158067]

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, "Home Office Annual Report 2000-2001", 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 Cannock Chase constituency or the immediate locality:

Reducing Burglary Initiative (RBI)

Under round one of the RBI Staffordshire Police were awarded £529,000 for a project to deal with prolific offenders in Staffordshire.

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Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Cannock district council received approximately £488,000 for two schemes submitted under round one of the CCTV initiative. The Benion Road Estate scheme was awarded £322,000 for a 13 camera system covering a housing estate that suffers from incidents of burglary, violence against the person and anti-social behaviour. Hednesford Town Centre Car Parks was awarded £165,000 for a scheme covering the main shopping street, four car parks, the bus station and Hednesford railway station.

Cannock Chase council have two schemes to a capital value of £211,000 shortlisted for further consideration under round two of the CCTV initiative.

Youth Offending

The Youth Justice Board are contributing approximately £55,000 to a Bail Supervision Scheme being run in Staffordshire which covers the Cannock Chase area. The main objectives of this scheme are: to identify and target prior to court those young people who are at risk of being remanded to custody or secure accommodation; to present programmes to the court at first and subsequent appearances, for alternative options to secure remand for young people.

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

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

Jay Abatan

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the Essex police review's finding about the Sussex police's decision that the fatal assault on Jay Abatan was not racially motivated; [157145]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Essex police conducted a review of the initial criminal investigation by Sussex police, which considered their treatment of the possibility that the assault on Jay Abatan was racially motivated. Although the Essex review did raise a number of concerns with regard to lessons which could be learnt from the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, it does not specifically criticise Sussex police for not treating the assault on Jay Abatan as racially motivated.

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In the light of the findings of the Essex review, Sussex police have now asked Avon and Somerset constabulary to undertake a further Inquiry to establish whether any disciplinary offences have been committed. Sussex police voluntarily referred this Inquiry to the Police Complaints Authority for supervision in December 2000. The terms of reference are: to investigate the handling by Sussex police of the assault on Jay Abatan on 24 January 1999 which led to his death on 29 January 1999 with specific reference to:

As this Inquiry is still on-going, I do not believe that it would be appropriate or helpful for me to comment further or meet with the family of Jay Abatan at this stage.

Departmental Running Costs

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total gross running costs were to his Department in the 12 months ending 30 April 1997 of (a) stationery and (b) printing and publishing. [157620]

Mr. Straw: The total gross running costs to my Department in the 12 months ending 30 April 1997 were (a) £2,449,710 for stationery and (b) £1,614,168 for printing and publishing.

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