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Ground Control Technologies

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 April 2001, Official Report, column 68W, what advice was given to the DSAC on (a) the social impact of the use of plastic baton rounds and (b) the views of victims' organisations. [158045]

Mr. Charles Clarke: None. The Defence Scientific Advisory Council considered the scientific and technological issues in relation to this equipment.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 April 2001, Official Report, column 68W, how many police forces and other bodies are to be equipped with the L21A1 plastic baton round; what his estimate is of the cost of re-equipping each force; how many L21A1 baton rounds have been ordered in each force and at what cost; how many L104 anti-riot guns have been ordered and at what cost; how many XL18E3 optical sight mechanisms have been ordered for each force and at what cost; and what is his estimate of the cost of retraining each unit to be equipped with new equipment. [158037]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Twenty-four police forces in England and Wales presently have baton guns. No additional baton guns have been ordered, but new sights to adapt the weapons which already exist have been ordered. Those forces which have the weapon will have already been training in its use and no additional training costs are known to have arisen as a result of the new equipment.

I wish to consider further, in consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers, whether information on the holdings of individual forces can be released without prejudicing operational effectiveness.

Lewes Prison

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the recent report by the Board of Visitors into conditions at Lewes Prison. [158340]

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Mr. Boateng: This report is currently under consideration and I will be replying shortly to all the issues raised by the Board. When I have done so, I will ensure that a copy of my reply is placed in the Library.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers in 2000 (a) left voluntarily and (b) were involuntarily deported. [158272]

Mrs. Roche: The number of failed asylum seekers who were removed in 2000 was 8,980. This figure includes 550 people who left under the Voluntary Assisted Returns Programme (VARP). It also includes people who left voluntarily in accordance with arrangements notified to the Immigration Service following the commencement of enforcement action. It is not possible to quantify the latter group. However, with the exception of those leaving under VARP, all recorded removals are enforced to some extent, either by escorting to the final point of destination or by the Immigration Service arranging or monitoring the departure. Information is not available on people who leave voluntarily without informing the Immigration Service.

Football Policing

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what income police authorities in England received from premier league football clubs in 1999-2000. [158273]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information is not available.

The decision whether to charge for costs of policing at local events is for the local police authority and the Chief Constable. Under Section 25 (1) of the Police Act 1996

Home Office guidance is that where police charge for special services arrangements should be made for full recovery of costs. This should include the total cost of a police officer including pay, overtime, national insurance, notional pension charges, rent allowance, compensatory grant, uniform, administration costs, and overheads such as costs of travel to and from the ground etc. This is reflected in the Audit Commission report "Taking care of the coppers" (November 1990) which sets out methodology for charging.

Prison Inspections

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he has taken to ensure that the recommendations for reforming conditions at the Stoke Heath Young Offenders' Institution made by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons following his visit to Stoke Heath last October are fully and promptly carried out; and if he will ensure that frequent, irregular spot checks without prior warning are carried out in future. [158374]

Mr. Boateng: A new Governor and Deputy have been appointed and an action plan addressing all the recommendations is required to be produced within

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30 working days of publication. This is monitored by line management with progress reports to Ministers nine and 15 months after publication.

In the 2000-01 financial year, the Area Manager made 16 visits to the establishment; Area Managers are normally expected to make eight visits per year to each establishment. There is clear evidence of improvement in regime delivery and management under the new Governor and Deputy. The Area Manager is satisfied that his normal visiting arrangements, which may include unannounced visits, will now be sufficient to monitor the implementation of the action plan.

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he has taken to ensure that the safety and proper treatment of young offenders and adult prisoners are not entrusted to the former governor and deputy governor of the Stoke Heath Young Offenders' Institution in Shropshire. [158373]

Mr. Boateng: The former Governor of Stoke Heath young offender institution has retired from the Prison Service. There is no evidence that the former Deputy Governor is not capable of performing an operational role under the supervision of a suitable governing Governor.

Election Mailshots

Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the amount necessary to be made available to the Post Office to cover the delivery of post-free election material in 2001. [158216]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: If there is a general election in 2001, we estimate that the delivery costs of candidates' election mailings for that election will amount to around £17.6 million at current rates, though this is dependent on the number of candidates taking advantage of this entitlement. If there were by-elections, the costs would depend on their number and the number of candidates participating.

Test Purchasing

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussion he has had with other Government Departments on the use of children of compulsory school age in undertaking test purchasing on behalf of local authority trading standards departments during school hours; and if he will make a statement; [158493]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Home Office Circular 17/1992 on the provisions of the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991 included guidance on the use of children to make test purchases. A copy of the Circular is in the Library. We are aware that the Association of London Chief Trading Standards Officers subsequently published a code of practice for use in the London area, covering the enforcement of legislation concerning the sale of age-restricted goods which drew on the guidance in the Circular. The Home Office has not

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subsequently had discussions with other Departments with a view to issuing further guidance. It is, however, our intention to do so, and to consult the Local Government Association, in relation to the provisions in the Criminal Justice and Police Bill, once enacted, which authorise the test purchasing of alcohol.

Departmental Policies (Plymouth)

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to (a) Plymouth, Sutton constituency, (b) Plymouth, Devonport constituency and (c) South-West Devon constituency, the effects on the Plymouth unitary authority area of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [158030]

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 2000-01, 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 Plymouth unitary authority area or the immediate locality:

Reducing Burglary Initiative (RBI)

Under round one of the RBI Devon and Cornwall constabulary in partnership with Plymouth city council have been awarded approximately £171,000 for projects focusing on Houses of Multiple Occupancy in the seven central wards in Plymouth. Interventions include: analysis of burglary patterns and methods of entries relating to multiple occupancy dwellings; improving the standards of security in city-centre and university multiple occupancy dwellings; provide security publicity and advice, and through establishing a Certificate of Home Security and an accompanying inspections regime (through training existing property inspectors). It will encourage the formation of neighbourhood watch schemes among residents in multiple occupancy dwellings and identify and target vulnerable properties through the existing Homesafe target hardening scheme.

Under round two, £70,000 has been awarded to various areas. The main interventions proposed in these areas are target hardening, education and improved detection methodology in an area covering 20 high-crime streets.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Plymouth city council was awarded approximately £114,000 for a scheme to upgrade existing equipment covering the car parks and surrounding areas of Derriford

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Hospital. Plymouth city council have two bids to a total capital of almost £855,000 shortlisted for further consideration under round two of the CCTV initiative.

Youth Offending

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) is currently funding several schemes to tackle youth offending that cover the Plymouth area. The YJB are currently providing funding for five Intervention Schemes, one Bail Supervision scheme, a Youth Inclusion project and Easter and Summer Splash schemes. The Easter and Summer Splash schemes aim to address offending by young people (especially 13 to 17-year-olds) during school holiday periods. The results have been extremely encouraging. The five areas traditionally associated with youth crime--burglary, motor crime, criminal damage, street robbery and juvenile nuisance all showed significant reductions compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. In the Plymouth area, the Barne Barton and Honicknowle areas have been involved in this scheme.

The Youth Inclusion programme seeks to reduce offending, truancy and exclusion on disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The project aims to do this by providing targeted assistance and support to the 13 to 16-year-olds most at risk of offending, truancy or exclusion. The Barne Barton neighbourhood has received £68,500 from the YJB for each year the programme is fully operational. A further £6,500 per project is paid direct to local evaluators. In return the project must match this grant funding with minimum local (partnership) funding in cash or in-kind of £75,000 per full year.

There are five Intervention Schemes being run in the Plymouth area. The FIVE Project (Education, Training and Employment) is a partnership of the Prince's Trust with the Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) and local education authorities in five cities of England and Wales. It works with young offenders and those at risk of offending, aged 14-17, through the provision of two Prince's Trust programmes. These mentoring and education programmes can be used in support of Final Warnings to young offenders. The YJB have contributed approximately £340,000 to this scheme. The YJB are also contributing almost £248,000 to Plymouth Community Justice Project. This restorative justice project includes Family Group Conferencing, Victim Offender Mediation, direct and indirect reparation to the community where possible. The project will involve young people at all stages of the Criminal Justice System (Final Warning, Action Plan Orders, Supervision Order, Detention and Training Orders).

Plymouth Community Justice Project--Mentoring is aimed at Persistent Young Offenders and those on Bail Support programmes, together with other young offenders at risk of further offending or harmful behaviour. The objectives of this project include reducing offending, reducing the risk of offending, increasing the numbers on bail attending court and not offending while on bail, demonstrating an improvement in the young person's self esteem/confidence and contributing to the target Behaviour Support Plan to reduce school exclusions. The YJB are contributing £176,000 to this project.

Plymouth Community Justice Project--Education and Employment Inclusion Programme is receiving £78,000 from the YJB. This targets a wide group of young people, particularly those excluded or at risk of exclusion. The

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project seeks to address young people who fall outside of the employment and benefits system. Links have been developed with other appropriate services and also with those professionals responsible for Looked After Children to ensure they access the service. CARA (Children and Adolescent Risk Assessment) is a project providing assessment and basic therapeutic interventions for those children and young people who have committed offences of a sexual nature or who are considered to be at risk of doing so with the objective of preventing further offences. This project has been awarded approximately £104,000 by the YJB.

The YJB are contributing approximately £134,000 to a Bail Support Scheme in the Plymouth area. This scheme aims to reduce re-offending by 10 per cent., to reduce remands in custody by 10 per cent. and to reduce secure remands by 10 per cent.

More generally, all of the policies of the Home Office will impact on the residents of the Plymouth unitary authority area 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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