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Smoke Alarms

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Fire Research and Development Group, Part II-Review of Research 1999-2000, what were the conclusions and recommendations of the report on domestic smoke alarms (advice to the public). [159788]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: No formal report of the research carried out by the Institute of Child Health (ICH) referred to in the Fire Research and Development Group (FRDG) document Review of Research 1999-2000 has been published.

The objective of the research was to determine whether the door-to-door distribution of free smoke alarms to inner-city residents in London would be effective in reducing the risk of residential fires, fire related casualties, and serious fire-related injuries and deaths. The programme was being conducted in Camden and Islington, areas identified as being of substantial risk and deprivation. It commenced in July 1997. The researchers provided some 20,000 smoke alarms, potentially sufficient to increase smoke alarm ownership by 50 per cent. in their intervention areas. However a year after the programme, the level of installed working alarms was found to be not significantly higher than it was in the control group (39 per cent. as opposed to 38 per cent).

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It is understood that the researchers feel the findings to date show the importance of not simply supplying smoke alarms, but of also having them installed professionally, if a 'give-away' initiative is to work.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of households owned smoke alarms in each fire authority area in (a) 1998 and (b) 1999. [159768]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is not available centrally.

Smoke alarm ownership data are collected on a national basis via surveys. The Home Office Fire Safety Attitudes and Awareness Monitor shows that (a) 82 per cent. of households owned a smoke alarm in 1998 and (b) 81 per cent. of households in 1999 owned a smoke alarm.

Scientific Staff (Attacks)

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government (a) have taken and (b) plan to take to protect scientific staff whose work involves animal testing from physical attacks and harassment directed at them because of their employment; and if he will make a statement. [158820]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government are totally committed to the protection of those working or otherwise connected with legitimate scientific research on animals.

Proposals aimed at preventing protests outside homes and strengthening the law on malicious communications and harassment have been included in the Criminal Justice and Police Bill currently before Parliament. In addition, the Government have published a consultation paper on the Government's strategy for tackling animal rights extremism, a copy of which is in the Library. We will continue to liaise closely with the police and other criminal justice agencies to ensure effective enforcement of the law in this area.


Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 November 2000, Official Report, column 750W, how many hours of work by departmentally employed staff were put in to pursue the Government's case in ADT v. UK; what the total sum of expenses claims put in by staff working on the Government's defence was; and how much was paid to legal staff not already employed by his Department for advice and work on the case. [158841]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Officials in the Home Office who worked on the Government's case in ADT v. UK did so as part of their wider duties of dealing with the law on sex offences. Records were not kept of the time taken in dealing with issues relating to this case. That was why I was unable to give the hon. Member an estimate of the total costs in defending the case in answer to the question he asked on 16 November.

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We estimate that the total sum of expenses claims made by staff in the Home Office in connection with the case amounted to approximately £530. The cost of non- departmental legal advice amounted to £3,058.53.

Government Funding (Walsall)

Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional funding has been allocated to (a) public and (b) private organisations in Walsall for (i) policing, (ii) crime reduction, (iii) community safety, (iv) regeneration and (v) drugs prevention and related matters for each year since 1996; and if he will identify the organisations and amounts allocated. [158922]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Details of funding for crime reduction, community safety and drugs prevention are in the table.

Regeneration is a matter for the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR).

West Midlands police received £2,791,185 in 2000-01 from the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) for the recruitment of police officers over and above previous plans. Estimated CFF provision for 2001-02 is £7,397,000 but the amount may vary according to the success of the force's recruitment efforts and the timing of recruitment. They also received £3.3 million from the Police Modernisation Fund in 2000-01 to target robbery specifically, of which £50,000 has been allocated to Walsall.

Grant supported funding from the Home Office and the DETR for the West Midlands police has been as follows: 1996-97 £344 million; 1997-98 £353.4 million; 1998-99 £371.9 million; 1999-2000 £380.6 million; 2000-01 £392.7 million; 2001-02 £409.7 million.

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Funding allocation area Initiative Grant recipientPublic or private sector Amount (£) Financial year (where appropriate)
Crime reductionCCTV ChallengeWalsall Metropolitan Borough CouncilPublic52,4001996-97
Crime reductionCCTV ChallengeWalsall Metropolitan Borough CouncilPublic105,4001997-98
Crime reductionYouth Justice Board Development FundWalsall Metropolitan Borough CouncilPublic71,7251999-2000 to 2000-01
Crime reductionYouth Justice Board--Youth Inclusion ProgrammeNACRO WalsallPrivate81,0651999-2000 to 2000-01
Crime reductionSplash schemeNACRO WalsallPrivate39,000(24)2000-01
Crime reductionDrug Arrest ReferralsWest Midlands Police Authority(25)Public5,0001999-2000
Crime reductionReducing BurglaryWalsall MBCPublic61,4072000-01
Crime reductionCCTVWalsall MBCPublic309,6292000-01
Crime ReductionNeighbourhood WardensWalsall Housing Regeneration agencyPrivate(26)41,0032000-01
Community safetyConnecting Communities GrantWalsall Strategic Race Equality GrantPrivate192,0002000-01
Community safetyConnecting Communities GrantWalsall Ethnic Business AssociationPrivate155,0002000-01
Drug preventionDAT (Drug Action Team) Development FundingWalsall DATPublic117,7111999-2000 to 2001-02
Drug preventionDrug Prevention EducationWalsall Health EducationPublic191,7051997-98 to 2001-02
Drugs preventionYouth ServiceWalsall MBC (Training for youth workers)Public96,0971997-98 to 2001-02
Drugs preventionYouth ServiceYouth Service (Walsall Walkways Project)Public25,0001996-97 to 1998-99
Drugs preventionCommunity WorkActivities funded through Health Action Zone programmesPublic146,0001999-2000 to 2000-01
Drug preventionTreatment for drug usersWalsall Health AuthorityPublic(27)1,617,9591997-98 to 2001-02

(24) One scheme run under Summer Splash and one under Easter Splash. Funds to this initiative are also provided by the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

(25) Grant is paid to Police Authority who then transfer it to Walsall Health Authority.

(26) Amount paid to date.

(27) Includes funds from the Department of Health.

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Firearms Compensation Scheme

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for compensation under the Firearms Compensation Scheme remain unsettled. [158906]

Mr. Charles Clarke: As at 25 April, of the initial 72,000 claims submitted, there were 623 claims made under the Firearms Compensation Scheme which have yet to be settled. Of these, payment of the compensation deemed appropriate under the Scheme has been made in 579 cases and we are currently awaiting return of final declarations of acceptance. Payment has been offered in the remaining 44 cases.

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