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Crime (Walsall)

Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money was given directly to (a) the local authority and voluntary organisations and (b) the police in Walsall by his Department to aid in crime reduction and crime prevention in each year since 1997. [158743]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Amounts paid as grant under various Home Office initiatives to support crime reduction are as follows.

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Initiative Grant recipientLocal authority, voluntary sector or police Financial year Amount (£)
CCTV ChallengeWalsall metropolitan borough councilLocal authority1996-9752,400
CCTV ChallengeWalsall metropolitan borough councilLocal authority1997-98105,400
Youth Justice Board Development FundWalsall metropolitan borough councilLocal authority1999-200055,648
Drug Arrest ReferralsWest Midlands police authority(30)Police 1999-20005,000
2000-0162,552
Youth Justice Board Development FundWalsall metropolitan borough councilLocal authority2000-0116,464
Reducing BurglaryWalsall metropolitan borough councilLocal authority2000-0161,407
CCTVWalsall metropolitan borough councilLocal authority2000-01309,629
Neighbourhood WardensWalsall Housing Regeneration AgencyVoluntary sector2000-0141,003

(30) Grant is paid to police authority who then transfer it to Walsall health authority


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Special Advisers (Overseas Visits)

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions between 31 March 2000 and 31 March 2001 (a) departmental and (b) non- departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity. [158559]

Mr. Straw: I have two departmental special advisers, one of whom made one official visit abroad between 31 March 2000 and 31 March 2001. The visit was a fact-finding programme to the United States of America to discuss law and order issues with policy advisers and practitioners. The visit was made in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code. My second special adviser was in the United States of America at the same time and attended parts of the programme but his visit was not supported by public funds.

Police (West Sussex)

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers, patrol officers and community beat officers there were in West Sussex in 1997; and how many there are today. [158597]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information in the table has been provided by the Chief Constable of the Sussex police. I understand that of the five divisions that police the county of West Sussex two of them also police parts of the County of East Sussex, the number of officers available to police West Sussex will therefore vary from week to week.

I am also told that because of changes to computer systems in December 1999 the force is unable to provide historical information about the distribution of officers between the divisions of the Sussex police. However, the force has been able to provide an estimate for 1997, which is based on the current distribution of police officers to divisions, and these are in the table.

Number of police officers in West Sussex area of the Sussex police

31 March 199731 March 2001
Total number of police officers916883
Response (patrol) officers456442
Community beat officers181174

Lord Birt

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been claimed to date

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by Lord Birt in out-of-pocket expenses in respect of his role as a Government adviser on crime; and if he will make a statement. [158227]

Mr. Straw: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker) on 17 November 2000, Official Report, column 801W. Lord Birt has not claimed out-of-pocket expenses since then.

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) average sentence for people imprisoned for Housing Benefit fraud and (b) average length of time served by people imprisoned for Housing Benefit fraud was in each of the last five years. [158674]

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

The offences of Housing Benefit fraud and Council Tax Benefit fraud are not separately identified on the Home Office's Court Proceedings Database.

Appointments (Age Limits)

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what age limit is placed on appointments to public bodies in his Department; if this limit is mentioned in advertisements for such posts; and what the basis for this limit is. [158108]

Mr. Straw: With the following exceptions, no age limits are placed on appointments to non-departmental public bodies sponsored by this Department.

The Information Commissioner

The Data Protection Act 1998 requires the Information Commissioner to vacate office on completing the year of service in which he/she attains the age of 65. This requirement is reflected in advertisements.

Parole Board

No mention is made of any age limit in the advertisement, but in the information pack sent to applicants (other than members of the judiciary) it states that candidates should be aged 70 or less on completion of the fixed term of three years.

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Criminal Cases Review Commission and Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel

The information pack states that applicants are likely to be over 40 and should be under 70 at the time of appointment. However, these limits are applied flexibly and are not mentioned in the advertisement.

Data Protection Tribunal

In most circumstances, an age limit of 70 is applied to lay members in line with the designated retirement age of the chairman and deputy chairman, who are appointed by the Lord Chancellor. These posts are not advertised.

Office of the Surveillance Commissioners

The Chief Surveillance Commissioner and the Surveillance Commissioner are required to retire at 75 and must therefore be under 72 years on appointment for a fixed term of three years. These posts are not advertised. Assistant Surveillance Commissioners are required to retire at 72 and must therefore be under 69 years at the start of their three-year appointments. This limit is not mentioned in the advertisement. These limits are applied flexibly on an administrative basis.

Misuse of Drugs Advisory Body and Appeals Tribunal

The Chairmen of the Misuse of Drugs Advisory Body and Appeals Tribunal are appointed by the Lord Chancellor and are subject to a normal retirement age of 70, although this can be relaxed at the Lord Chancellor's discretion.

Police Discipline Appeals Tribunal

Chairmen are subject to a normal retirement age of 70, or 72 for those who were appointed prior to the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993. Members are appointed for five years from their retirement from the police service.

Probation Orders (Breaches)

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the figures (a) nationally and (b) for each probation area for the number and proportion of cases under supervision by the Probation Service where breach action was taken in accordance with national standards in 2000-01. [158934]

Mr. Boateng [holding answer 26 April 2001]: The figures for compliance with the national standard on breach are provided by the Association of Chief Officers of Probation audit of probation areas and are shown in the table. This gives the results of the most recent audit. The audit covers supervision of probation orders, community service orders (as community punishment orders and community rehabilitation orders were at the time) and licence cases only. The national totals show that breach action was taken in 65 per cent. of cases in accordance with national standards; in a further 5 per cent. of cases, management authorisation not to breach was given, also in line with national standards.

Offenders breached

AreaNumber breachedPercentage
Avon4583.3
Bedfordshire1376.5
Berkshire337.5
Cambridgeshire1864.3
Cheshire2769.2
Cornwall4100
Cumbria2580.6
Derbyshire4175.9
Devon2354.8
Dorset1986.4
Durham2295.7
Dyfed3100
East Sussex2175
Essex1979.2
Gloucestershire1862.1
Greater Manchester6768.4
Gwent1487.5
Hampshire3969.6
Hereford and Worcestershire1473.7
Hertfordshire1285.7
Humberside4665.7
ILPS5236.9
Kent1731.5
Lancashire6085.7
Leicestershire3880.1
Lincolnshire2496
Merseyside6879.1
Mid Glamorgan1266.7
Middlesex3345.8
NELPS3166.0
Norfolk2559.5
North Wales1562.5
North Yorkshire523.8
Northamptonshire2575.8
Northumbria4668.7
Nottinghamshire5787.5
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire2656.5
Powys5100
SELPS1864.3
Shropshire1168.8
Somerset750
South Glamorgan2271.0
South Yorkshire4845.3
Staffordshire1338.2
Suffolk1588.2
Surrey1451.9
SWLPS550
Teeside4578.0
Warwickshire1173.3
West Glamorgan1270.6
West Midlands6253.9
West Sussex1785
West Yorkshire5052.6
Wiltshire20100
Total1,40265

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