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Mr. Denham: In accordance with the Dismantling Barriers Action Plan (issued July 1999), the Home Office plans, in consultation with Association of Chief Police Officers and other police interests, to deliver the new national medical and eyesight standards for police recruitment next year. These will be researched to ensure they are job related, defensible and non-discriminatory, and take account of the proposed extension of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to police officers.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers who were serving within the Metropolitan police and were dismissed from the service because of misconduct in each of the last three years, are now in receipt of a police pension. 
Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that of 31 May 2001 the Metropolitan police employed a total of 25,615 officers. The breakdown of police officers who were dismissed or required to resign from the Metropolitan police because of misconduct in each of the last three years and are now in receipt of a police pension, is as follows:
|Year||Dismissed||Required to resign|
Under Regulation K5 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, a police authority can seek a certificate for forfeiture of pension, although the courts have ruled that the pension may be forfeited by no more than 75 per cent., the remainder reflecting a pensioner's own contributions. In respect of those officers dismissed or required to resign from the Metropolitan police since 1998, the Metropolitan Police Authority has submitted one request for forfeiture of pension, for which a certificate was issued in November 2000. However, the Metropolitan Police Authority are currently considering a further 12 cases for forfeiture of pension.
The Home Secretary's statement of 23 March 1998, in response to the Home Affairs Committee Report on police disciplinary and complaints procedures, made it clear that police authorities should look at all cases of police officers who have been convicted of criminal offences
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connected with their police service with a view to forfeiture of their pensions. Further to that statement, Home Office circular 561998, which was sent to the chair/clerk of all police authorities in December 1998, indicated that they should ensure, in co-operation with their police force, that systems should be in place to identify cases to which the forfeiture provisions apply so that appropriate action may be taken. The total number of applications submitted is restricted by the strict criteria that need to be met.
Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if (a) police officers and (b) patrol cars were taken off active duty for the photo opportunity to announce his appointment as Secretary of State for the Home Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that two police officers and one police vehicle were in attendance at the photo-opportunity outside the Home Office on 9 June. These resources remained available for redeployment to security patrol elsewhere in the area.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department's policy is on encouraging homosexual people to join the police force in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: The Home Office is currently developing national recruitment standards that are fair and non-discriminatory, and which will give access to a wider pool of applicants through the removal of unnecessary barriers to recruitment. Chief Constables are currently considering guidance about sexual orientation which has been drafted by the Association of Chief Police Officers with the help of the Lesbian and Gay Police Association. The draft guidance states among other matters that police forces' recruitment advertising should aim to attract lesbian and gay people as it would any other minority group, and that current arrangements concerning recruitment and promotion should be reviewed to ensure that they do not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the performance of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in meeting its objectives in its Business Plan for 200001 in respect of the processing of asylum support claims. 
NASS met the first of these targets in respect of the unit cost for single adults but not in respect of that for families. NASS did not meet its second target. This was due to a combination of factors but in particular due to the failure to predict the number of changes of circumstances
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leading to changes in the type of support requested and a higher than planned for failure to comply with the arrangements to travel to dispersal accommodation. This led to the completion of processing of applications taking longer than expected.
Angela Eagle [holding answer 9 July 2001]: Shortly after the recent disturbances in Oldham, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary met representatives from a number of local communities and agencies to discuss the situation in the town. As a result, an action plan for recovery, to be prepared in Oldham by local fora including leaders of the Asian and White communities, police authorities and business leaders, is to be prepared within the next four months. We have made it clear that the Government, across all Departments, stand ready to offer support and independent advice as needed to help towns such as Bradford, Oldham and Burnley begin to heal their divisions and build a better future.
I visited Oldham to meet local people and learn about the town's problems at first hand. We welcome the fact that community leaders and the police are discussing what happened in Burnley and why. We are of course ready to work with local communities to ensure the safety and peaceful co-existence of people that live there. I remain convinced that the primary job of tackling the root causes of the complex social and specific problems that give rise to divisions and disturbances of this kind must be done at local level. We do of course welcome any local initiatives that help to address these issues in a constructive manner.
In a statement to the House of Commons the Home Secretary announced the establishment of a ministerial group with a dedicated review team to undertake further work within communities over the summer. It will provide a direct link between Ministers and these communities. The review team will seek views from people on the ground, working closely with local people to identify further what needs to be done. This team will work in areas that have suffered violence as well as similar areas that have not.
The review team will provide a clear link between local communities and Ministers, reporting regularly over the summer and producing a final report and recommendations in September. It will be an important way of helping local people provide local solutions, while drawing out issues for policy consideration at national as well as local and community levels.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are under a formal witness protection programme; how many people in each of the last five years on average have entered formal witness protection programmes; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 10 July 2001]: Witness protection is the responsibility of individual chief constables and I understand that figures relating to the numbers of people under protection are not available.
Mr. Denham: Available information is given in the table. Automatic camera devices provided evidence from 199598 and all camera types for 1999. Data for 2000 will be available in the autumn, with data for 2001 due at the end of 2002.
All revenue received went directly into the Treasury's Consolidated Fund. However from April 2000, eight areas have been taking part in the piloting of arrangements for netting off fine revenue from cameras. This income can be used only for recovering the costs directly involved with camera operation, and there are strict financial controls, with an audit, to ensure that they are not diverted for other purposes. Section 38 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 now provides for court areas, subject to detailed conditions, to net off fine revenue from fixed penalty notices to fund speed limit and red light enforcement only.
|Number of tickets(28)||338,800||423,000|
|Estimated revenue (£ million)(29)||13.6||16.9|
|Number of fines||25,500||32,300|
|Total amount of fine (£ million)||2.9||3.4|
(26) Automatic cameras until 1998, all camera types for 1999.
(27) Offences under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits on Motorways) Regulations 1973.
(28) Paid i.e. no further action.
(29) 'Estimate' based on £40 fixed penalty charge from 199599.
|Number of tickets(32)||1,196||4,028||5,620||14,723||22,315|
|Estimated revenue (£000)(33)||47.8||161.1||224.8||588.9||892.6|
|Number of fines||131||302||477||879||1,195|
|Total amount of fine (£000)||8.6||19.9||37.1||96.0||120.2|
|Average fine (£)||66||66||78||109||101|
(30) Automatic cameras until 1998, all camera types for 1999
(31) Offences under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits on Motorways) Regulations 1973
(32) Paid i.e. no further action
(33) 'Estimate' based on £40 fixed penalty charge from 1995 to 1999
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