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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost to West Yorkshire police of payments to other police forces for assistance in policing the recent disorders in
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Bradford; what plans he has to pay an additional grant to the West Yorkshire police; and if he will make a statement. 
West Yorkshire Police Authority has not formally asked for additional financial assistance. I will carefully consider any request from the police authority in accordance with the criteria for applications for special grant in exceptional circumstances which we have established in consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will evaluate the effectiveness of using police resources to stop car drivers on Westbourne Terrace off the A40M on 16 July, to undertake a census; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: The survey of drivers on Westbourne Terrace on 16 July was one of a programme of similar surveys undertaken by Transport for London as part of the 2001 London Area Transport Survey. To conduct such surveys it is necessary to stop the vehicles passing the survey point and only police officers have the general power to do this. The cost of police involvement in such surveys is borne by the survey sponsors.
The Government recognise that police involvement in such surveys may not be seen as the most effective use of police resources. We are looking at this issue, and others, within the context of the police reform programme, through which we aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the police.
Ms Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he will bring forward to reduce the incidence of under-age drinking and associated nuisance in public places. 
Mr. Denham: The Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Act 1997 provides a power for the police to confiscate alcohol from young people under 18 who are drinking in public places and who are creating disorder or causing nuisance. In addition, the law relating to the sale or purchase of alcohol to or for young people has been strengthened through the Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000, whether the intention is to consume the alcohol on licensed premises or elsewhere. The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 will further strengthen the law by placing a positive duty on licensees and their staff not to sell to any person unless they are certain of age.
Ms Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he will take to enable the police to deal more effectively with alcohol-related violence and disorderly behaviour. 
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Mr. Denham: In addition to broader measures to tackle violent crime and disorder, we are implementing the programme set out in the Home Office action plan on alcohol-related crime and disorder. This focuses on reducing under-age drinking, public drunkenness and alcohol-related violent crime. Specific measures, given legislative effect through the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, include new powers for local authorities to restrict antisocial drinking in specified public areas, with increased police powers of arrest and a power to confiscate alcohol; new powers for the police to order the immediate closure of licensed premises for up to 24 hours where there is disorder or disturbance; strengthening of the law relating to the sale of alcohol to those under 18; and a widening of the existing offence of permitting drunkenness or other violent or disorderly conduct on licensed premises.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the top 10 companies to which his Department contracted out their construction and refurbishment work in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Blunkett: The top 10 companies by value of contracts awarded (excluding Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects which are contracted with special purpose PFI vehicles) with which the Home Office has contracted for construction and refurbishment works in the last 12 months are in alphabetical order:
Caledonian Building Systems
Henry Boot Construction UK Limited
How Engineering Services
John Mowlem Construction plc
Tilbury Douglas Construction Limited
Wates Construction Limited.
Mr. Keith Bradley: Where any offence is alleged, it is for the police to decide whether and how it should be investigated, and whether to initiate a prosecution. It will be for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether it is appropriate for such a prosecution to be continued.
Mr. Denham: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has carried out three thematic inspections looking at community and race relations issues and the progress the police service is making in
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this area since 1997, as well as a review of murder investigation and community and race relations issues in the Metropolitan Police Service.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the extent of fair treatment on the basis of race in police employment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: A top priority for the Government is to ensure that the police service is more representative of the communities it seeks to serve and that it should reflect and be strengthened by the full diversity of society. The Home Secretary has published targets for the recruitment, retention and progression of minority ethnic police officers in "Dismantling Barriers". As part of the assessment of forces' progress in meeting those targets, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary inspected all forces in England and Wales. Their inspection report "Winning the RaceEmbracing Diversity" published in January 2001 concluded that the great majority of forces were progressing satisfactorily, or exhibiting good practice, in minority ethnic employment.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the compulsory retirement ages which apply to employees of his Department and of executive agencies and other public sector bodies for which it is responsible, broken down by grade or job title. 
Mr. Blunkett: Information on the normal retirement age and on compulsory early retirement or severance for my Department and for the executive agencies and public sector bodies for which my Department is responsible is as follows.
The normal retirement age for non-industrial staff is 60, and for industrial staff 65. However, the age retirement policy for grades between Administrative Assistant and Executive Officer (including equivalent grades, except certain Prison Service specific grades) has been temporarily relaxed. Staff in these categories who would normally retire at age 60 can choose to stay on until 31 March 2002, subject to health and efficiency considerations. Staff at Higher Executive Officer level and above can also apply for extensions of service subject to business needs, but the expectation is that they would normally retire on reaching the age of 60.
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The compulsory early retirement or severance procedures followed in the Home Office are subject to the conditions set out in paragraphs 11.5 and 11.6 of the Civil Service Management Code. As a pre-redundancy measure, Departments and agencies may call for volunteers to leave on compulsory terms to avoid compulsory redundancy procedures. Staff may also be retired on compulsory early retirement or severance terms on grounds of structure, and on early retirement on grounds of limited efficiency. Early retirement applies to staff aged 50 or over, early severance applies to staff aged under 50.
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