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Summer Recess (Departmental Publications)

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) press notices and (b) consultation documents were issued by his Department during the summer recess. [9230]

Mr. Blunkett: During the summer recess, my department issued 70 Home Office press notices and eight press notices were issued by the Prison Service.

All Home Office press releases are placed on its website at

There were four Home Office publications.

Data Retention

(Communications Service Providers)

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what types of data are included within the code of practice which his Department is drawing up for data retention by communications service providers. [10420]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 26 October 2001]: I will draw up the Code of Practice in consultation with communications service providers and the law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies. The general definition of communications is in Part I, Chapter II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The types of data within that category that will be covered by the code will be agreed in the course of consultation. That way we can be sure that both sides are clear about the types of data which are retained.

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has in respect of the retention of communications data by communication service providers; and whether this will be (a) voluntary or (b) mandatory. [10421]

31 Oct 2001 : Column: 728W

Mr. Denham [holding answer 26 October 2001]: I intend to make it clear that communications service providers may retain data for up to 12 months for law enforcement and national security purposes. I will then work with the telecommunications industry to develop a voluntary code of practice on retention of data.

Sussex Police

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) special constables there were in Sussex in each of the last 10 years. [9766]

Mr. Denham: The information is set out in the table.

Sussex police

Year(16)Police officer strengthSpecial constable strengthCivilian support staff strength

(16) As at 31 March

(17) Special constable numbers for 1991 to 1993 are for 31 December

In the latter part of the 1990s the chief constable civilianised a significant number of non-operational police posts, which accounts for the fall in police numbers from 1997 to 2000. At the end of August 2001 the force had 2,948 officers. Much of the recent increase reflects the success of the crime fighting fund.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 22 October 2001, Official Report, column 68W, on Sussex police numbers, what are the working-time equivalent numbers for (a) the 2,963 police officers and 1,573 civilian support staff employed by the Sussex constabulary, (b) the 108

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additional police officers and 119 additional civilian support staff taken on since March 2001 and (c) the expected 224 new recruits in the current year. [11025]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 29 October 2001]: The figures provided by the acting chief constable of Sussex police in the answer of 22 October 2001, Official Report, column 68W, are full-time equivalent numbers for officers and civilian support staff except for the expected new recruits in the current year. The projection for new recruits (224) is actual officer numbers because predictions cannot be made on whether new recruits will be full or part-time officers.

Computer Errors

(Exceptional Leave to Remain)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many days in 2001 the Home Office computer system has incorrectly issued permissions for exceptional leave to remain; and how many such permissions were issued. [10941]

Angela Eagle: Where appropriate, decisions on exceptional leave to remain are taken by caseworkers after a full consideration of the facts of the asylum application. I am not aware of any exceptional leave to remain decisions being made as a result of computer error.

Asylum Seekers

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) families, (b) single persons and (c) persons of all categories including dependants, received voucher-only support in each of the last six months for which data exist. [10721]

Angela Eagle: The table shows the number of asylum seekers, in each of the requested categories, who were receiving voucher-only support as at the end of each of the last six months for which data exist 1 , 2 .

As at end ofFamilies(20)SinglesTotal (excluding dependants)Total (including dependants)

(18) Figures have been rounded to the nearest ten. Figures may not sum owing to rounding.

(19) Cases where support has been ceased are excluded.

(20) A family, in this context, is defined as any principal applicant with at least one dependant.

Road Traffic Penalties

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the responses received to the consultation paper on road traffic penalties. [10293]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 26 October 2001]: Officials in the three Departments concerned (Home Office, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and Lord Chancellor's Department) are currently engaged in taking stock of the detailed and comprehensive responses to the Road Traffic Penalties

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Consultation Paper which was published on 19 December 2000. A considered Government report containing a summary of the responses received and final set of recommendations will be published in the near future.

Prisoners (Drugs)

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners (a) are known to have taken illegal drugs and (b) have tested positive at a later date in each of the last three years; and what percentage the latter represents. [10667]

Beverley Hughes: Information on the use of illegal drugs in Prison Service establishments is provided by the random Mandatory Drug Testing (MDT) programme. Information as to how many prisoners tested positive more than once is not held centrally.

The table sets out the number of random MDT samples which tested positive over the last three full financial years and for this year to 31 August.

YearNumber of positive random MDT resultsTotal number of random MDT tests

(21) Year to 31 August 2001.

Car Theft

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has collated on the proportion of those convicted of car theft who have previous car theft convictions; and what assessment he has made of the consequences of those figures for future policy. [10670]

Mr. Denham: Data held centrally do not distinguish car thefts from thefts of any type of motor vehicles.

An analysis of a sample of offenders sentenced for thefts of motor vehicles in 2000 reveals that 26 per cent. had one or more previous convictions for a similar offence.

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the offending rate for car theft for (a) 14, (b) 15, (c) 16, and (d) 17-year-old (i) males and (ii) females in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [10669]

Mr. Denham: Information for 1997, 1998 and 1999 taken from the Home Office's Cautions and Court Proceedings Databases showing the number of persons aged (a) 14, (b) 15, (c) 16 and (d) 17, broken down into (i) males and (ii) females, cautioned by the police or convicted at all courts for: (a) theft of a motor vehicle, (b) aggravated vehicle taking, (c) being carried knowing vehicle to have been taken or driven away, unauthorised taking and carrying away of a motor vehicle (Theft Act Section 12(1) as amended by the Section 37 Criminal Justice Act 1998), per 100,000 population for each age is given in the table.

Data for 2000 will be available later in the year.

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Offenders cautioned or convicted per 100,000 population by offence type, age and gender, England and Wales 1997–99

Offence type and gender199719981999
Theft of a motor vehicle
Age 14575259
Age 15877375
Age 16867982
Age 17826672
Age 14323
Age 15436
Age 16555
Age 17456
Aggravated vehicle taking
Age 14100101133
Age 15193206224
Age 16287299290
Age 17346319327
Age 1451110
Age 15181821
Age 16201729
Age 17172221
Unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle(22)
Age 14221252302
Age 15379420431
Age 16465474518
Age 17445433472
Age 14272529
Age 15414352
Age 16435150
Age 17354141
Age 14378405495
Age 15659621730
Age 16838852890
Age 17872818870
Age 14353843
Age 15636579
Age 16687383
Age 17577368

(22) Including offences of "being carried knowing vehicle to have been taken or driven away"

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