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Paramilitary Training

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will put in place measures to ensure that children and young people are prevented from participating in paramilitary style training organised by political parties. [13426]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 November 2001]: I am aware of the allegations of paramilitary type training for young people being provided and the particular concerns

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of the honourable member in relation to 'Camp Excalibur' in North Wales. I understand that North Wales Police have conducted a full investigation into such activities. They have assured me that no criminal offences have been committed. It is of course an offence under Section 54 (1) and (2) of the Terrorism Act 2000 to provide instruction or training or to receive instruction or training in the making or use of firearms, explosives, or chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. In addition, under subsection (3) (b) a person commits an offence if he invites another to receive instruction or training and the receipt would constitute an offence under subsection (2) but for the fact that it is to take place outside the United Kingdom. Any concrete and verifiable evidence of such activities will be dealt with immediately.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the impact on the criminal injuries compensation scheme of the decision in R v. CICAP ex parte August and ex parte Brown; and if he will make a statement. [12969]

Mr. Denham: The handling of individual cases, or groups of case, is entirely a matter for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the independent appellate body, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel. Ministers do not get involved in or comment on those bodies' handling of individual applications or their interpretation of the scheme rules.

However, I understand that in the light of the outcome of this judicial review, the claims officers of the Compensation Authority and the Adjudicators of the Appeals Panel will continue to determine whether an applicant was a non-consenting victim of a sexual offence by considering each case on its facts and circumstances.

Corporate Manslaughter

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress in bringing forward proposals for a new offence of (a) corporate manslaughter and (b) corporate killing. [12736]

Mr. Denham: In May 2000 we published a consultation paper "Reforming the Law on Involuntary Manslaughter". This included proposals for a new offence of corporate manslaughter or corporate killing.

The consultation period closed in September 2000 and an interdepartmental working group has been set up to consider the issues raised. We intend to bring forward legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

National Black Police Association

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will update the information given in his answer to the hon. Member for Worthing, West of 19 July 2001, Official Report, column 345W, concerning the National Black Police Association. [13708]

Mr. Denham: As you will be aware, an article appeared in the Evening Standard on 8 August which suggested that the written answers which I gave on 19 July 2001, Official Report, column 345W, about the case of Superintendent Dizaei was not correct. As a result,

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I asked Home Office officials to examine further with the Metropolitan police the information which was provided. As a result, I am satisfied that the information given in the answers, which was based on information provided by the Metropolitan police, gave a misleading impression, for which I apologise. I am satisfied that there was no intention to mislead and that the errors arose because of misunderstanding between officials and the Metropolitan police about the information which the police had provided in order to answer the questions.

I am advised by the Metropolitan police that the full and accurate picture is as indicated in my letter to the hon. Member of 9 November, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. This clarifies the position regarding the telephone calls that Superintendent Dizaei made in connection with his National Black Police Association business.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Jurors

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) what measures there are to protect the identity of jurors in court; [12426]

Mr. Keith Bradley [holding answers 6 November 2001]: In cases where a judge is satisfied that there is a danger that there will be an attempt to intimidate or interfere with a jury, he may order that the names of jurors should be withheld and that they should only be balloted by number.

Libra Project

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to his answer of 31 October 2001, Official Report, column 752W, on the Libra project, how many of the magistrates courts committees with Office Automation will keep their existing dedicated terminals to access the legacy systems until the new Libra software is available; and if he will make a statement. [13197]

Mr. Wills: In all of the Magistrates Court Committees in receipt of the Libra Office Automation service, access to the main legacy system is achieved, for almost all staff, via the Libra terminal on their desks. Access to some other legacy systems used in discrete areas is achieved by a communication link to the legacy network, again using the Libra terminal. Only a minority of staff require this facility. In some cases separate stand-alone terminals have been retained to provide this access, in addition to access for specific local systems where that access was not available on the legacy network, and is not currently available on the Libra service. This mixture of access is replicated in all MCCs.

Money Claims

Harry Cohen: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if the Lord Chancellor will introduce legislation to change the law so that if a claim is made against a first defendant and a second defendant

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for the same sum of money the case against the latter is not decided upon until the case against the former is resolved; and if she will make a statement. [13145]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor has no current plans to change the law on joint or joint and several liability. However, under the general case management powers of the court, the trial judge may consolidate proceedings or direct a separate trial of any issue for the purpose of managing the case and furthering the overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules of enabling the courts to deal with cases justly.

WORK AND PENSIONS

Jobcentres (Assaults)

18. Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department plans to take to deal with violent assaults on Jobcentre staff. [11699]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Violent assaults on Jobcentre staff in our 1,000 plus Jobcentres are extremely rare. In the year to 30 June 2001 out of 137 incidents involving assaults on staff only three were reported as requiring treatment for more than cuts and bruises.

In order to reduce the risk of assaults of any kind to an absolute minimum every Jobcentre is subject to a risk assessment, as a result of which a range of security measures are in force in each office. These can include, security guards, CCTV and panic alarms.

We will take determined action against customers who in any way threaten, attack or abuse our staff.

Learning Disabilities

19. Mr. Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support his Department is giving to help those with learning disabilities to get back into work. [11700]

Maria Eagle: People with learning disabilities have access to the full range of specialist disability employment programmes and support from specialist advisers.

Child Support Agency

22. Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on progress with preparation for the changes to the Child Support Agency which will come into effect in April 2002. [11703]

Malcolm Wicks: Preparations for the introduction of the new child support scheme are progressing in accordance with the planned timetable.

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the qualifications of the Auditor General to the 2000–01 accounts of the Child Support Agency; and if he will make a statement. [7269]

Malcolm Wicks: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to my hon. Friend.

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Letter from Doug Smith to Mr. Mark Todd, dated 9 November 2001.






Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much is owed to the Child Support Agency in outstanding child maintenance payments; how much of this is deemed uncollectable; and if he will make a statement. [11060]

Malcolm Wicks: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Doug Smith to Mr. Laurence Robertson, dated 9 November 2001:





Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the annual budget of the Child Support Agency has been in each year since 1993; [7584]

Malcolm Wicks: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Doug Smith to Dr. Howard Stoate, dated 9 November 2001:







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Annex 1: Annual Budget since 1993

£ million
YearBudget
1993–94114
1994–95184
1995–96194
1996–97206
1997–98207
1998–99204
1999–2000207
2000–01203


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