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Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests have been made in the last two years to visit and film in (a) prisons and (b) institutions for young offenders and other places where young people are in custody; and what the response to the requests was. 
The Prison Service receives many hundreds of requests per year from international, national and regional TV companies to film in prisons and Young Offender Institutions for a variety of news broadcasts, dramas and documentary programmes.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the work of the interdepartmental ministerial group established following disturbances in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham earlier this year; and if he intends to publish the reports of the group. 
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of policing expenditure in (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) the last year for which figures are available was spent on police pensions; and if he will make a statement. 
In recognition of the increased burden of paying police pensions, the proportion of revenue funding allocated to police authorities on the basis of pensions commitments has been increased from 12.9 per cent. in 199798 to 14.5 per cent. since 19992000. It will remain at this level in 200203.
|Year||Net pensions expenditure (£)||Net police expenditure (£)||Proportion of police net expenditure spent on pensions (Percentage)|
Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Police Statistics
(Estimates for 200001)
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those projects which have been funded by his Department as part of his distraction burglary strategy; what the amounts involved are; and what the time scale is of the funding. 
Mr. Denham: The work of the distraction burglary Taskforce and the two staff seconded for the duration from the police and local government sectors, is being funded through two means: support from utility companies such as
13 Nov 2001 : Column: 642W
the water industry, the Electricity Association, British Gas and British Telecom to the sum of £270,000. The second element is being met through the Crime Reduction Programme to the sum of £1 million.
|Completion of the Taskforce action plan||By end March 2000 with research element completed by June 2002||£1 million|
|Leeds Distraction Burglary Initiative||By 2003||£554,000|
|Sheffield Distraction Burglary Initiative||By March 2002||£288,000|
|Derbyshire Database project||By March 2002||£168,000|
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce legislation to strengthen the law in relation to protecting children and vulnerable people from sexual abuse; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 12 November 2001]: When the Government set up the Sex Offences Review in January 1999, its terms of reference included "to provide coherent clear sex offences which protect individuals, especially children and the more vulnerable, from abuse and exploitation".
We are committed to introducing strengthened legislation on sex offences, and will announce our conclusions once we have completed our analysis of the responses to the consultation paper 'Setting the Boundaries'.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if warrants for breach of a community court order are systematically withdrawn after 12 months have elapsed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 November 2001]: All cases are considered on their merits and no central policy directions have been given to the National Probation Service, on the period after which a warrant should be returned to the courts for consideration of withdrawal. I am aware that practice does differ across the country and the National Probation Service is currently considering whether further advice should be given in these circumstances.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many warrants for the breach of a community court order have been withdrawn since 1 January; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of salary differences and the free rail travel offer to those officers within a 70-mile radius of Charing Cross station on the number of police officers transferring from Bedfordshire Police to the Metropolitan police. 
Mr. Denham: Officers in the Metropolitan police qualify for a London allowance and London weighting in addition to their basic pay. For officers who were appointed before 1 September 1994 and who receive a housing emolument, the London allowance is worth £1,011 a year. From 1 July 2000, officers who were appointed on or after 1 September 1994 and who are not in receipt of a housing emolument receive a London allowance of £4,338 a year. London weighting was increased to £1,773 a year for all Metropolitan police officers from 1 July this year. In addition, officers in the Metropolitan police have free rail travel to and from work within a 70-mile radius of Charing Cross Station.
The increase in the London allowance and the new allowance for officers in Bedfordshire were approved by the then Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw), following agreements in the Police Negotiating Board (PNB). PNB is the statutory negotiating body for police pay and conditions which makes recommendations to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State approved the new allowances in recognition of the recruitment and retention difficulties associated with the higher cost of living in London and Bedfordshire.
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Since 1 July 2000, 12 officers have transferred from the Bedfordshire police to the Metropolitan police and two have moved from the Metropolitan police to Bedfordshire police. I will keep the position under review.
The only information currently available about the number of people removed in the current year relates to the number of asylum seekers removed in the period January-June. There were 4,660 such removals. Of this number, 2,805 were on-entry removals (persons refused entry to the United Kingdom and subsequently removed) and 2,570 were after-entry removals. It is not possible to say how many of those who were the subject of deportation action were deported, and how many left before a deportation order was actually signed.
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