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Drugs Treament and Testing Orders

(North-East Wales)

34. Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to assess the effectiveness of drug treatment and testing orders in north-east Wales. [13373]

Beverley Hughes: Between 1 October 2000 and 30 September 2001, 90 Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs) were made in north Wales. Implementation of the order is being closely monitored by the National Probation Service and we are considering how research can help us to understand the longer term effectiveness of this new measure. However, it is too early to have any independently evaluated information on the effectiveness of the order, although we do have some limited information on the impact of the pilots.


35. Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has conducted into the importing of khat into the UK and its re-exporting to countries in which it is a banned substance. [13375]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There has been no specific research, but Customs and Excise have previously estimated that up to seven tonnes of khat are imported into the United Kingdom every week. It is not known how much of this is re-exported.

Policing (Bromley)

Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of policing in the London Borough of Bromley was in each of the last five years, indicating how much of this comes from (a) council tax and (b) the Government. [9992]

Mr. Denham: The Metropolitan Police Authority is funded on a London-wide basis. Budget and funding figures are given in the table.

£ million

YearBudget requirementCentral Government provisionCouncil tax requirement


Central Government provision includes Home Office police grant, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) revenue support grant, national non-domestic rates and Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) reduction grant. Outside the budget requirement, provision has been made for contributions to the cost of the Council Tax Benefit Subsidy Limitation Scheme and for the precepting authority's share of billing authorities' Collection Fund deficits or surpluses.

The funding allocations specifically for local policing in Bromley are set out in the table. In addition, the borough benefits from central and specialist services such

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as the territorial support group, traffic officers and specialist crime units, which are not budgeted for at borough level.

Funds for policing Bromley borough

Year£ million

Arrests (Evesham and Droitwich Spa)

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many custody arrests were made in (a) Evesham and (b) Droitwich Spa in the last three years. [10143]

Mr. Denham: Information on the number of arrests for notifiable offences is collected centrally at police force area level only. Available information shows that in 1999–2000 there were 21,172 arrests for notifiable offences within the West Mercia Police Force Area and 18,235 in 2000–01. Information for earlier years is not available on a consistent basis.

Emergency Calls

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of 999 calls made in London over the past 12 months were dealt with by the police as emergencies; how many were made accidentally from mobile phones; what discussions he has had with mobile phone service providers; and if he will make a statement. [12320]

Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis informs me that, out of 1,908,097 calls, 21 per cent. were graded as immediate emergency response calls; 18 per cent. of 999 calls made in London in the last 12 months were accidentally made from mobile phones.

The Metropolitan Police Service has been in discussions with the mobile phone service providers since January 1999 in order to discuss how best to put into place a system which will help prevent silent emergency calls.

In addition, the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have been working together to address the issue of inadvertent silent 999 calls from mobile phones.

British Telecom and Cable and Wireless carry all emergency 999/112 calls. Following a successful trial with the metropolitan police, ACPO have arranged for British Telecom and Cable and Wireless to route all silent 999 calls for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland through a switch that engages a recorded message. This message states that the emergency services have been called, but that no voice connection has been detected, and that the number '5' on the keypad should be pressed twice if the emergency services are required.

This service came into effect nationally on 1 October 2001 and will remove silent calls that were previously routed to police command and control rooms throughout

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the country. These accounted for approximately 20 per cent. of all 999 calls and their removal will improve the efficiency of control rooms and their ability to deal with genuine emergency calls.

Oftel are currently working with manufacturers to improve the design of mobile phones to reduce problems. These changes should be introduced from 2003 onwards. Interim solutions are being sought from manufacturers to provide specific key protection around the '9' and '1' keys to prevent accidental activation.

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to charge people for accidentally calling 999; and if he will make a statement. [12319]

Mr. Denham: We have no plans to introduce a charge for accidentally calling 999.

Metropolitan Police (Administrative Costs)

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the administrative costs of the Metropolitan Police Authority for (a) last year and (b) this year. [12521]

Mr. Denham: The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) inform me that the cost of the MPA secretariat in 2000–01 was £2.6 million and that the latest forecast outturn for 2001- 02 is also £2.6 million.

In addition, the MPA are responsible for the Metropolitan Police Service internal audit for which I understand costs are: 2000–01, £1.6 million; 2001–02, £1.7 million.

Baton Rounds

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to extend the availability of baton rounds for use by the police; and if he will make a statement. [13896]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 13 November 2001]: Thirty-six police forces in England and Wales currently possess baton rounds and an additional three non-Home Department forces are similarly equipped. This will increase to 45 forces by April 2002 when the manufacturer has supplied further baton guns. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) circulated on 24 September 2001 further guidance on the use of baton rounds as a possible alternative to police use of firearms in certain operational situations.

The Home Office, (ACPO) and Northern Ireland Office are currently reviewing, as a matter of priority, the full range of less lethal technologies. The Northern Ireland Office will publish a report on phase two of this work in due course.

Distraction Burglary Strategy

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what projects have been funded by his distraction burglary strategy which involve the first check point scheme to combat cowboy builders. [14363]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 13 November 2001]: We have allocated £98,000 for the operation and evaluation of a pilot first check point scheme in Leeds. The evaluation will be completed in 2003.

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Crime Reduction (Northamptonshire)

Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will announce the results from Northampton's participation in the On Track crime reduction programme. [11425]

Mr. Denham: On Track is a longitudinal study of the impact of a range of support services on the antisocial and criminal behaviour of children and young people. It is in the very early stages of implementation, and no impact or outcome results are yet available or expected from any of the participating pilot projects.

The final reports of Phase 1, project implementation and service roll-out, are due in September 2002.

Northampton's on track project is characterised by a commitment to sound and detailed referral and assessment procedures for children which provide clear and comprehensive information to both parents and professionals.

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