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Police (Buckingham)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to visit the Buckingham constituency to meet police officers. [22658]

Mr. Denham: I have no current plans to visit the Buckingham constituency.

Ministerial Visits (North-East)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times since November 2000 Ministers from his Department have visited (a) the Teesside area and (b) Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency to meet locally based businesses. [19056]

Mr. Blunkett: While the Home Office does have a clear remit in relation to security for businesses and the contribution they can make to the civil and social agenda being pursued by the Department, this is organised on a regional or sub-regional basis as well as nationally. It is therefore not possible to disaggregate those businesses

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that have been invited from the area to take part in such ventures. A number of Ministers did undertake visits on a political, as opposed to ministerial basis, in the early part of 2001.

Police Spending

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the level of spending on police resources on an average per capita basis is (a) nationally and (b) in the Buckingham constituency for the current financial year. [22629]

Mr. Denham: The gross cost of policing on an average per capita basis in England and Wales in 2001–02 is estimated at £165.5. A figure at Buckingham constituency level is not available.

External Consultants

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was to his Department of the use of external consultants in each of the last four years. [21263]

Mr. Blunkett: The available information held by my Department on cost for the use of external consultants over the last four financial years is as follows:


The increase in expenditure on consultancy in 2000–01 is primarily due to a major investment programme in the modernisation of the Home Office and in particular on IT related modernisation. This breakdown on expenditure is as follows:

IT related consultancy12,550,540
Non-IT related consultancy15,326,746

Prison Officers

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison officers serving in prisons in England and Wales have been suspended from duty for more than 18 months owing to allegations as to their conduct for more than 18 months. [22486]

Beverley Hughes: There are currently eight prison officers suspended from duty for more than 18 months.

Criminal Courts Review

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he has taken to ensure that the views of students and young people are taken into account in the Government review of the criminal courts. [22603]

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Mr. Keith Bradley: In the new year I shall be attending events at various university law schools with the aim of giving young people an opportunity to express their views on these issues. They can also participate by visiting the review website at: www.criminal-courts-

Social Exclusion

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the competitive grant schemes, administered by the Home Office and its agencies, open in each year since 1997 to organisations in the voluntary and community sector for the purposes of tackling social exclusion; and, for each scheme in each year (a) the number of applicants, (b) the number of successful applicants, (c) the total of grants awarded, (d) the number of pages in the application form and (e) if the grant can be used to fund the core costs of the applicant organisation; [22428]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 12 December 2001]: This information is not centrally available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The hon. Member may, however, wish to note that information about grants from central Government is currently available in two recent publications, funded by the Home Office:

Crime Clear-up Rate

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average crime clear-up rate was in England and Wales in 2000–01, broken down by force; what assessment he has made of the reasons for the differences in crime clear-up rates between forces; and if he will make a statement. [21624]

Mr. Denham: The proportion of crime detected was 24 per cent. in England and Wales in 2000–01. The following table shows the detection rate in each force and is taken from Criminal Statistics England and Wales 2000.

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Police force areaPercentages
Avon and Somerset22
Devon and Cornwall34
Greater Manchester22
London, City of27
Metropolitan police15
North Yorkshire30
South Yorkshire25
Thames Valley22
West Mercia27
West Midlands28
West Yorkshire23
England average24
North Wales31
South Wales32
Wales average41

As Policing a New Century: a Blueprint for Reform makes clear, these variations are unacceptable. The Standards Unit will identify the variations and the causes of those variations in order to identify and spread best practice in crime detection.

There are marked differences in detection rates for different types of offence. This is, in part, owing to the level of investigation that an offence merits although other factors will also play a part. For example, there are offences (such as harassment) where the victim may know the offender, which will increase probability of a detection. In general violent offences have a higher detection rate than crimes against property.

Comparisons of detection rates for individual police forces may reflect differences in the circumstances of offences between areas and variations in recording practice.

Anti-terrorism Legislation

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date he appointed an

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independent reviewer for the operation of anti-terrorism legislation; in what manner the announcement was made; and what are the terms of reference for this post. [21117]

Mr. Blunkett: Lord Carlile of Berriew was appointed on 15 November in respect of the Terrorism Act 2000. The appointment was announced in response to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Wirral, West (Stephen Hesford).

The reviewer's terms of reference are to review the working of the Terrorism Act 2000 considering whether (a) the Act has been used fairly and properly during the reporting period, taking into account the need to ensure that there are both effective powers to deal with terrorism and adequate safeguards for the individual; and (b) consider whether any of the temporary powers in Part VII of the Act can safely be allowed to lapse, and

Some sections of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 amend the Terrorism Act 2000 and will be subject the same review provisions as that Act. It was announced during debate at Second Reading that the provisions relating to the detention of international terrorists would also be reviewed by the Terrorism Act reviewer.

Mr. Rammell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the use of powers under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. [25156]

Mr. Blunkett: Earlier today, on the basis of certificates I signed under part 4 of the Act, following careful and detailed consideration, the Immigration Service detained eight foreign nationals whom I suspect to be international terrorists. They were detained earlier today and will be held in secure prison accommodation. I shall not disclose their names unless they themselves first do so.

Part 4 of the Act gives me powers to issue a certificate in respect of someone whom I believe to be a risk to national security and suspect to be an international terrorist. The Act also gives powers for his deportation and, where his removal or departure from the United Kingdom is prevented (whether temporarily or indefinitely) for his detention.

A person detained has the right to apply for bail to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which is a superior court of record under the Act. He may also appeal to the Commission to have the certificate cancelled. In these circumstances it would be inappropriate for me to comment further. A person detained is free to leave the United Kingdom at any time.

I shall continue to keep the exercise of the powers in Part 4 of the Act under close review.

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