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Custody Suites

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many boroughs in the United Kingdom with a population of between 40,000 and 60,000 do not have a police station with a full custody suite; [20935]

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Beverley Hughes: No information is collected centrally on either the number of boroughs in the United Kingdom with a population of between 40,000 and 60,000 who do not have a police station with a full custody suite, or the number of custody suites that have been closed in each of the last five years. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

There has been no research carried out by the Home Office into the need for the provision of custody suites in urban areas and there have been no estimates as to the availability of custody suites in south-east England.

Forces have restructured over the last few years. Many have centralised to either basic command unit level or geographically based custody suites. This is in order to ensure consistency in the quality of custody suites both in terms of facilities and the skill levels of staff. It can also produce resource savings by reducing the number of locations at which custody facilities and support services need to be provided.

It is an operational decision for chief officers of police to determine the number and location of custody facilities/police cells required by his/her force.

Criminal Justice

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Criminal Justice Cabinet Committee met to discuss the recommendations of the Halliday review of sentencing and the Auld review of the criminal courts; when he intends to publish his proposals based on the reviews; whether it is the intention to publish draft legislation based on the review; and if he will make a statement. [21642]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Criminal Justice System Cabinet Committee meets from time to time to discuss the delivery of the Government's policies for management and reform of the criminal justice system.

As I announced in a written answer on 21 November 2001, Official Report, column 356W, the level of interest in the Halliday review of sentencing has been considerable and a significant number of comments have been received in response to the public consultation exercise. Officials are now analysing the responses and a summary will be published, with copies in the Library, at the end of January. A Government response will be published at the same time.

Sir Robin Auld's review of the criminal courts is subject to a period of comment until 31 January 2002. The Government intend to publish their response to this and to publish legislation in draft later that year.

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Operation Shield

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the progress of Operation Shield in the Newark and Retford area. [20928]

Mr. Denham: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has made no formal assessment of Operation Shield, Nottinghamshire police's initiative to reduce violent crime, in the Newark and Retford area. But we applaud the determination of Nottinghamshire police, as evidenced by Operation Shield, to tackle violent and hate crime vigorously.

Police Officers (Havering)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers where available for ordinary duty on 30 November in the London borough of Havering. [21399]

Mr. Denham: I am told by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that on 31 October, the latest date for which information is available, there were 323 police officers available for duty in the Havering Division.

Havering Division also had 83 civilian support staff at the end of October.

Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress towards the Public Service Agreement target for reducing the economic costs of crime. [17047]

Mr. Keith Bradley: There are a wide range of economic and social costs associated with crime, not all of which are easy to measure, but the Criminal Justice Departments have jointly developed an indicator of the economic and social costs of crime as part of the Public Service Agreement commitment. The methodology used to measure the economic and social cost of crime were published in a report in December 2000, "The economic and social costs of crime" (Home Office Research Study 217).

Crime (Romford)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to reduce the level of street robbery in Romford. [21013]

Mr. Denham: We are determined to reduce the number of robberies across the country as a whole. That is why we have given the five metropolitan forces, including the Metropolitan police, an additional £20 million specifically to assist their efforts in tackling robbery, and have set them the challenging target of a 14 per cent. reduction of robbery in our principal cities by March 2005. We are working with those forces, as well as progressing an extensive robbery research programme, to enable us to identify good practice in tackling robbery which we will ensure is disseminated to all forces.

We have launched a national initiative with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the mobile phone industry to crack down on robbery of mobile phones. We have also published a Robbery Toolkit which is available

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to all forces and those involved in crime reduction and community safety and will help them to work as effectively as possible in tackling robbery.

"Safe From Harm"

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to update the "Safe from Harm" guidance booklet published by his Department. [23047]

Angela Eagle: We have no such plans. Separate guidance has already been issued about the recent legislation which I believe my hon. Friend has in mind.

UK Citizenship

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the norms of acceptability those from ethnic minorities seeking citizenship of the UK should be expected to adopt. [22913]

Angela Eagle: The requirements for British nationality are currently under review and the Government will announce their conclusions in a forthcoming asylum, immigration and nationality White Paper.

Cyclists

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue guidance relating to the penalties imposed upon cyclists who ride through red traffic lights. [21838]

Mr. Denham: No. There are guidelines in the Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines, published by the Magistrates Association in September 2000, covering the penalty for failing to comply with red traffic lights. These apply to cyclists as to all other vehicles covered by the relevant offence.

Parenting Orders

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers have (a) the police and (b) local authorities to issue parenting orders; and if she will make a statement. [21782]

Mr. Denham: There are no powers for the police or local authorities to impose a parenting order. It is a civil order available to family proceedings courts and criminal courts including youth courts. It can be imposed if a child has offended, or following a conviction of their parents for failure to secure their child's regular attendance at school.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last reviewed the operation of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate; and if it met its target in respect of applications for leave to remain in the United Kingdom. [22140]

Angela Eagle: The work of Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) is under constant review to ensure that it meets the priorities which we have set for it. In the year 2000–01 the Integrated Casework Directorate

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made 281,000 general casework decisions which exceeded its numerical targets. This year it is again on course to exceed its numerical target. However, in the light of very heavy intake it is not currently meeting targets on turnaround times. We are looking at ways of improving the latter performance.

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the application from Ms Tetyana Vasylchenko, a constituent, of Southern Road, Cheltenham, for an extension to her visa to study in the United Kingdom, will be logged on the system of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate; and when he expects a decision to be made on her application. [22142]

Angela Eagle: Ms Vasylchenko's application was received on 13 November and registered on the General Settlement Case Information Database on 16 November. She was granted a further extension of stay in the United Kingdom as a student on 3 December.


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