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Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the public service agreement target for bench marking a single unit cost measure for operational work to establish an interim figure by April 2001 was achieved. [21284]

Angela Eagle: The Public Service Agreement was launched in April 2001.

The Home Office does not have a Public Service Agreement (PSA) target for benchmarking a single unit cost measure for operational work to establish an interim figure in April 2001.

Video Recordings (Criminal Prosecutions)

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what use is made of video recordings made on public transport vehicles in the prosecution of criminal offences including traffic offences by the Metropolitan police; if he plans an extension of such use; and if he will make statement. [30329]

Mr. Denham: Images from closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras on public transport vehicles are used primarily to tackle crime on the vehicles themselves. I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that CCTV is a key element of Operation Seneca which is currently targeted at reducing crime on selected bus routes. It has led to a number of arrests for crimes such as robbery, disorder, drugs possession and weapons offences, and has also resulted in a considerable decrease in reported crime on the routes concerned.

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CCTV cameras are also used to identify bus lane infringements, although these are not criminal offences. Traffic offences are enforced by means of speeding and red light cameras.

Any plans to extend the use of CCTV on public transport vehicles in London would be an operational matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

Community Group Funding

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what initiatives the Government have taken to (a) reorganise and (b) simplify access to state funded competitive grant schemes for (i) community and (ii) voluntary groups; [29930]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 24 January 2002]: In drawing up the Compact on Relations between Government and the voluntary and community sector in England, Funding Code, the Home Office took note of the report of the Commission on the future of the voluntary sector, published in June 1996, entitled "Meeting the challenge of change: voluntary action into the 21st Century", and provided funding to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations to conduct an extensive consultation with the voluntary and community sector and Government Departments.

The study currently being undertaken by the Regional Co-ordination Unit (RCU) into improving access to regeneration and community funding consulted over 100 bodies and individuals, examined examples of differing administrative requirements imposed on funded bodies; and considered relevant previous research.

The recommendations arising from the RCU's study of regeneration funding are designed directly to simplify access to state funded competitive grant schemes for voluntary and community groups. In addition, my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office, is also currently reviewing the scope for improving the co-ordination and delivery of state funded grant schemes for the community and voluntary sectors.

The success of these various initiatives will be measured by the numbers and quality of applications received for individual programmes, a reduction in the number of ineligible applications, success in reaching targeted groups, such as marginalised and minority ethnic groups, and in the use made of the website. Monitoring will be undertaken by the departments managing individual programmes. The Active Community Unit is currently devising a common evaluation framework by which the success of simplification of small grants will be measured.

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There is no one Minister with specific responsibility for the rationalising and simplification of access to state funding for the voluntary and community sector, although I have responsibility for the Active Community Unit and will be taking a particular interest in this issue.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued in each London borough in each three month period since their introduction. [29364]

Mr. Denham: Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are community-based civil orders, which can be applied for by the police or local authority, in consultation with each other against an individual or several individuals whose behaviour is antisocial. Applications are to the magistrates court acting in its civil capacity.

Information held centrally on the number of Antisocial Behaviour Orders issued up to 31 May 2000 is by police force area. Up to that date there were nine ASBOs issued within the Metropolitan Police area (including City of London).

From 1 June 2000 official statistics on the number of ASBOs issued are based on quarterly returns from Magistrates Courts Committees (MCCs) and are presently designed not to give figures below MCC level. A review of these statistics identified an undercount and my Department therefore undertook an exercise with the police to obtain more reliable figures. As a result of this reconciliation exercise the total number of ASBOs issued within England and Wales up to the end of September this year was 466, 184 more than previously reported. Within this total the quarterly figures for the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority are:

June 20000
Quarter ending September 2000 10
Quarter ending December 20009
Quarter ending March 20014
Quarter ending June 20014
Quarter ending September 20014

Mobile Phone Theft

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will compel mobile telephony companies to register the user's home address, e-mail and landline telephone number on their SIM cards. [28951]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 January 2002]: The Government believe that valid registration can help combat mobile phone theft by identifying the customer with his or her phone in order to authorise the blacklisting of stolen SIM cards or, where technically possible, the disabling of the stolen handset itself. It is already the case that contract phone users are required by all mobile phone operators to register their details and that the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card inside each mobile phone identifies the user with a full name, address and landline number (if available).

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Registration of pre-pay mobile phones is not at present compulsory. This is partly due to the European Community Communications Data Protection Directive 97/66 which encourages the development of telecommunications service options which allow anonymous or strictly private access, and also because compulsory registration may disadvantage low income users, who may be of no fixed abode. Orange is the only operator to require registration details from its pre-pay customers. We are encouraging the other major operators, which all have voluntary registration schemes for pre-pay customers, to enhance take-up of these schemes. We will keep the need for legislation under review on this and other measures.

Police Firearms

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the terms of reference of the Review of Police Use of Firearms being undertaken by the Police Complaints Authority will enable its members to consider (a) international norms for the use of lethal force set out by the United Nations, (b) the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on 4 May 2001 in Shanaghan v. UK and other cases finding procedural shortcomings in police investigations and (c) experience gained by the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland. [29733]

Mr. Denham: To address the terms of reference of the review of recent firearms incidents, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) will consider the key issues in the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (1990) with particular attention to paragraphs 10, 22 and 23, and the key conclusions from the Shanaghan case. The PCA has also written to the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland requesting information on relevant cases and general conclusions from their experience to date.


Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people were charged with offences relating to the misuse of fireworks in the last six months; [30269]

Mr. Denham: The available information, from the Home Office Court Proceedings Database, relating to England and Wales for 2000 is shown in the table. These data show persons proceeded against for offences where it is possible to identify specific firework misuse. Statistics for 2001 are not yet available.

Information held centrally does not enable offences involving personal injury or damage to property from fireworks to be identified, as the circumstances behind any offence are not collected.

No information is collected centrally on complaints received by police forces relating to firework incidents.

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Persons proceeded against for offences relating to the misuse of fireworks England and Wales 2000(1),(2)

Statute/offence descriptionProceeded against
Explosives Act 1875, sec. 80
Throwing, casting or firing any fireworks in or into any highway, street etc. public place61
Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol, etc.) Act 1985, sec. 2A(1)
Being in possession of fireworks etc., in or when entering a designated sports ground3

(1) These data are on a principal offence basis.

(2) Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data these data are not robust at a detailed level and have been excluded from this table.

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