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Crime (Gwent)

22. Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the level of crime in Gwent. [29870]

Mr. Denham: In the 12 months to March 2001, crime in Gwent fell 5.7 per cent.

Car Crime

27. Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the (a) rates of detection and (b) impact on victims of car crime. [29875]

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Mr. Denham: The successful detection and prosecution of offenders are among the key factors in ensuring that victims of crime are satisfied with the criminal justice system. Others include the provision to victims of adequate information about their cases, personal support, and compensation.


29. Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans to amend sentencing policy. [29877]

Mr. Keith Bradley: In answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Wirral, West (Stephen Hesford) on 21 November 2001, Official Report, column 355W, I said that I anticipated publishing a White Paper in spring 2002. That is still my intention. Earlier today I announced the publication of an overview of the responses to the consultation on the proposals arising from the review of the sentencing framework (the Halliday Report) a copy of which is being provided to each Member of Parliament.

Ms Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he took to ensure that the views of young people were considered in his consultation on sentencing reform and the criminal courts. [29868]

Mr. Keith Bradley: Young people participated in the on-line consultation on the Fairer Sentencing website. They were able to contribute to the reform of criminal courts by visiting the review website. I am also attending events at various university law schools with the aim of giving young people an opportunity to express their views on this issue.

Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish a summary of the responses to the public consultation on the review of the sentencing framework. [33486]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The summary of responses has been published today, 4 February 2002. Copies of the summary are being sent to each Member of Parliament and will be placed in the Library. Further copies will be available in the Vote Office and in the Printed Paper Office.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 22 January 2002, Official Report, column 843W, on prison sentences, if he will break down the numbers of prison sentences into the categories of offences for which custody of five years or over was handed down in each of those years. [31330]

Beverley Hughes: The table contains the information requested.

Number of persons sentenced to immediate custody of five years or over in England and Wales, 1998 to 2000

Attempted murder475955
Threat or conspiracy to murder161522
Child destruction1
Causing death by dangerous driving432544
Manslaughter due to diminished responsibility377
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs877
Wounding or other act endangering life366370394
Other wounding etc.332847
Cruelty to or neglect of children14
Child abduction14
Indecent assault on a male443520
Rape of a female494474442
Rape of a male303325
Indecent assault on a female909596
Unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 137107
Burglary in a dwelling141166134
Aggravated burglary in a dwelling586559
Burglary in a building other than a dwelling201614
Aggravated burglary in a building not a dwelling448
Kidnapping, etc.515961
Theft from the person of another1044
Theft by an employee211
Theft or unauthorised taking from mail1
Theft from vehicle1
Theft from shops31
Theft or unauthorised taking of motor vehicle41
Other theft or unauthorised taking244
Fraud by company director etc.41
False accounting11
Other fraud352331
Handling stolen goods18107
Criminal damage endangering life4125
Other criminal damage21
Threat etc., to commit criminal damage3
Other forgery etc.36
Violent disorder112
Gross indecency with children2511
Assist entry of illegal immigrant539
Perverting the course of justice616
Absconding from lawful custody21
Firearms Act offence13118
Revenue law offence1
Other (excluding motoring offences)121712
Unlawful importation of drugs
Class A400499549
Class B887957
Class C3
Class unspecified532613
Unlawful exportation of drugs
Class A243
Class B41
Class unspecified31
Production, supply and possession with intent to supply a controlled drug
Class A433549550
Class B565651
Class C1
Class unspecified7288
Possession of a controlled drug
Class A646
Class B11
Other drug offences11109

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Police Retention

30. Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy to improve the retention of police officers. [29878]

Mr. Denham: Police numbers rose by 2.1 per cent. in the 12 months to September 2001. Wastage from the police service, at around 5 per cent. of strength for the last four years, is low compared to other occupations.

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But we recognise the importance of retaining the skills and commitment of experienced officers.

An ambitious programme of work in police training has begun to raise professional standards for officers and support staff, and to achieve greater consistency nationally.

We are also addressing retention issues as part of the police reform process.

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The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) has agreed in principle to a package of reforms to police pay and conditions of service. The agreement is subject to ratification by all parties by the end of February. We believe that, taking the package as a whole, it will benefit the vast majority of officers.

The PNB package includes more flexible arrangements to retain officers who are entitled to retire with maximum pension benefits.

We also intend to remove the requirement for part-time officers to work a minimum of 16 hours a week. This will help improve retention of officers with parental or caring responsibilities.

We are also developing an Occupational Health strategy which will provide support of officers who are injured or ill and will help forces improve sickness management and reduce medical retirements.

British Crime Survey

32. Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the level of crime recorded by the British Crime Survey. [29881]

Mr. Denham: The latest British Crime Survey shows that since 1997 overall crime has fallen by 21 per cent., violent crime by 23 per cent., domestic burglary by 35 per cent., and vehicle related theft by 24 per cent. The survey also showed that the chance of becoming a victim of crime is at its lowest since the survey began.

Police (Funding)

33. Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he applied in deferring the provisional funding settlement for police authorities in 2002–03. [29882]

Mr. Denham: The provisional police funding settlement is routinely announced in association with the provisional local government finance settlement. The settlement announcement for 2002–03 was moved from 29 November to 4 December as a result of the progress of other parliamentary business.

Police Constables

34. Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the future of the office of police constable. [29883]

Mr. Denham: We have no plans to change the status of constables as office holders under the Crown.

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