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|Detection rate (percentage)||Number of recorded burglaries|
(15) There was a change in the counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998 which placed a greater emphasis on counting crimes in terms of numbers of victims. Numbers of recorded crimes and detection rates after this date are therefore not directly comparable with previous years.
(16) There was a change in the rules for counting detections in April 1999, the new instructions providing more precise and rigorous criteria for securing a detection, with the underlying emphasis on the successful result of a police investigation. For example, detections obtained by the interview of a convicted prisoner were no longer included. Numbers of detections before and after this date are not directly comparable.
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Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) for what reason Jamie Nicol Connolly was refused entry to the United Kingdom at Heathrow on 26 October 2001; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the outcome of the second annual meeting to review the compact on relations between the Government and the voluntary and community sector. 
I am pleased to say that both the sector and Government welcomed progress made on developing the compact. The focus of Government and sector activities since the launch of the national compact in November 1998 has been the development of the five underpinning codes of good practice on funding; consultation and policy appraisal; black and minority ethnic organisations, and volunteering and community groups.
The annual review meeting recognised and agreed that implementation of compact principles and the spreading of good practice must be the future focus of compact activities. Implementation will be about ensuring that there is a practical and positive impact on Government/ sector relations at all levels, particularly at local and community level. There is more to do and the sector and Government will need to continue to work in partnership to achieve our shared aims.
Angela Eagle: Professor Banner completed his first four year term as Chairman of the Animal Procedures Committee on 31 January 2002. I am grateful to him for his work in leading this important committee, and am pleased that he has accepted another four year term as Chairman.
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The Government are considering whether a universal card which allowed people to prove their identity more easily and provided a simple way to access a range of public services would be beneficial. Such an entitlement card scheme could also help to combat illegal working and could reduce fraud against individuals, public services and the private sector.
In reply to another question from my hon. Friend today, I have announced that the Government intend to publish a consultation paper in the spring or early summer. Work on the cost of an entitlement card scheme will be progressed in the run up to the publication of the consultation paper. This work is not yet sufficiently developed to make an estimate of costs.
Mr. Blunkett: After the terrorist atrocities in the United States of America on 11 September, the issue of introducing an identity card scheme was raised by many people. I have received over 600 letters from right hon. and hon. Members and members of the public on identity cards since September 2001.
At the time the Government said that we were not planning to introduce an identity card scheme as part of our response to the events of 11 September, but that the policy was being kept under review. We said that we were considering whether a universal entitlement card which would allow people to prove their identity more easily and provide a simple way to access public services would be beneficial. We also said that a scheme could help to combat illegal working and it could also reduce fraud against individuals, public services and the private sector.
There are many argumentsboth philosophical and practicalfor and against a scheme. One of the options which the Government have already ruled out is making the failure to carry an entitlement card an offence. However there are a range of other issues to explore and we intend to publish a consultation paper in the spring or early summer. This will cover the whole issue of identity fraud and a range of possible responses in the short, medium and long-term including the advantages and disadvantages of an entitlement card schemebut also other measures which might be taken to improve the security of existing forms of identification issued by the Government.
In order to ensure that the paper will be balanced and comprehensive and present to the public as full a picture as possible, the Government wish to discuss its emerging ideas with interested parties prior to publication.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the practice is in regard to the provision of holidays and other benefits given to witnesses in murder trials by the (a) police and (b) prosecuting authorities. 
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Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the practice is in regard to the provision of holidays and other benefits given to witnesses in murder trials by the (a) police and (b) prosecuting authorities. 
However, where the court necessarily lists a case for trial when a witness is due to be on holiday then some provision can be made to compensate the witness for any loss incurred by way of a financial loss allowance. Alternatively, arrangements can be made to return a witness from holiday to attend court.
Mr. Denham: The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) drew particular attention to the problems associated with this type of air weapon last July when they asked for the definition of "readily converted" under the terms of section 1(6) of the Firearms Act 1982 to be revised. But, this section only applies to imitation firearms and could not be used in respect of air cartridge pistols which are already defined as firearms (although not subject to certification). We have been consulting further with the Forensic Science Service who in turn have been liaising with the police in order to establish the full extent and nature of the problem. This has confirmed the ease with which these weapons can be converted to fire cartridge ammunition. This is wholly unacceptable and the company concerned has decided not to import these weapons pending a fully informed decision on what should be done either by way of further modification to the weapons or changes in existing controls.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans to legislate on trafficking people; and if the Government will incorporate the definition set out in the European framework. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Effective legislation to criminalise and punish trafficking in human beings is an essential component of any strategy to tackle this crime. Such a strategy must also encompass effective enforcement, alongside support and assistance for victims, prevention and education.
United Kingdom Ministers were among the first to sign the Trafficking Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and are committed to implementing its measures, one of which is the introduction of trafficking offences. The European Union Framework Decision on trafficking in human beings has been provisionally agreed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council and will be formally adopted by the Council as a legally binding document in the near future.
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We will introduce legislation on the trafficking offences as soon as parliamentary time permits and will ensure that it meets the requirements necessary to implement the European Union Framework Decision.
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