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Home Detention Curfew Scheme

12. Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has held with prison governors about the number of prisoners released under the home detention curfew scheme. [38884]

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Beverley Hughes: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary addressed prison governors on 6 November 2001.

He and I saw representatives of the Prison Governors Association on 6 March. We have told governors that we want to see the fullest possible use made of Home Detention Curfew without compromising public safety. HDC has an important part to play in resettling prisoners on their release from custody and that is why the Government are looking at ways of extending HDC.

Substance Abuse Centres

15. Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the support given by the Government to drug rehabilitation and substance abuse centres. [38888]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Government are making substantial investment to increase drug treatment services, particularly for Class A drug users. Through the Pooled Treatment Budget, we are increasing funding from £234 million in 2001–02 to £400 million by 2003–04 to improve services locally and reduce waiting times.

Everybody wants to see more treatment available—but we also want to ensure that it is better treatment, providing skilled staff and delivered in a way that is appropriate for the communities that they serve. Many treatment providers already offer excellent services. Where services need to be improved the National Treatment Agency is working with Drug Action Teams to raise standards and ensure that high quality treatment is available to everyone who needs it with a minimum of delay.

Police Officers

16. Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to meet representatives of the police forces to discuss proposed changes to police pay and conditions. [38889]

Mr. Denham: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary continues to have regular meetings with representatives of all police organisations. He had a meeting with leaders of the Police Federation on 6 March. His officials are involved in conciliation discussions in the Police Negotiating

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Board (PNB) about proposed changes to police pay and conditions with the representatives of all the main police organisations.

23. Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many additional police officers have allocated to (a) West Midlands police force and (b) Coventry under his recent initiative. [38896]

Mr. Denham: Under the Government's Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) recruitment initiative, the West Midlands police have been allocated funding for 523 recruits over the above their previous recruitment plans for the three years to March 2003.

I understand that so far, 62 of the recruits funded by the CFF have been allocated by the chief constable to Coventry. In addition to the CFF, Coventry has been allocated funding for four extra officers from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

Community Wardens

17. Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the funding of community wardens in Lancashire. [38890]

Mr. Denham: Government funding for neighbourhood wardens schemes in Lancashire in the financial years 2000–01 to 2002–03 totals £740,070. Of this £197,500 will go to Skelmersdale in the West Lancashire district council, £343,274 to the Greater Lever, Hutton Lance and Deane areas Burnley and £199,296 to Wyre district council.

Government funding for Street Warden Schemes in Lancashire in the financial years 2001–02 to 2003–04 totals £441,785. Of this £189,000 will go to Morecambe, £206,500 to Hyndburn and £45,785 to Burnley.

Auld Review

18. Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on Lord Justice Auld's review of the criminal courts. [38891]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Government welcome Sir Robin Auld's review of the criminal courts, the report of which was published last October, and are considering their response in the light of full public consultation.


19. Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his proposals to develop a source country refugee resettlement programme. [38892]

Angela Eagle: As announced on 7 February in the White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe Haven", we intend to introduce a resettlement programme that will enable those refugees whose life, liberty, or security cannot be protected in their current place of refuge, to be brought in safety to the United Kingdom and provided with protection. This will provide a legal route for those seeking international protection and is further evidence of our practical support of the Refugee Convention.

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Victims of Crime

20. Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support his Department is giving to victims of crime in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [38893]

Mr. Keith Bradley: I am fully committed to improve services and support to the victims of crime. That is why we have more than doubled the annual grant to Victim Support since May 1997 (from £11.7 million to £25 million), and delivered new services such as witness support in magistrates courts, a national telephone helpline and a victim personal statement scheme.

28. Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he gives to police authorities on automatic referral of victims of crime to Victim Support. [38901]

Mr. Keith Bradley: Guidance about new arrangements for referring details of victims of crime to Victim Support by the police was issued in Home Office Circular 44/2001 of 3 October 2001.


21. Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to ensure that young offenders have instruction in the obligations of citizenship. [38894]

Beverley Hughes: Citizenship is an important part of the curriculum for juveniles in custody. It helps them to understand the consequences of their behaviour and prepares them for a useful life on release.

Young Offenders

22. Mr. Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the numbers of young people serving custodial sentences in young offenders' institutions who come from deprived areas. [38895]

Beverley Hughes: While information about prisoners' home addresses prior to custody is not collected centrally, we know that many young prisoners have a multiplicity of serious problems and social exclusion. For some, prison can be the first chance to address the problems that contribute to their offending.

In the spring, the Social Exclusion Unit are to publish a report into how the Prison Service, the National Probation Service and other agencies can better tackle the problems, including social deprivation, that contribute to prisoners' offending and reduce their likelihood of re-offending on release. A copy of the report will be placed in the Library.

27. Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders in young offender institutions are fathers; and what the Prison Service is doing to ensure they maintain contact with their children. [38900]

Beverley Hughes: There are no centrally held statistics. However, recent research suggests that 25 per cent. of male young offenders and 39 per cent. of female young offenders are parents. The Prison Service recognises the importance of family ties to the rehabilitation of prisoners, and in particular the value of prisoners continuing their parental

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role while in custody. Young offender institutions have introduced programmes which support this process, including the appointment of family liaison officers, extended family visits and parenting skills courses. For low income families, the Assisted Prison Visits Unit provides financial support for the cost of visiting, or escorting children to visits.

37. Ms Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he issues on the proportion of youth offending team budgets to be devoted to preventative work. [38910]

Beverley Hughes: The aim of all youth offending team (Yot) spending is to prevent offending. National standards issued by the Home Secretary in April 2000 state that a minimum of 2.5 per cent. of the Yot budget must be spent on preventive services for children and young people at high risk of offending. The remainder prevents offending by working with young people in the youth justice system who have admitted or been convicted of an offence.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what information he has on the (a) numbers and (b) categories of young offenders broken down into those living with (i) a single parent and (ii) two married parents; [38423]

Beverley Hughes: In last year's youth offending survey commissioned by the Youth Justice Board, 24 per cent. of young secondary school people in two parent households and 30 per cent. of those in one parent households admitted to an offence in the previous years.

However there was not a clear difference in repeat offending.

The Home Office and the Home Office-sponsored Youth Justice Board have commissioned a number of research studies into the causes of youth offending, including family background. Most recently, 19 November 2001, Communities That Care reported on risk and protective factors associated with youth crime for the Youth Justice Board. It showed that youth offending risks were increased by among other things family conflict, family structure, poor quality parental supervision and discipline, a poor relationship between the child and one or both parents and low family income. I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library.

We have not commissioned any specific research on the link between youth offending and families living on welfare support.

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