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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the annual contribution made to the Metropolitan Police by the Football Association is to cover policing costs at football matches. 
Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has informed me that the Football Association does not make an annual contribution toward the policing of domestic football matches within the Metropolitan Police Service area. Individual football clubs however do contribute toward costs for games at their respective home grounds.
Payments of around £11,000 in each of the years 200001 and 200102 have been made by the Football Association in connection with investigations or international matches.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 4 February 2002, Official Report, column 686W, on police houses, if it is his policy to withdraw the right to buy from a police officer who will be entitled to buy his property on 1 July. 
Mr. Denham: We propose in the Police Reform Bill to remove the Metropolitan Police Authority from the secure tenancy regime: but any secure tenant who has acquired the right to buy at the time of Royal Assent of the Bill will have a three month period of grace to exercise that right.
This will allow any secure tenant who has acquired the right to buy before the day on which the Act is passed and has either served a notice claiming to exercise that right before the Act is passed, or serves such a notice
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within three months of the Act being passed, to complete the purchase process within the framework of the Housing Act 1985.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police accident investigation officers were employed in the UK in (a) 1992, (b) 1995, (c) 1998 and (d) 2001. 
Mr. Denham: The information set out below is only for England and Wales as my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary (Mr. Blunkett) is not responsible for policing in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Information is collected annually by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary about the deployment of police service personnel.
I understand from the Inspectorate that it is not possible to identify separately the number of accident investigation officers as they are part of a larger traffic support group within police forces that also undertakes other traffic duties such as speed radar operators, vehicle examiners and hazardous chemical experts.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many instances 22 single shot pistols of the type used in the Commonwealth and Olympic games have been used in (a) homicide, (b) robbery and (c) other indictable offences during the period since the passing of the Firearms (Amendment) No. 2 Act 1997 and for the same period prior to the passing of that Act. 
Mr. Denham: The information requested is not collected centrally.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last discussed conditions in prison in England and Wales with the Chief Inspector of Prisons. 
Beverley Hughes: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary meets Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, normally on a quarterly basis to discuss current concerns. The most recent meeting was held on 31 October with the next taking place shortly.
Additionally I meet Her Majesty's Chief Inspector on a regular basis. The last meeting was on 14 February.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans to reduce the prison population. 
Beverley Hughes: We need to ensure that we can perform the basic duty to protect the public by punishing people for the crimes they have committed while ensuring we engage in rehabilitation to reduce re-offending and prevent crime. To this end we are committed to a radical re-think of the sentencing framework so as to give clarity and direction to the courts and avoid the damaging effects of prison overcrowding. Prison must be used as effectively as possible and targeted where it is most necessary. It should be used for incapacitating dangerous,
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violent and other serious offenders but prison sentences should be as long as necessary for punishment and public protection, and no longer.
The reform of the probation service, with its central focus on reducing re-offending means that rigorously enforced community sentences are a real and tough alternative to imprisonment. We want to build on this work to provide sentencers with more than two stark options, imprisonment or a community sentence. We are looking at intermediate disposals such as intermittent custody and a strengthened suspended sentence. On community sentences the courts need to be able to mix and match with a generic sentence so that we can get it right for the individual. As part of the work taking forward the recommendations of the Halliday report on the sentencing framework we are looking at new forms of community penalties that allow the sentencer this flexibility. We aim to encourage greater use of community penalties for some non-violent offenders such as those convicted of theft and handling or fraud.
Home Detention Curfew and a rigorous assessment process plays an important role by enabling some prisoners to be released from prison, while still subject to restrictions placed on their liberty. This facilitates a smoother and more effective integration back into the community and helps offenders to secure employment as soon as possible.
We are addressing the recent increase in female prison population by taking forward the Government's strategy for female prisoners. A cross-Government women's offenders reduction plan is currently being developed by a multi-agency team drawn from across the criminal justice system, which is based in the Home Office. The aim of the programme is to strengthen policy, programme, research and spending partnerships across government to reduce women's offending. This includes linking criminal justice work with broader Government efforts to tackle social exclusion, particularly as it affects women at risk of offending.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of (a) men and (b) women in prison are lone parents of children under the age of 18 years. 
Beverley Hughes: There are no centrally collated statistics on this issue.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who have escaped from prison are still at large; and on what dates they escaped from custody. 
Beverley Hughes: Of the 105 prisoners who have escaped from prison establishments since 1 April 1997 and 8 March this year six remain unlawfully at large. The date of each of these escapes is:
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Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons are serving a sentence in jail in England and Wales for (a) driving while disqualified and (b) actual bodily harm. 
Beverley Hughes: Data are not held centrally on those inmates serving sentences for driving while disqualified.
The number of persons serving sentences for assault on 31 January 2002:
|Offence||Number of sentenced prisoners|
|Other assault (ABH)(14)||190|
|Assault occasioning GBH(15)||881|
|All prisoners sentenced for offences of violence against the person.||11,933|
(14) Actual Bodily Harm
(15) Grievous Bodily Harm
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were committed to custody in 2000 for (a) driving while disqualified and (b) actual bodily harm; and what were the average sentence lengths. 
Beverley Hughes: Information taken from the Home Office court proceedings database for 2000 showing the number of persons sentenced to immediate custody and average sentence length imposed for driving while disqualified and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm in England and Wales is given in the table.
|Offence||Sentenced to immediate custody||Average sentence length (months)|
|Driving while disqualified||12,501||3.5|
|Assault occasioning actual bodily harm||4,404||8.0|
(16) These data are on the principal offence basis.
(17) Staffordshire police were only able to supply a sample of data for magistrates courts proceedings covering one full week in each quarter for 2000. Estimates based on this sample are included in the figures, as they are considered sufficiently robust at this high level of analysis.
Mr. Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) young offenders were sentenced to serve non-custodial penalties, (b) offenders were sentenced to serve custodial penalties and (c) offenders were sentenced to serve non-custodial penalties in the last 12 months broken down by the Metropolitan police divisional area in which they were arrested. 
Beverley Hughes: Information collected centrally does not allow a breakdown by police division within the Metropolitan police area, nor does it show where an arrest takes place.
The available information, from the Home Office court proceedings database, relating to 2000 is shown in the table. These data give for each inner London magistrates court and outer London borough (a) young offenders (aged 1017) sentenced to non-custodial sentences,
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(b) adult offenders (aged 18 or over) sentenced to custodial sentences, and (c) adult offenders sentenced to non-custodial sentences.
Information on court proceedings for 2001 will be available in the autumn.
|Sentencing court||Young offenders||Adult offenders|
|(Committing court in Crown Court cases)||Non-custodial sentences||Custodial sentences||Non-custodial sentences|
|Inner London magistrates courts(18)|
|Camberwell Green/ Tower Bridge||31||1,576||10,730|
|Greenwich / Woolwich||19||1,407||7,362|
|Camberwell youth court||1,097|||||
|South-western youth court||501|||||
|Thames youth court||1,052|||||
|West London youth court||1,155|||||
|Outer London boroughs|
|Barking and Dagenham||269||262||2,536|
|Other (not recorded)||16||174||175|
(18) Information held centrally does not allow a breakdown of cases by borough in the inner London area.
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