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Police National Computer

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many, and what types, of errors were generated by the Police National Computer in each year since 1 January 1997. [51818]

Mr. Denham: This information is not available.

Operation Antler

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress on Operation Antler by Wiltshire Constabulary. [52412]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 25 April 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) on 13 March 2002, Official Report, column 1102W.

The Attorney-General has granted Her Majesty's Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon permission to apply to the High Court to quash the findings of the Inquest into the death of Ronald Maddison at Porton Down in 1953. The Wiltshire Coroner will be preparing and lodging the application for an order that a new Inquest be held. Wiltshire Constabulary will continue inquiries on behalf of the Wiltshire Coroner in order to facilitate the High Court application.

Red Cross

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial support his Department has given since 1 April 2000 to projects run by the British Red Cross. [52945]

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Angela Eagle [holding answer 26 April 2002]: As the Minister responsible for the voluntary and community sector, I am answering on behalf of central Government Departments.

The latest, estimated figures for central Government support to the British Red Cross, available for the 2000–01 financial year only, are as follows:

Department for Education and Skills98,500
Department for International Development32,011,423
Northern Ireland5,591
Scottish Executive20,220


These estimated figures do not include potential funding from the Welsh Assembly, which is not currently held centrally.

Young Prisoners

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many juvenile prisoners were held in segregation units for longer than seven days in each prison since April 2000. [52139]

Beverley Hughes: As this information needs to be collated, I shall write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of the letter in the Library.

Race Monitor

Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will announce the appointment of the Race Monitor under section 19E of the Race Relations Act 1976, as amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. [53680]

Mr. Blunkett: I am very pleased to announce that Ms Mary Coussey has been appointed as the Race Monitor and that she has taken up post. I have asked Ms Coussey to make an interim report to me in September 2002, which I will make publicly available, and to make her first annual report to Parliament in March 2003.


Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the current average time taken to process a written application for a visa under the au pair scheme in the last 12 months. [50034]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have been asked to reply.

There are no average times for processing applications received specifically from au pairs.

There is a target of processing 90 per cent. of straightforward applications within 24 hours. The percentage of straightforward applications processed in financial year 2001–02 was 92 per cent.

Where an interview is required the target time is 10 working days. In the last financial year 76 per cent. of posts met this target.

New Deal

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been employed

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by his Department in each of the last three years under (a) the new deal for young people, (b) the new deal for the over 50s and (c) the new deal for lone parents; and at what cost, listed by category, to public funds. [44928]

Angela Eagle: Information follows on the number of people who have been employed by the Home Department and its agencies under the new deal programmes for (a) young people; (b) the over 50s; and (c) lone parents:

New deal recruits take up existing vacancies so extra costs to public funds are limited to the subsidy, where appropriate, and any additional training and development which may be needed. The cost of the latter cannot be readily identified.

Data on the number of starts on the new deal for young people (18–24) in the civil service has been recorded by the Cabinet Office since the commencement of the programme in January 1998 until 1 October 2001.

In addition to the figure, the United Kingdom Passport Service reported that a further 185 people have been employed via the new deal initiative by the Criminal Records Bureau's business partner, Capita. The specified categories (i.e. young people, lone parents and over 50s) has not been recorded.

We continue to remain open to the potential advantages of employing people through the new deal for the over 50s and lone parents.

Antisocial Behaviour

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to deal with the problem of antisocial behaviour. [47429]

Mr. Denham: Action to tackle antisocial behaviour is being taken across Government Departments. Among the many actions we are taking are the introduction of community safety officers, the proposals to enhance the effectiveness of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs), and measures to speed up court procedures for evictions for antisocial behaviour. We are consulting on further measures to deal with the problems of antisocial tenants and of abandoned vehicles.

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the review of antisocial behaviour orders will be published; and if he plans to introduce new guidelines. [47600]

Mr. Denham: The Home Office review of antisocial behaviour orders was published on 2 April 2002. We are proposing legislative changes to improve the take-up and effectiveness of antisocial behaviour orders in the Police Reform Bill, and will produce clear and practical guidance on antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs), including relevant case studies, to accompany these changes.

PSA Targets

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the PSA target to reduce the economic costs of crime (a) was met in 2000–01 and (b) will be met in 2001–02. [47447]

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Mr. Denham [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The public service agreement for the economic cost of crime commits the criminal justice system departments to "reduce the cost of crime by March 2004 to be measured by an indicator to be developed by March 2001".

Estimates of the economic and social cost of crime were published in a report in December 2000, "The economic and social costs of crime" (Home Office Research Study 217). This sets out clearly how the figures have been derived. There are particular problems in providing accurate figures for some types of crime (especially commercial victimisation). The Criminal Justice Departments and Her Majesty's Treasury have not yet agreed how best to measure progress.

There are no cost of crime targets for 2000–01 or 2001–02. Although there are no interim targets until 2004, we are making every effort to ensure that we reduce crimes with a high economic cost.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the PSA target to reduce the fear of crime will be met in 2001–02. [47448]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 10 April 2002]: As stated in my reply to the hon. Member on 10 December 2001, Official Report, column 701W, the target is to reduce the fear of violent crime, burglary, and vehicle crime by 2004 from their 2001 baselines. During the baseline year, 22.3 per cent. of people were very concerned about violent crime, 16.5 per cent. about burglary, and 18.5 per cent. about vehicle crime. Data for the following year have not yet been published.

Street Crime

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how police areas not included in the initial pilot scheme will benefit from the cross-Government working of the anti-street crime initiative. [48576]

Mr. Denham: The street crime initiative is targeted at the 10 forces which account for 82 per cent. of robbery in England and Wales, but the effect of the initiative will have benefits for all police force areas. Good practice in partnership working across the criminal justice system and between other agencies will be disseminated to all areas. The 10 force initiative should serve to identify and remove any systemic blockages which may currently hinder the tackling of street crime not only in those 10 areas, but across the country. By setting up this initiative we are sending out a clear signal that we will not tolerate crime on our streets, wherever they occur.

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