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Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he next expects to meet representatives of the magistracy to discuss the sentencing of young offenders. [51320]

Mr. Keith Bradley [holding answer 30 April 2002]: I have no meetings currently planned to meet representatives of the magistracy about this. However, I would be happy to meet with them in the future, diary commitments permitting. I will meet members of the Magistrates' Association on 11 June 2002.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what studies he has made of whether there is a relationship between the number of burglaries and street robberies in the past five years; and if he will make a statement. [54021]

Mr. Denham: The Home Office has not undertaken any research in the past five years that looks specifically at the relationship between the number of burglaries and the number of street robberies.

Racially Motivated Crime

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review policing arrangements with regard to racially motivated crime in (a) Burnley, (b) Oldham and (c) Bradford. [54058]

Mr. Denham: The policing arrangements are as follows:

14 May 2002 : Column 610W

Personal Safety

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to promote policies for instruction of the general public on personal safety from crime. [54190]

Mr. Denham: The Home Office produces a wide range of public information about personal safety and crime prevention. Police crime prevention officers and other crime reduction agencies distribute this material. Information and advice is also available on the Crime Reduction Website

In response to rising concern about mobile phone theft the Department has produced a leaflet which is distributed by the police and commercial organisations including Dixons, Virgin and the Carphone Warehouse.

We have distributed leaflets, doorstickers, videos and posters about distraction burglary directly to the elderly and the professional bodies and carers who work with them.

Advice about making homes and property secure from burglars, property marking, and specific advice about home security when moving home or going on holiday are also available and distributed by people engaged in crime prevention activity.

Our very successful vehicle crime campaign, featuring television and radio advertising, provides security advice for motorists. It also involves developing partnerships with appropriate commercial partners to help spread vehicle crime prevention advice. Our research suggests that the campaign is having an impact on motorist behaviour.

Domestic Violence

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of domestic violence were reported to the Metropolitan Police in each of the last three years. [54189]

Mr. Denham: Details of the numbers of domestic violence incidents in the Metropolitan Police force area, obtained from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary Annual Statistical Return from the force, are given in the following. The definition of domestic violence incidents used for the figures for 1998–99 is as follows:

"Any form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse which takes place within the context of a close relationship. In most cases, the relationship will be between partners, married, cohabiting or otherwise; or ex-partners".

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The figures for 1999–2000 and 2000–01 used the following definition:

Any violence between current or former partners in an intimate relationship, wherever and whenever the violence occurs. The violence may include physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse.

The figures for 1998–99 are therefore not directly comparable with those for 1999–2000 and 2000–01.

Domestic violence incidents—Metropolitan Police force area

YearNumber of incidents

Volunteer Bureaux

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the £1–2 million he has awarded in special grant to voluntary bureaux; and how it will be distributed to each individual office. [55032]

Angela Eagle: I agreed an Emergency Fund of £500,000 to support local volunteer bureaux and Councils for Voluntary Service facing imminent closure or the substantial loss of core services due to funding cuts. The crisis situation was identified by the National Association of Volunteer Bureaux (NAVB) and the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service (NACVS) on behalf of their members. The Fund is administered by NAVB and NACVS. Applications were invited from NAVB and NACVS member organisations and assessed by an independent panel using criteria agreed by Government. An announcement detailing which agencies have been awarded grants will be made before the end of May 2002.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average delay for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in relation to (a) deciding claims, (b) the review of such decisions and (c) hearings challenging such decisions in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [55188]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority advise that, using as the start and finish points the date of receipt of the application for the relevant stage and the date that the decision was issued, the average elapsed times for the period 1 May 2001 to 30 April 2002 were:


Elapsed time
Claims assessment305

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Electronic Tagging

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women are electronically tagged in England and Wales. [55201]

Beverley Hughes: On 30 April 2002, a total of 362 women were subject to electronic tagging in England and Wales.

Secure Accommodation

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many 12-year-old children have been remanded to local authority secure accommodation in the last month. [55041]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 May 2002]: One 12-year-old child was remanded to local authority secure accommodation in April 2002.

Physical Restraint

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department's policy is on the use of (a) handcuffs and (b) other implements of physical restraint on pregnant women under-18 when visiting hospitals from prison establishments. [55039]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 May 2002]: The current policy on the use of restraints on pregnant female prisoners is contained within Chapter 37 of the Security Manual (Prison Service Order 1000). All pregnant female prisoners (regardless of age) are subject to a thorough risk assessment before attending hospital for ante-natal checks and giving birth. This is done to assess any escape risks.

This process allows the Governor the discretion not to use restraints where it is considered that they are unnecessary. In the exceptional circumstances that a female prisoner going to hospital to give birth does require restraints, they will be removed on her arrival at the hospital and not re-applied until her journey back to the prison. A copy of the Security Manual is retained in the Library.

Police Numbers (Spelthorne)

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were serving in the Spelthorne Division on 1 January in each of the past five years. [55036]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 May 2002]: Spelthorne was affected by the boundary changes on 1 April 2000 between the Metropolitan police and Surrey police when the policing of Spelthorne was transferred to Surrey police. The information before April 2000 has therefore been provided by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Sir John Stevens) and the data for subsequent years provide by the Chief Constable of Surrey police (Mr. Denis O'Connor). The divisional boundaries of the old MPS area for Spelthorne are not coterminous with those of Surrey, consequently like with like comparisons cannot be made.

14 May 2002 : Column 613W

Spelthorne—police numbers
Police strength

SpelthorneNorth Surrey Division(22)
31 December 1997178.4n/a
31 December 1998180.8n/a
31 December 1999155n/a
31 March 2001164.5256.9
31 December 2001130.9186.5
31 March 2002n/a(23)376.1

(22) On 27 January 2002 the borough of Spelthorne was combined with the boroughs of Elmbridge and Epsom and Ewell to form the new A Division (North Surrey). The borough of Runneymede was transferred from the old North Surrey Division to West Surrey Division on 27 January 2002. Officers were moved in anticipation of these changes and this accounts for the fall in North Surrey numbers between March and December 2001.

(23) New North Surrey Division including Spelthorne.

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