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Juvenile Crime

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of juvenile crime was linked to the use of (a) alcohol and (b) drugs in each of the last 10 years. [61102]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Information about the proportion of juvenile crime linked to alcohol or drugs misuse in each of the last 10 years is not available.

We are, of course, aware that both alcohol and drugs misuse can be a significant factor in juvenile offending. Studies, such as the MORI Youth Survey published by the Youth Justice Board, provide a useful picture of the association between frequent drinking, drugs misuse and offending behaviour among young people. The 2002 MORI Youth Survey, published in May, while showing that a large proportion of young people have tried alcohol, shows clearly that those who admit to committing a criminal offence are likely to drink more regularly than those who do not. The survey similarly shows that young people who have committed a criminal offence within the previous 12 months are significantly more likely to have taken illegal drugs than those who have not offended.

Street Crime Action Team

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police forces and

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(b) basic command units have been asked to supply information to the Street Crime Action Team; on what topics and with what frequency. [61182]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 13 June 2002]: The Government are committed to reducing street crime.

In April 2002 the Government launched the 10 Force Robbery Reduction Initiative across the 10 police force areas with the highest levels of recorded robbery and snatch theft.

The 10 forces are: the Metropolitan police, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Avon and Somerset, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Thames Valley, and Lancashire. 133 basic command units (BCU) fall within these force areas. 82 per cent. of all street crime was recorded in those areas in the 12 months to March 2001.

As part of the initiative the Home Office Street Crime Action Team is in regular contact with the 10 forces on the full range of topics affecting reaching the goal of a sustainable reduction in street crime.

Police Standards Unit

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the Standards Unit for the police was established; how much has been spent on the unit; how much he expects to have been spent within the first 12 months; and what the anticipated annual running costs thereafter will be. [61178]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 13 June 2002]: The first members of the Police Standards Unit started in post on 9 July 2001. To date £709,000 has been spent on the unit. It is anticipated that the cost of running the unit in the first 12 months will be around £789,000. The expenditure for 2002–03 has been forecast to be in the region of £3.1 million for running costs. Running costs for the unit thereafter have been forecast at £3.6 million per annum.


Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigrants have entered the United Kingdom and sought citizenship in each year since 1992. [61332]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 13 June 2002]: The available information relates to the total number of people who have applied for British citizenship each year.

The table shows the total number of applications for British citizenship received for the period of January 1992 to December 2000 inclusive. This includes a handful of applications made outside the United Kingdom.

I regret that it is not possible to identify the year in which these people entered the United Kingdom as immigrants, but in order to qualify for British citizenship almost all applicants will have been residing in the United Kingdom for at least three years, and in many cases longer.

Information on citizenship is published annually in the statistical bulletin "Persons Granted British Citizenship", a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library and from the RDS website: http://

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Applications for British citizenship received in the United Kingdom, 1992–2000
Number of persons

Applications received(29)

(29) Includes a handful of applications made outside the United Kingdom

(30) Revised


Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many firearms, by category, were held by each police force in each of the last five years; [61849]

Mr. Denham: I am advised by the Association of Chief Police Officers that this information is not held centrally. It could be collected only at disproportionate cost.

People Trafficking (Sexual Exploitation)

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his policy that persons who have entered the United Kingdom and are found to be victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation are automatically granted exceptional leave to remain. [60825]

Beverley Hughes: It is not our policy to grant routinely exceptional leave to remain to victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Each case is considered in the light of its own individual circumstances, including any compassionate factors which may be put forward. The fact that someone has been brought here against their will might be one such factor, but we will take into account all other relevant issues, including the age, health and length of stay of the applicant.

The White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe Haven" outlined proposals for supporting victims of exploitation. Where such people are willing to assist the authorities in bringing traffickers to justice, special arrangements may be made for their protection. The Government intends to develop "best practice" to distinguish victims in genuine need and to provide them with appropriate help and support, whether they are allowed to remain here or are returned to their own countries.

The Government is committed to tackling people trafficking and exploitation. The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill (Clause 118) proposes a new 14 year penalty for a person convicted of facilitating the entry of an individual for the purposes of prostitution.

Pirated Entertainment

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been commenced against (a) sellers, (b) distributors and

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(c) producers of pirated (i) video cassettes, (ii) CDs and (iii) DVDs in each of the last five years; and how many have been successful. [59681]

Hilary Benn: The information requested is not available centrally.

Channel Tunnel

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are being taken at the UK end to reduce the use by illegal immigrants of the channel tunnel to enter the UK. [60241]

Beverley Hughes: The Immigration Service deploys a range of new detection technology to combat clandestine entry through the channel tunnel and other routes. Carbon dioxide and heartbeat detectors are in operation in Dover and Coquelles and two x-ray scanners deployed there by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise for the purpose of detecting contraband have regularly found clandestine entrants during their searches. These two scanners are shortly to be supplemented by two gamma ray detectors purchased by the Immigration Service and all four scanners will be manned by joint Customs/Immigration Service teams.

In addition, the Immigration Service is about to begin the next phase of its procurement programme and is looking to deploy additional detection devices in the United Kingdom and some continental ports. Searches are already conducted in some of those ports by ferry and port operators and the Immigration service is currently considering how best to assist them in their efforts, possibly by lending additional detection equipment.

The recent resurgence of clandestine entry via the SNCF rail freight site at Frethun requires additional security measures to be taken to secure the site. Following discussions, SNCF have undertaken to introduce measures to improve security as a matter of urgency.

In the forthcoming Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill the Government are seeking to amend the Civil Penalty provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to bring about a more flexible, but enforceable penalty regime. The object of the Civil Penalty is to persuade those responsible for vehicles and other transport to secure and check them properly to prevent the carriage of clandestine entrants. The Civil Penalty provisions apply equally to rail freight and freight shuttle wagons operating through the tunnel and since its introduction in clandestine entry on the Eurotunnel freight shuttle service has reduced dramatically.

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