Previous Section Index Home Page

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

Mr. Patrick Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what date the backlog team set up by the Home Office Pay and Pensions Service will have dealt with all requests for pay details from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in respect of its employees and pensioners which were outstanding on 21 May. [59255]

Hilary Benn: Having checked through the backlog of cases currently being dealt with by Special Projects team, there are 12 pay queries relating to staff of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP). We aim to have completed the work on these queries by the end of June, subject to Pay Service being able to access all information needed to resolve them.

Asylum Accommodation

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision he plans to make for the education of children of staff employed at the proposed Throckmorton asylum accommodation centres. [59604]

Beverley Hughes: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 12 June 2002, Official Report, column 1307W.

Identification Parades

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the policy is on the reimbursement of loss of earnings to witnesses taking time to attend identification parades; and whether that policy permits a degree of discretion. [48733]

Mr. Denham: This is an operational matter for police forces and no central guidance is issued. It is for the force to decide in the individual circumstances of the case whether to provide a witness attending an identity parade with compensation for loss of earnings. The increased use of video identification parades will help to minimise delays in the identification process and reduce burdens on witnesses' time.

24 Jun 2002 : Column 696W


Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent requests have been made by foreign Governments of the UK Government for extradition of named individuals; and what Her Majesty's Government's response has been. [62014]

Mr. Blunkett: In the year to 31 March 2002, the United Kingdom received 130 1 extradition requests. In the same period, the outcome 2 of cases decided was as follows:

Fugitives surrendered58
Requests withdrawn25
Fugitives discharged at court13
Requests refused by Secretary of State (13)5

(11) The number excludes requests governed by the backing of warrants regime in place as between the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland. Those figures are not collected centrally. The number also excludes requests made directly to Scottish Ministers.

(12) Outcomes in any given year do not necessarily correspond to the number of requests received.

(13) Those five requests were from countries with which the UK has no general extradition arrangements.

Consideration of remaining request is continuing.

Community Policing

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will define operational matters with regard to community policing; and what guidance he issues on community policing. [61621]

Mr. Denham: I have no current plans to define operational requirements or to issue any guidance in relation to community policing. Future priorities for guidance will be set out in the National Policy Plan, subject to parliamentary approval.

The Government are determined to maximise the amount of time police officers spend in the community. We are taking steps in the Police Reform Bill to empower support staff to carry out those functions which prevent police officers from leaving the police station and we are encouraging Basic Command Unit Commanders to take innovative steps to increase the visibility of their officers. Also, the Policing Bureaucracy Taskforce, chaired by Sir David O'Dowd, is looking at how we can cut unnecessary bureaucracy in the police service.


Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he will reply to the letter to him dated 22 April from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Abdul Hamid Afzali; [61692]

Mr. Blunkett: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 20 June 2002.

24 Jun 2002 : Column 697W

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many letters he has sent to chief constables about administrative matters since 7 June 2001. [62199]

Mr. Denham: Since 7 June 2001, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has sent one letter about an administrative matter which was addressed to all chief constables.

Competitive Tendering

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the last 12 months the requirement to engage in a competitive tendering process has been waived by his Department due to national security obligations under paragraph 6(h) of the supply regulations. [62819]

Mr. Blunkett: In the last 12 months the Home Department has waived the competitive tendering process due to national security obligations under the supply regulations on three occasions.


Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the proportion of retail premises which were burgled in (a) Essex and (b) England in the last 12 months. [62369]

Mr. Denham: The Home Department does not collect separate information about the number of burglaries in retail premises. The numbers of offences of burglary in non-residential properties (which include retail premises) recorded by the police in Essex and England for the 12 months ended 31 March 2001 are given in the table. Both numbers have fallen compared to the previous year.

Non-residential burglaries
Geographical areaNumberPercentage change from previous year

The survey of crime affecting retailers and manufacturers announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 23 April will provide up to date information on crimes against retailers. The results are expected to be available next spring.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what security measures are being taken to prevent terrorists from (a) smuggling into the United Kingdom a dirty bomb and (b) detonating such a device. [62708]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 19 June 2002]: Since the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001, the Government have conducted a thorough comprehensive review of all preventative and protective measures to counter terrorism, including the possibilities to which my hon. Friend refers. We have built upon the plans which we have developed over a period of years for responding to a wide range of terrorist threats, including

24 Jun 2002 : Column 698W

those which might involve the threatened or actual use of radiological or nuclear materials. For security reasons, it is not our policy to disclose details of these plans.

Additional resources that I announced following the Budget on 17 April 2002 have assisted in expanding the scope and effectiveness of these measures.


Parades Commission

Mr. Patrick Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make an announcement on the Parades Commission's annual report. [64440]

Dr. John Reid: The Parades Commission's fourth annual report, covering the operation of the commission over the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002, was published on 20 June. Copies have been placed in the Library.

Car Crime

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by what means he monitors joyriding as a specific aspect of vehicle crime; what recent studies have been conducted on the perpetrators of this crime; and how many (a) arrests and (b) prosecutions have been effected over the last 12 month period for which figures are available. [60853]

Jane Kennedy: The PSNI considers the term "joyriders" an inappropriate one to describe car thieves. The terms that best describe the activities of car thieves are: "casual car theft"—where the opportunist criminal is casual about the car that they are intending to take, and will take any vehicle which is found to be vulnerable; "professional car theft"—where the organised criminal targets a specific make, model, specification and colour of car or possibly a specific car.

Casual car crime is not monitored as a specific aspect of vehicle crime.

There is a growing understanding that many cars are not stolen but are in fact "runabouts". A "runabout" is an old vehicle, without current licence, normally uninsured, which has changed ownership several times since the last notification to DVLNI. These vehicles offer significantly less risk to drivers than the use of stolen vehicles, and it appears that many of the vehicles being used by "casual car thieves" are not stolen, but are "runabouts".

Concerned about the uses to which "runabouts" are put, the PSNI, from 19 March to 16 June 2002, undertook an operation known as "Clean Up". A substantial number of "runabouts" were seized. Some 943 vehicles were seized and owners reclaimed 145. Owners had to produce a vehicle licence or leave a surety of £120 until they produced a vehicle licence. To date 550 "runabouts" have been destroyed and the balance will also be destroyed over the next few weeks, except for a small number, perhaps 20–30, which are considered suitable for auction. The registration numbers, makes and models of all seized

24 Jun 2002 : Column 699W

vehicles were forwarded to the Motor Insurance Information Centre who have to date not found any insured vehicles. The initial results of the operation found:

It is anticipated that operation "Clean Up" may result in a change in the method of changing the ownership of vehicles.

Information on the number of arrests and prosecutions for "joyriding" is not available but I would refer the hon. Member to the following table which provides the recorded theft of vehicles/unauthorised taking offences and clearance rates for 2000–01.

Northern Ireland
Percentage cleared11.4

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) level of car ownership, (b) incidence of vehicle thefts, (c) level of stolen vehicle recoveries and (d) incidence of normal residence of individuals prosecuted for car theft was in each policing district in the last 12 months. [60854]

Jane Kennedy: The Department of Environment (NI) has advised that the level of car ownership in Northern Ireland for the calendar year 2000 was 622,488 out of an overall figure of 730,730 for vehicle ownership.

The table shows by district command units, the recorded number of theft of vehicles/unauthorised taking of vehicles and the percentage cleared in the year 2000–01.

Information on the incidence of normal residence of individuals prosecuted for car theft by policing district is not available.

Theft of vehicle/unauthorised taking offences recorded and percentage cleared 2000–01

RecordedPercentage cleared
Belfast South2,3127.8
Belfast North1,0239.8
Belfast West1,1807.9
Belfast East58710.9
North Down2646.8
Newry and Mourne37916.6
Dungannon and South Tyrone18219.8
Northern Ireland10,80611.4

24 Jun 2002 : Column 700W

Next Section Index Home Page