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Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work permits were awarded to persons from (a) India, (b) South Africa, (c) Bangladesh and (d) Jamaica recruited to UK police forces in the last five years. 
Beverley Hughes: The number of work permits issued to United Kingdom police forces are listed in the table.
None of these were for non-European economic area nationals to be employed as a police officer. The occupations in question were an intelligence analyst and two analyst programmers.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are (a) in place and (b) under discussion in his Department in order to ensure compliance with the WEE Directive. 
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Beverley Hughes: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to him by my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Energy and Construction (Mr. Wilson) on 12 June 2002, Official Report, column 1266W.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received the interim report by Mr. Stephen Moore into the Yarl's Wood disturbances; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The final report of Mr. Moore's inquiry will be published as soon as practicable after the completion of the investigation into the events at Yarl's Wood removal centre. The timing for this will be dependent upon the progress of the separate inquiries being conducted by Bedfordshire police, Bedfordshire fire and rescue service, Bedfordshire county council and Group 4.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the nature of the educational facilities and curriculum he plans for asylum accommodation centres. 
Beverley Hughes: Children in accommodation centres will receive an education which will mirror that provided in schools, suitably tailored to their needs, and which will prepare them for entry to school if necessary.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision he has made with his Department's budget for the construction and running of asylum accommodation centres in each of the next three financial years. 
Beverley Hughes: Spending plans and priorities for all Home Office areas, including accommodation centres for asylum seekers, are under discussion with Treasury as part of Spending Review 2002 which covers the period 200304 to 200506.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2002, Official Report, column 842W, on alcohol, if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter to chief police officers and chief executives of local authorities regarding the measures relating to alcohol consumption in public places contained in the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A copy of the letter of 24 August 2001 to all chief executives of local authorities and chief officers of police has now been placed in the Library.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter to him dated 22 April 2002 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Miss H. Abdi. 
Mr. Blunkett: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 25 June 2002.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter to him dated 28 March 2002 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. A Abu-Jazad. 
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Mr. Blunkett: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 21 June 2002.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent discussions he has had with medical professionals about the possible dangers of taking cannabis; what their advice on the matter was; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what recent discussions he has had with the Crown Prosecution Service about the prosecuting of people found in possession of cannabis; what form the discussions took; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what recent discussions he has had with chief police officers about the arresting of people found in possession of cannabis; what form those discussions took; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) if he will estimate how much crime is committed, motivated by (a) cannabis and (b) other illegal drugs; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The problem of drug misuse and the amount of crime associated with it, such as crime committed to help fund a drug habit or organised crime involving the supply of illicit drugs motivated by financial gain, are central to the Government's drugs and crime reduction strategies. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and other Home Office Ministers have regular and frequent discussions with chief police officers on these and related matters.
Additionally, representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers and officials from the Crown Prosecution Service are regularly involved in discussions with Home Office officials on these and related issues, such as arrest referral and offences of cannabis possession.
Regarding levels of crime motivated by cannabis, Home Office Research Study 205 "Drugs and Crime: The results of the second developmental stage of the NEW-ADAM programme" by Bennett, T. (2000), copies of which are in the Library, states that there is some suggestion that, for offenders in general, cannabis use is associated with a slight inflation of criminal involvement. However, for offenders who use heroin and crack/cocaine, whether or not they also use cannabis makes little difference to their considerably higher level of offending.
Regarding levels of crime motivated by all illegal drugs, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 22 May 2002, Official Report, column 450W.
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has met Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, the Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, to consider the possible dangers of taking cannabis and related issues relevant to the drug's classification under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The advice he received is contained in the Advisory Council's report, "The classification of
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cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971", which was published on 14 March 2002, copies of which are in the Library.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to strengthen sentencing measures in relation to people who deal drugs in close proximity to schools. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Severe penalties are already available to the courts for people convicted of supplying drugs. The maximum penalty for supplying class A drugs is life imprisonment, the maximum penalty for supplying class B drugs is 14 years imprisonment and the maximum penalty for supplying class C drugs is five years imprisonment.
It is vitally important to protect young people from the harm that can be caused by drugs. Officials are currently looking into this matter, bearing in mind the discretion that the courts already have to take into account all the circumstances of the offence and the offender, including all aggravating and mitigating factors.
There are no specific proposals at this time.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) arrested and (b) successfully prosecuted for drugs-related offences in (i) Telford and (ii) the United Kingdom in 200102. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The available information, relating to persons arrested for offences involving drugs (trafficking, supplying, possession, etc.) and those proceeded against and found guilty of such offences in England and Wales in 2000 is shown in the table.
Statistics for 2001 will be available in the autumn.
Figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly respectively.
|Telford petty sessional area||West Mercia police force area||England and Wales|
|Number of persons arrested||(28)||1,451||(29)107,700|
|Number of persons proceeded against||73||716||51,251|
|Number of persons convicted||(30)77||660||44,621|
(28) Not available centrally
(30) May include persons proceeded against in earlier years.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the views of the people of Lambeth and Brixton on the experiment to treat cannabis possession as a non-arrestable offence. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 20 May 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has noted carefully the findings of the report carried out by the Police Foundation on the community's response to the Lambeth cannabis policing experiment. He recognises that while the report records high levels of support for the scheme, for many that support is conditional upon police officers spending more time dealing effectively with serious crime in the borough.
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