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Ministerial Visits

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) date, (b) location and (c) purpose was of visits by Ministers in his Department to Wales since 1997; and when he next intends to visit Wales. [62079]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 17 June 2002]: Information in respect of United Kingdom travel is not held centrally and a full answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, I have visited Wales (North and South) on official business three times this year already including a keynote address at the Justices' Clerks Society Annual Conference in Cardiff. I plan to visit South Wales later this year to speak at a Crime and Drug Related conference.

All travel is undertaken fully in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Libraries.

Community Policing

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his oral answer of 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 589, what steps he has taken to familiarise himself with the situation in Nottingham; and if he will make a statement. [61755]

Mr. Denham: Day to day arrangements for the policing of Nottingham is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire (Stephen Green QPM) has told me of the proposed changes to the policing of the Nottingham (C) Division planned by the Divisional Commander (Chief Superintendent Johnson). I understand that the changes to beat policing have yet to be finalised and implemented, but they do have the support of the Chief Constable and Nottingham city council.

Nottinghamshire force was reorganised on 1 April this year with a view to improving policing in the county. This resulted in a change in the structure of Nottingham Division. In addition, Chief Superintendent Johnson (the new Divisional Commander) decided that he needed to increase the number of beat managers in Nottingham. The proposed changes are designed to deliver this.

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I am told the Divisional Commander also plans to address the different policing needs of Nottingham and recognise the heavy work load that Nottingham beat managers have through the changes he wishes to make.

Increasing the number of beat managers will not reduce officers out on the streets as beat managers also patrol their beat. It is intended that there should be teams of two to three shift working beat managers assigned to a beat over seven days. This should give better coverage than the present arrangements under which beat managers work Monday to Friday; give officers improved ownership of the beat, and more responsibility in policing the area. This should help the team to build better relationships with local communities.

The Government are committed to increasing the resources available to the police service. You may like to know therefore that in addition to a good police funding settlement in Spending Review 2000, we have, through the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF), allocated 157 CFF recruits to Nottinghamshire Constabulary over the three years to March 2003. On 31 January 2002 the force had 2,313 police officers which is 38 more than it had on 31 March 2001.


Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions fire services have attended each category B prison in the last 12 months for which information is available. [62377]

Hilary Benn: In the period June 2001 to May 2002, there were a total of 58 occasions on which the fire services attended category B prisons. These have been broken down by prison as follows:

PrisonNumber of times visited
Lowdham Grange0
Rye Hill2

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Non-UK Minors

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many girls aged (a) under 16 and (b) aged 16 and 17 years were arrested for prostitution in (i) 1999, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2001; how many of these were not UK nationals; and what nationalities were those who were not UK nationals. [62217]

Hilary Benn: The information is not collected centrally.

National Probation Service

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding he has made available to the National Probation Service for 2002–03; what criteria the NPS has used to fund the 42 probation areas; and what the areas' budgets are for (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03. [62052]

Hilary Benn: The provisional funding for the National Probation Service for 2002–03 is £666.7 million. This is used to meet

The target funding to the 42 probation areas for operational costs (c above) is calculated, (a) 85 per cent. on the basis of a formula which assesses relative need, and (b) 15 per cent. on the basis of workload. Since some local boards were historically funded significantly above the implied formula funding level, a minimum increase of 3 per cent. has been applied as a transitional measure.

The areas' budgets for operating costs (excluding short-term adjustments and before transfer of £20 million for Drug Testing and Treatment Orders to Department of Health) for 2001–02 and 2002–03 total £515 million and £537 million (provisional) respectively and are shown in the following table. Budgets for Hostels are £39.7 million and £40.6 million for 2001–02 and 2002–03 respectively.

Probation boards' allocations before transfers

Base position from 2001–02 IncreaseInitial allocation 2002–03
(£ million)(£ million)(£ million)Percentage increase
Avon and Somerset12.8930.38713.2803.0
Devon and Cornwall12.5160.37512.8913.0
North Yorkshire5.5900.5276.1179.4
Thames Valley16.0000.48016.4803.0
West Mercia8.8650.3469.2113.9
Greater Manchester30.6850.92131.6063.0
South Yorkshire14.9900.66115.6514.4
West Midlands31.1491.36032.5094.4
West Yorkshire23.9160.92824.8443.9
Greater London90.0722.70292.7743.0
North Wales5.9700.9086.87815.2
South Wales14.4860.46114.9473.2

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Health Screening

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's policy is on developing health screening for all people over the age of 60 years. [53685]

Jacqui Smith: General practitioners (GPs) are required, under their existing terms of service, to offer an annual health check to their patients who are over 75. The Department will consider with the GP professional bodies

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the best way of assessing the health of older people proactively in primary care, in the light of the single assessment process that is to be implemented shortly.

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