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Private Finance Initiative

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answers to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) of 18 December 2001, Official Report, columns 237–38W, and 24 October 2001, Official Report, column 288W, concerning the private finance initiative, what the main areas of savings are leading to the cost savings indicated for the (a) Ryehill, (b) Dovegate, (c) Forest Bank, (d) Parc, (e) Lowndham Grange and Altcourse prisons; and if he will make a statement. [65416]

Hilary Benn: The same main elements in savings have been accrued from each of the seven prisons designed, constructed, managed and financed by the private sector. The main elements are threefold: construction costs, operational costs and risk transfer.

Youth Offending

Phil Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to tackle persistent youth offending. [66587]

Hilary Benn: We have given the courts new secure remand and tagging powers for 12 to 16-year-olds who repeatedly offend on bail. Both started in the 10 street crime priority areas on 22 April. Tagging started in the rest of the country on 1 June 2002 and secure remands will start there on 16 September 2002.

We have also: delivered the Youth Justice Pledge by halving the time taken from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders; funded the Youth Justice Board's intensive supervision and surveillance programmes for the most prolific offenders; and introduced the detention and training order for persistent and more serious young offenders.

As a result of our youth justice reforms results published in June 2002 for the first group of young offenders dealt with in July 2000 show that the reconviction rate fell by 14.6 per cent. They exceeded the Public Service Arrangement target of a 5 per cent. reduction in juvenile reconviction rates by 5 per cent. by March 2004.

Shop Crime

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the estimated annual losses were to businesses in the Portsmouth, South constituency due to shop crime in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [64480]

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Mr. Denham: The Home Department does not collect information about losses as a result of shop crime. The number of offences of theft from shops recorded by the police in Hampshire for the 12 months ended 31 March 2001 was 9,674, which is 5 per cent. less than the previous year. It is not possible to identify offences relating only to the Portsmouth, South constituency.

The survey of crime affecting retailers and manufacturers announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 23 April 2002 will provide up-to-date information on crimes against retailers including estimates of losses incurred. The results are expected to be available next spring.

Yarl's Wood

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of those who were detained at Yarl's Wood are detained (a) in a prison and (b) in an immigration detention centre; and if he will make a statement; [66622]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 2 July 2002]: Information about the number of detainees who have been removed is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by an examination of individual case files.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the search of the Yarl's Wood site has been completed; and whether fatalities have been discovered. [66612]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 2 July 2002]: Bedfordshire police completed their controlled clearance of the Yarl's Wood site on 24 May 2002. They are continuing with the forensic examination of the materials removed. To date, no evidence of fatalities has been found.

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Hard Cases Fund

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applications have (a) been made and (b) been successful to the hard cases fund; and if he will make a statement; [66609]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 2 July 2002]: Hard case support is provided under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. This allows the Secretary of State to provide, or arrange for the provision of, facilities for the accommodation of certain classes of person. It is policy to provide full board accommodation. There is no facility to make any subsistence payments. It is open to anyone who believes they have a case for support under section 4 to apply for it.

It is not possible to provide information on the number of applications received and accepted as this information is not routinely collected and to produce accurate figures would require a manual examination of all files held by the relevant section of the National Asylum Support Service (NASS). This could be done only at disproportionate cost.

West Midlands Police

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of police officers in each ethnic group resigned from the West Midlands police force in each of the last two years. [45328]

Mr. Denham: I am sorry not to have provided an earlier answer. The information in the table has been provided by the chief constable of the West Midlands police (Sir Edward Crew QPM). The force has apologised for the delay in supplying it.

The information provided covers the last two full years for which it is available (1999–2000 and 2000–01). The table shows the number of officers from each ethnic group who resigned, the number of resignations as a proportion of the total number of officers in that ethnic group and the proportion of total resignations by ethnic group.


WhiteBlack CaribbeanBlack otherIndianChineseOtherAll
Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) officers at 31 March 19997,008.481102789.67183.637,319.78
Number of resignations 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000812020186
Officers who resigned as percentage of FTEs1.161.8202.2301.21.17
Resigners' ethnicity as percentage of total resignations94.192.3302.3301.16
Number of FTE officers at 31 March 20006,886.8911229.698.38186.637,214.5
Number of resignations 1 April 2000 to 31 March 20019921212107
Officers who resigned as percentage of FTEs1.441.793.382.031002.311.48
Resigners' ethnicity as percentage of total resignations92.521.870.931.870.931.87

Crime and Policing (Wales)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the levels of crime and police resources in (a) North Wales, (b) Dyfed-Powys, (c) South Wales and (d) Gwent police areas in each year since 1997. [63966]

Mr. Denham: Crime in England and Wales fell by 21 per cent. between 1997 and 2000 (British Crime Survey 2001). Total recorded crime in Wales fell 16.5 per cent. between 1996–97 and 2000–01, taking account of changes in counting rules. Recorded crime in Wales since 1996–97 is set out in the table.

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Police force areaNumber of recorded crimesPercentage change from previous year
North Wales41,691-1.8
South Wales151,371-0.8
North Wales38,658-7.9
South Wales128,811-4.2
1998–99 (new rules)(13)
North Wales43,848-5.4
South Wales134,820-6.1
North Wales44,6061.7
South Wales127,040-5.8
North Wales47,7087.0
South Wales111,131-12.5

(13) Denotes crimes recorded using the expanded offence coverage and revised counting rules which came into effect on 1 April 1998.

Government revenue grant for Welsh police forces since 1997 is set out in the table. This is provision for all policing activity, including crime.

£ million

Dyfed-PowysGwentNorth WalesSouth Wales

Provision includes Home Office principal formula police grant, crime fighting fund and rural policing grant and Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) revenue support grant and national non-domestic rates.

Under DTLR floors and ceilings arrangements, all forces were guaranteed a minimum increase in police and DTLR grants of 2.3 per cent. for 2002–03. Floors and ceilings are not applied by the National Assembly for Wales, but to ensure North Wales benefited from a minimum increase of 2.3 per cent, the Home Secretary agreed to make a special payment to North Wales police authority of £362,000. Crime fighting fund and rural policing grants are outside this arrangement.

Figures for 2002–03 are not directly comparable with 2001–02 owing to the change in funding arrangements for the National Crime Squad/National Criminal Intelligence Service. On a like-for-like basis the comparable figures

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in 2001–02 for Dyfed-Powys, Gwent, North Wales and South Wales are £50.2 million, £65.8 million, £71.5 million and £154.3 million respectively.

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