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Antisocial Behaviour

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measurements are used to assess antisocial behaviour; and what targets are given for the police to tackle antisocial behaviour. [66891]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 10 July 2002]: Antisocial behaviour is assessed using information from the British crime survey which provides a measure of the public's perception of the level of disorder and antisocial behaviour in their area. The police's contribution to the overall target of reducing antisocial behaviour is measured using Best Value Performance Indicator 122, feelings of public safety. This is a subset of the British crime survey data broken down by police force area.

Criminal Records Bureau

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent communications he has had with voluntary organisations and non-governmental bodies with regard to the cost of Criminal Records Bureau disclosure information checks for volunteers; and if he will make a statement. [69130]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 18 April 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh) on 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 1079W.


Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is towards granting leave to remain on compassionate grounds to people who are receiving NHS treatment for HIV or AIDS. [69017]

Beverley Hughes: The United Kingdom is a signatory to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), now given effect in domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998. Policy for cases involving HIV/AIDS or other serious medical conditions was recently reviewed to ensure compatibility with the Human Rights Act and recent developments in ECHR case law; to ensure a consistent approach in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) towards cases involving consideration of medical issues; and to take account of developments in drug therapy used to treat HIV/AIDS.

The new policy came into effect for applications made on or after 19 December 2000, and applies to all cases where an applicant is seeking to stay in the United Kingdom because they are suffering from a serious medical condition. Under this policy the United Kingdom's obligations under Article 3 of the ECHR will be engaged where the following requirements are satisfied:

(i) the United Kingdom can be regarded as having assumed responsibility for a person's care; and
(ii) there is credible medical evidence that return, due to a complete absence of medical treatment in the country concerned, would significantly reduce the applicant's life expectancy; and
(iii) subject them to acute physical and mental suffering.

All applications to stay on medical grounds are given careful individual consideration of their particular circumstances.

15 Jul 2002 : Column 98W

Crime (Wandsworth)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) burglaries, (b) violent crimes, (c) drug offences and (d) thefts of vehicles were recorded by the Wandsworth police division of the Metropolitan police in each of the last five years; and what the total numbers of crimes committed in the division were in those years. [68443]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Numbers of recorded crimes for some offences and groups of offences have been collected centrally by police basic command unit since 1 April 1999, and the data for the years ending March 2000 and 2001 have been published in Home Office Statistical Bulletins 12–00 and 12–01.

The available details for the Wandsworth Basic Command Unit (BCU) are as follows:

Number of recorded crimes

Offence/offence groupYear ending March 2000Year ending March 2001
Domestic burglary3,3792,716
Violent crime(24)6,7986,580
Theft of vehicle1,8351,955

(24) Violent crime consists of violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery.

The figures for the year ending March 2002 are due to be published on 12 July 2002.


Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the reasons underlying his decision to abolish passport exit controls in 1997. [68083]

Beverley Hughes: A detailed study of the residual embarkation control was undertaken against the background of the decision by the Government in 1994, to abolish checks on passengers travelling from sea ports and small airports to continental destinations.

The residual embarkation control did not contribute to the overall effectiveness of the immigration control but was resource intensive. In 1997, 8 per cent. of the Immigration Service's operational duties were deployed to the operation of the embarkation control. After a lengthy period of consultation with interested parties, the Government decided in March 1998 to replace the routine presence of immigration officers with a new arrangement where the control could be set up at short notice in response to specific operational need. This was combined with an increased use of closed circuit television technology.

The reconfiguration of the embarkation control means that the Immigration Service can now use its resources more flexibly, concentrating on crucial areas such as clandestine entry, removals and secure border control.

UK Airwave Project

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the UK Airwave Project, stating (a) its agreed cost, (b) how cost overruns will be dealt with and (c) how many suppliers will be able to supply operating equipment to the programme over its lifetime. [68067]

15 Jul 2002 : Column 99W

Mr. Denham: The projected cost of the Airwave framework arrangement over the next 19 years is £2.9 billion, at 1999 prices.

Airwave is a private finance initiative (PFI), hence the main contractor, O2, will be required to compensate police authorities for delays or failures on their part that undermine the service or cause additional expense to forces. The contract is structured such that additional costs will only fall to the public sector if changes are made to the agreed specification within the framework arrangement at the request of the contracting authority, the Police Information Technology Organisation.

It is very difficult to estimate how many suppliers of the relevant equipment there are likely to be over the lifetime of Airwave. In such a market, and with a contract of this length, it is important to maintain an open and competitive supply of equipment, which offers the opportunity to realise future technological advances.

Operation Lancet

Mr. Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to publish the Independent Review of Operation Lancet. [70608]

Mr. Denham: I am publishing today Operation Lancet—A Case Study Review report. Copies are available in the Library.

15 Jul 2002 : Column 100W

The review contains helpful recommendations about good practice in the investigation of police misconduct and lessons which can be applied in the development of the new police complaints system. We will ensure that the recommendations are taken forward as part of that work.

I am very grateful to William Taylor and the review team for completing up the review following the sad death of its initial leader, Sir John Hoddinott.

Emergency Calls

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of 999 calls was not answered within 10 seconds in each police force in each year from 1990–91 to 2001–02, ranked from best to worst performance for the most recent year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. [66887]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The information requested is available from 1993 for all police force areas in England and Wales. A complete set of 2001–02 data is not yet complete, but it will be published in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's annual report in October, a copy of which is placed in the Library. The information which is available is set out in the table. City of London calls are handled by the Metropolitan police. Police authorities set their own target times for responses to 999 calls and these are given in the table.

999 calls, 1993 to 2000–01

1993 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97
ForceTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target timeTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target timeTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target timeTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target time
England and Wales1383138712871284
West Midlands1596159715951597
West Mercia1095109310891092
North Wales1086108810841082
Avon and Somerset1086108810911086
South Yorkshire3082308420802078
Greater Manchester1594159615941578
Thames Valley108610881092
West Yorkshire1577157915781577
South Wales1087108110801084
North Yorkshire566578578582
Devon and Cornwall1089108910841093
Metropolitan police1586158115891590
City of London(25)(25)(25)(25)(25)(25)(25)(25)

(25) Data collected by the Metropolitan Police Service

15 Jul 2002 : Column 101W

1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01
ForceTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target timeTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target timeTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target timeTarget time (seconds)Percentage of 999 calls answered within target time
England and Wales1289118912841187
West Midlands1598159815971597
West Mercia1092109410931092
North Wales1086108910881092
Avon and Somerset1086109210901090
South Yorkshire1577158615881590
Greater Manchester1581158615851590
Thames Valley1092109210891088
West Yorkshire1589159015861586
South Wales1081108010791086
North Yorkshire587588586585
Devon and Cornwall1093109310861084
Metropolitan police1591158715711584
City of London(26)(26)(26)(26)(26)(26)(26)(26)

(26) Data collected by the Metropolitan Police Service

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