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Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many arrests have been made in the last five years against persons suspected of (a) erecting flags associated with proscribed organisations and (b) painting murals related to proscribed organisations; and if he will make a statement. 
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criminal offences are committed when persons (a) erect flags associated with proscribed organisations and (b) paint murals related to proscribed organisations; and if he will make a statement. 
1. Breach of the Peace (Common Law)
2. Provocative Conduct in Public Place or at Public Meetings or Procession (Article 19(1) Public Order (NI) Order 1987 which states "A person who in any public place or at or in relation to any public meeting or public procession:
(i) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour; or
(ii) displays anything or does any act; or
(iii) being the owner or occupier of any land or premises, causes or permits anything to be displayed or any act to be done thereon,
with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or by which a breach of the peace or public disorder is likely to be occasioned (whether immediately or at any time afterwards) shall be guilty of an offence"
3. Intimidation (Section 7, Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act 1875) which states, "Every person who, with a view to compel any other person to abstain from doing or to do any act which such other person has a legal right to do or abstain from doing wrongfully and without legal authority
(i) uses violence to or intimidates such other person or his wife or children, or injures his property; or
(ii) persistently follows such person about place to place; or
(iii) hides any tools, clothes or other property owned or used by such other person or deprives him or hinders him in the use of thereof; or
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(iv) watches or besets the house or other place where such other person resides, or works or carries on business or happens to be, or the approach to such a place; or
(v) follows such person with two or more other persons in a disorderly manner in or through any street or road,
shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a time not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both". In relation to the painting of murals related to proscribed organisations:
1. Breach of the Peace (Common Law)
2. Use of Words or Behaviour or Display of Written Material (Article) 9(1) Public Order (NI) Order 1987) which states, "A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting is guilty of an offence if
(i) he intends thereby to stir up hatred or arouse fear; or
(ii) having regard to all the circumstances hatred is likely to be stirred up or fear is likely to be aroused thereby".
3. Criminal Damage (Article 3(1) Criminal Damage (NI) Order 1977) which states, "A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence".
It must be emphasised that contemplating any such prosecution of the above is strictly dependent on the individual circumstances of the case. For instance what may intimidate, provoke etc. a particular reaction at an interface, may not have the same effect in the middle of a Loyalist or Republican estate.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the overseas trips on departmental business that have been undertaken in each of the last five years by officials in his Department; and what the (a) cost, (b) purpose and (c) result was in each case. 
David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he consulted the Northern Ireland Fireworks Association during the preparation of the Explosives (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002. 
Jane Kennedy: Officials from my Department met with a delegation of representatives from the fireworks industry in Northern Ireland in February 2002. At that meeting the delegates indicated their intention to form the Northern Ireland Fireworks Association.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the operation of CCTV cameras in the Short Strand area of East Belfast; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: CCTV cameras in the Short Strand area are the sole responsibility of PSNI. However, I believe there is a great deal of potential with CCTV and have been monitoring their use. The Police Service has
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advised that since 12 May, these cameras have identified some 22 people of being involved in street violence; leading to 11 arrests, with more pending.
On a disappointing note, there have been regrettable incidents involving individuals damaging the CCTV cameras, even though they have been installed to enhance the public safety of all. I would call on everyone with any influence to do all they can to bring these attacks to an end.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what arrangements have been made for the Police Service of Northern Ireland to purchase water cannons for use in Northern Ireland. 
Jane Kennedy: The Police Service of Northern Ireland, following discussion with the Northern Ireland Policing Board and ACPO, will shortly place an order for six new vehicle-mounted water cannon. It is hoped that the water cannon will be delivered before the summer of 2003.
This decision reflects the particular circumstances of North Ireland. It follows receipt of an interim statement, compiled by the independent DSAC Sub-Committee on the medical implications of less lethal weapons, on the medical implications of the use of vehicle-mounted water cannon in public order situations. The DSAC Committee is scheduled to complete the evaluation of vehicle- mounted water cannon before the systems enter service.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will introduce sanctions against those political parties whose paramilitary wings are found guilty of (a) smuggling and (b) counterfeiting goods in the United Kingdom. 
Jane Kennedy: The Organised Crime Task Force, which I chair, recognises the lingering, significant influence of paramilitary groups in such organised crime activities and assesses that nearly half of the 76 organised crime groups identified in Northern Ireland are either controlled by, or linked with, republican or loyalist paramilitary organisations.
That said, it is very important that I confirm that the law enforcement agencies represented on the Task Force do not tackle organised criminals or crime groups on the basis of their paramilitary affiliations (or lack of them), but because of their involvement in criminal activities.
I hope that the hon. Gentleman will agree with me that his firm response by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, HM Customs and Excise and the other agencies represented on the Task Force, is the best response to those involved in smuggling, counterfeiting and, indeed, organised crime in all its forms.
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Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to (a) identify and (b) prosecute those paramilitary and other individuals involved in the (i) smuggling and (ii) counterfeiting of goods in Northern Ireland. 
Jane Kennedy: The Organised Crime Task Force, which I chair, has a clear strategy in place to tackle these two key areas of organised criminal activity, which are laid out in the "Confronting the Threat" threat assessment and strategy documents, published and laid in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament on 23 May 2002.
The threat assessment and strategy documents describe in detail the successes that the law enforcement agencies have had in tackling smuggling, counterfeiting and, indeed, other areas of organised criminality. In brief, the Task Force has identified 76 criminal networks involved in a range of organised criminality. It has been assessed that at 31 March 2002: 41 per cent. of the groups are involved in tobacco smuggling; 30 per cent. engaged in alcohol smuggling; 26 per cent. in hydrocarbon smuggling; and 34 per cent. of the group are involved in counterfeiting goods.
During the last financial year, 57 criminal networks were subject to detailed law enforcement investigation and 43 have had members arrested for a wider range of serious offences. As a direct result of such action, 42 organised crime networks have been disrupted or dismantled.
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