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Police Targets

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate, for each police force in England, the number of policing plan targets (a) set and (b) achieved for (i) 1999–2000, (ii) 2000–01 and (iii) 2001–02; and if he will make a statement. [66885]

Mr. Denham: [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The Government require police authorities to set targets in respect of Best Value indicators for domestic burglary, vehicle crime and, in five metropolitan areas, robbery. These five areas are: Merseyside; Greater Manchester; West Midlands; West Yorkshire; and the Metropolitan police. The information requested is not available for the years 1999–2000 and 2000–01. The information requested for 2001–02 is shown in the table. Targets for all other indicators may be set locally by the police authority following consultation with their communities. Performance data are published annually in police authorities' Best Value Performance Plans.

Targets for domestic burglary, vehicle crime and robbery

Domestic burglary target Robbery target Vehicle crime
Police forcesNo. targets setNo. targets metSetMetSetMetSetMet
Avon and Somerset30101010
City of London21110010
Devon and Cornwall21100011
Greater Manchester31101011
Metropolitan police30101010
North Wales20100010
North Yorkshire30101010
South Wales20100010
South Yorkshire30101010
Thames Valley30101010
West Mercia21100011
West Midlands30101010
West Yorkshire(36)301101
England and Wales107254392104316

(36) Have set targets for 2004–05.

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Pre-Sentence Reports

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason the target for the percentage of pre-sentence reports done within the 15-day national standard has not been met. [68786]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 11 July 2002]: Probation service national standards set out what the probation service is expected to deliver in respect of providing pre-sentence reports to the court. Performance is closely monitored and there is clear evidence of improvement in magistrates courts from 54.6 per cent. in 1996–97 to 79.5 per cent. in 2001–02. This is against a target of 90 per cent. The probation service is working with the courts to improve further performance in this area.

Race Hate Literature

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to improve liaison between the police and the CPS regarding the prosecution of those responsible for race hate literature; and if he will make a statement. [36870]

Mr. Denham: Following discussions in the Lawrence Inquiry Steering Group meeting in October 2001, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has issued further guidance to staff. All cases, whether submitted for preliminary advice or as files for prosecution under Part III of the Public Order Act 1986, will be considered by a small team of lawyers within the Casework Directorate at CPS headquarters, in order to ensure that best practice is followed and that there is consistency in decision making. Local Chief Crown Prosecutors will ensure that Chief

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Constables are aware of this situation and of the ability of the CPS Casework Directorate to provide advice at any stage of an investigation.

The Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers will discuss other possible measures, in particular a mechanism for pooling experience concerning cases of successful prosecution, at their next bilateral meeting.

In addition, the Government have introduced, in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, changes to the law on incitement to racial hatred which expand the coverage of the offences to include hatred against groups abroad and which increase the maximum penalty for these offences from two to seven years' imprisonment.

Darren Cowdrey

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what investigations have taken place into the injuries suffered by Darren Cowdrey, prisoner HJ 5552, in Wandsworth prison. [68934]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 11 July 2002]: The police have investigated the incident to which the hon. Member refers. They are satisfied that no crime was committed. A member of Prison Service Construction Unit also visited Wandsworth to look at health and safety aspects of the incident.

Kainos Rehabilitation Units

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if Kainos rehabilitation units have been closed; if he will list the closure dates of such units; and if he will make a statement. [69482]

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Hilary Benn: The Kainos Community programmes at Highpoint South and North prisons closed by mutual agreement on 31 January 2002 and 30 April 2002 respectively.

The Prison Service is considering a proposal from Kainos Community to continue to run modified versions of the existing programmes at Swaleside and the Verne prisons, on a self funding basis.

Wandsworth Prison

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what use is made of (a) safety nets and (b) CCTV to reduce prisoner harm and self-harm in Wandsworth Prison. [68935]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 11 July 2002]: Wandsworth prison has safety nets on every wing which, in addition to its other safety purposes, prevents prisoners from falling from the landings to the ground floor. Closed Circuit television (CCTV) is present in some areas of the prison, but not in the residential areas. In those areas of the prison where CCTV is present, it might contribute to the prevention of self-harm but this is not its primary purpose.

Voluntary Constables

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average number of voluntary constables was in each of the past 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [60716]

Mr. Denham: The numbers of special constables in England and Wales from 1991 to 2001 are given in the table. From 1990 to 1995, statistics on the strength of the special constabulary in England and Wales were collected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. These were compiled at the end of the calendar year until 1993, and then for the financial year 1994–95. Since 1995, these statistics have been collected by the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate. They are compiled at the end of March and September each year.

December 199117,543
December 199219,035
December 199320,573
March 199520,026
September 199519,655
September 199619,451
September 199719,163
September 199817,296
September 199915,727
September 200013,487
September 200112,068

Figures to March 1995 supplied by HMIC, figures from September 1995 supplied by Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate

Figures to march 1995 supplied by HMIC, figures from September 1995 supplied by Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate

Special Constables are a key element of our police reform agenda. We are working on a package of measures designed to help reverse the decline in numbers by improving the way they are recruited, managed and

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deployed. We are particularly keen to improve liaison with employers—after all, Specials bring a wealth of training and experience in to their wider workplace. We are also publishing guidance on good practice by the end of this year. And we have set aside £300,000 to help "specials champions" drive forward initiatives to improve the recruitment and retention of specials.

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