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30 Oct 2002 : Column 843Wcontinued
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of delays in the national firearms certificate holders register database has been; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth : The national firearms certificate holders register is being developed on the police national computer (PNC) by the police information technology organisation (PITO) using its own internal resources. An integral part of the project is to provide a link between the local systems used by forces and the national database on the PNC. The procurement exercise to engage contract support to develop and implement the necessary interfaces failed to provide a satisfactory solution. PITO estimate that the manpower costs associated with this part of the project totalled some #21,000. I understand that PITO have recently issued a non-binding expression of interest for a re-tender to provide a single firearms licensing management system and to build the interface to the PNC. It is unlikely that the register will now be operational before summer 2004 and work is already being developed to achieve that aim.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) notifiable offences and (b) convictions per notifiable offence there were for each of the last five years in (i) South Somerset and (ii) West Somerset; and what the average figures were in districts within the same departmental family of comparable policing areas. 
Mr. Denham: Information referring to number of (a) notifiable offences (b) the number of convictions for notifiable offences and (c) the proportion of convictions per notifiable offence for the Avon and Somerset police force area is given in the following table. Data giving the proportion of convictions per notifiable offence for selected other police force areas are also given.
|Avon and Somerset(22)||199798(20)||199899(21)||19992000||200001||200102|
|Convictions for notifiable offences||n/a||16,766||18,743||17,186||n/a|
|Convictions per notifiable offence||0.11||0.13||0.12||n/a|
|Convictions per notifiable offence in selected police force areas|
n/a = Not available
(19) The other police force areas included on this table are those which have similar levels and patterns of recorded crime to Avon and Somerset.
(20) The number of crimes recorded in that financial year using the coverage and rules in use until 31 March 1998.
(21) There was an increase in notifiable offences during 2000/2001 due to boundary changes on 1 April 2000.
(22) Some police forces adopted the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in advance of the national implementation in April 2002 Changes in crime statistics in these forces will be strongly influenced by the changes in recording practices. Numbers of recorded crimes will be affected by changes in reporting and recording.
(23) The number of crimes recorded in that financial year using the expanded offence coverage and revised counting rules which came into effect on 1 April 1998
Criminal Statistics, England and Wales
Crime in England and Wales, 200102
Home Office Court Proceedings Database
30 Oct 2002 : Column 844W
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the ratio of police officers to notifiable offences for each of the Police Authorities in England for the latest year for which statistics are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 28 October 2002]: The requested details given in the table are based on information available in the Home Office Statistical Bulletins XCrime in England and Wales 200102", published in July, and XPolice Service StrengthEngland and Wales, 31 March 2002", published in September. The ratios may have been affected in comparison to the previous year as a result of some police forces implementing the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard in advance of its national implementation on 1 April 2002.
|Police force area||Crimes per officer(24)|
|Avon and Somerset||58|
|Devon and Cornwall||33|
|London, City of||13|
(24) Based on number of recorded crimes in the year ending March 2002 and the number of full-time equivalent police officers in post on 31 March 2002.
30 Oct 2002 : Column 845W
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the number of victims of people trafficking who have been removed from this country and then been subsequently trafficked back to the UK or to other EU destinations in the last five years. 
Beverley Hughes: As people trafficking is not yet a criminal offence, there are no figures currently collected on the number of cases of trafficking. The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill currently before Parliament creates a new offence of trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years. This will enable us to tackle the worst forms of exploitation pending the introduction of more comprehensive legislation when parliamentary time permits.
The only available estimates of the levels of trafficking are based on a Home Office research study XStopping Traffic" (Police Research Series 125, published in 2000), which indicated that there was intelligence to suggest that some women and children are trafficked into the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation. This was estimated at between 140 and 1,400 per year, but it was impossible to make a more accurate assessment of numbers. The report concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that this was on a large scale compared with other European countries. The report did not attempt to estimate the number of people who were trafficked a second time, having previously been removed.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the number of women illegally trafficked to Britain against their will for use in vice rings in the last 12 months. 
30 Oct 2002 : Column 846W
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As people trafficking is not yet a criminal offence, there are no figures currently collected on the number of cases of trafficking. The only available estimates of the levels of trafficking are based on a Home Office research study XStopping Traffic" (Police Research Series 125, published in 2000), which indicated that there was intelligence to suggest that some women and children are trafficked into the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation. This was estimated at between 140 and 1,400 per year but it was impossible to make a more accurate assessment of numbers.
Mr. Denham: Spending Review 2002 has made additional resources available for policing. By 200506, spending on the police will amount to around #1.5 billion more than in 200203. The final grant position for individual police authorities will take account of the allocation of resources for 200304 and the outcome of the recent consultation process on Local Government Finance Formula Grant Distribution.
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