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19 Dec 2002 : Column 993W—continued


Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been recalled to custody following a breach of a prison licence in each month since March 2001. [84302]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 2 December 2002]: Information on the number of people being recalled to custody following a breach of licence is given in the table.

Ordinary licenceHome detention curfew (HDC)

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A breach may be a non-compliance of a licence condition. However, consideration must be given primarily, to the element of risk to the public, regardless of an actual breach, that the offender presents in terms of his behaviour. If his behaviour pattern suggests that there may be further offending, and therefore there may be a risk to the public, then that too would be considered a breach.

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Replica Firearms

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will prohibit the sale of replica firearms. [87284]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth : I am considering how we might improve controls on the possession of replica firearms.

Secure Units

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans his Department has for expanding (a) local authority secure units, (b) young offenders institutions and (c) secure training centres; and if he will make a statement. [85198]

Hilary Benn: The number of places in Local Authority Secure Units (LASUs) available to the Youth Justice Board (YJB) was increased by 60 during 2002–03. The Board has no plans to increase the number of LASU places further.

The Prison Service has made available a further 164 places to the YJB for juveniles during 2002–03. No decisions have been made whether or not to seek to continue this requirement during 2003–04, but the YJB has no plans to expand further the number of juvenile Young Offender Institution places.

Work on providing an additional 64 beds at Rainsbrook and Medway Secure Training Centres (STCS) has recently been completed. The number of places in STCs has therefore increased during 2002–03 from 130 to 194. The YJB is preparing a contract for the development of a new 80-bed Secure Training Centre at Milton Keynes which it hopes may be available in 2004–05. The Board's current plans are that those additional 80 places will substitute for non-STC places. No firm decisions have been made about any further expansion of the STC estate.

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the forecast budget is for (a) local authority secure units, (b) young offenders institutions and (c) secure training centres in (i) 2002–03, (ii) 2003–04 and (iii) 2004–05. [85200]

Hilary Benn: The Home Office pays annual grant to the Youth Justice Board to meet the costs of the youth justice service in England and Wales, including the provision of juvenile secure accommodation. The Board's forecast expenditure in 2002–03 and its provisional budget for 2003–04, subject to final decisions on allocations following the Spending Review 2002 Settlement for secure accommodation, is as follows:

# million

Local authority secure units5653
Young offender institutions155161
Secure training centres(33)3859

(33) Includes capital

Details of provision for 2004–05 are not yet available following the Spending Review Settlement and are the subject of discussions between the Department and the board.

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Spending Review

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for his Department (a) those Comprehensive Spending Review 1998 targets that were outstanding at the time of the statement on the Comprehensive Spending Review 2002, (b) progress on such targets since then and (c) the expected date when targets not yet achieved will be met. [87697]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 17 December 2002]: The Home Office publishes progress against all its outstanding Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets in its Departmental Report. The Annual Report for 2001–02 (Cm 5406) was laid before Parliament in June, and is available on the Home Office website ( The Home Office PSA targets for 2003–04 to 2005–06 are contained in the Spending Review White Paper published by the Treasury (Cm 5571).

Street Robberies

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many street robberies took place in the Greater London area during the last 12 months. [86826]

Mr. Denham: National statistics on recorded crime published in July showed that there were 53,547 robberies in the Metropolitan Police Force area between April 2001 and March 2002, which represented an increase of 31 per cent. compared to the previous year.

Figures published in October 2002, as part of the Street Crime Initiative, showed that there were 20,773 robberies between April and September 2002. This was 17 per cent. below the level recorded for the same period the previous year. There were 33 per cent. fewer robberies and snatch thefts in the Metropolitan Police in September 2002 when compared to January 2002, which was the month immediately preceding the onset of Operation Safer Streets.


Council Tax Benefit

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households living in (a) Liverpool, (b) Birmingham, (c) Newcastle and (d) the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham who are in receipt of council tax benefit have had their benefit capped as a consequence of the council tax benefit restrictions in (i) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02. [85677]

Malcolm Wicks: Information is not available by local authority. The available information is in the table.

Council tax benefit claims restricted to Band E by Government Office Region at May 2000 and May 2001

Government Office RegionMay 2000May 2001
North East(34)(34)
North West(35)1,000(35)1,000
West Midlands(35)1,000(35)1,000

(34) Signifies nil or negligible.

(35) Figures under 2,400 are subject to a high degree of sampling variation and

should be used only as a guide.


1. The data refer to households claiming Council Tax Benefit which may be a single

person, a couple or a family. More than one benefit household can live in one property, for example two or more adults in a flat or house share arrangement.

2. Figures for any non-responding authorities have been estimated.

3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand and are subject to a degree

of sampling variation.

4. Figures exclude any Second Adult Rebate cases.


Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1

per cent. sample, taken in May 2000 and May 2001.

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Fairground Safety

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many fatal accidents there have been at fairgrounds in each of the last 10 years; [85730]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The table sets out the numbers of fatal accidents over the last 10 years:

Number of fatal accidents

(36) Indicates a fatal accident to an employee.

Following a number of fatal accidents at fairground rides in 2000 the Health and Safety Commission (HSC)/Executive (HSE) carried out a fundamental review of fairground safety, in consultation with the fairground industry.

The Review considered that the current regulatory regime is fit for purpose as a flexible framework for continuing to improve accident prevention. It is based on a sound framework of law and industry-specific guidance, receives high level of support from the leaders of industry, and has been shown to be enforceable by the Health and Safety Executive. If it is complied with fully, competently and diligently the risks of death and injury will be minimised.

However, the Review also recognised that reforms could be made to improve standards of safety in the fairground industry and made a number of recommendations to strengthen the existing regime including that inspectors should specialise more in

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relation to this industry. HSE has now established a National Fairground Inspection Team to improve consistency of approach and to use to the maximum the expertise and experience of the HSE Inspectors working in this area.

There are therefore are no immediate plans for further reforms of fairground safety. The Health and Safety Executive has acted upon recommendations contained in the fundamental review of fairground safety that reported to the Health and Safety Commission in September 2001. Additional legislative controls remain an option should there be deterioration in compliance with the existing regime or in accidents.

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