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13 Jan 2003 : Column 445W—continued


Anti-social Behaviour Orders

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 11 December 2002, Official Report, column 307W, on anti-social behaviour orders, of the 18 persons fined how many fines have been collected; and at what rate. [89343]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) ASBOs, (b) parenting orders and (c) curfew orders have been issued in the City of Newcastle upon Tyne. [89107]

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Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 January 2003]: (a) The table shows the number of notifications received by the Home Office of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) issued within the Northumbria Magistrates Courts Committee (MCCs) area (in which the City of Newcastle upon Tyne is situated) and by local government authority up to 30 June 2002 (latest available).

We are aware that the numbers of ASBOs made nationally have been consistently under-reported in returns made by magistrates courts and are considering how reporting can be improved.

(b) Youth Justice Board figures indicate that 2,712 Parenting Orders were imposed in England and Wales between April 2000 and September 2002. During this period the number imposed in Newcastle upon Tyne was eight.

(c) Figures from the electronic monitoring contractors indicate that 3,037 Curfew Orders with electronic monitoring were imposed on young offenders aged 10 to 15 in the period from the start of the contracts on 28 January 1999 to the end of December 2002. During that period the number imposed in Newcastle upon Tyne was five.

No applications have yet been received to establish a local child curfew scheme under section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Some local authorities and police forces have considered the possibility but concluded that other measures should be taken to tackle relevant local problems.

Number of ASBOs as notified to the Home Office by magistrates courts committee and local authority area within England and Wales, April 1999-June 2002

MCC/local authority areaTotal issued
Northumbria MCC25
Of which
From 1 April 1999 to 31 May 2000 by pfa8
From 1 June 2000 to 30 June 2002 by local authority area17
Gateshead MBC3
Newcastle upon Tyne, City of3
North Tyneside Council8
South Tyneside MBC2
Sunderland CC1


Between 1 April 1999–31 May 2000 data available by police force area (pfa) only.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation was held with the towns and cities to which asylum seekers will be sent; how many agreed to accept them; and what responsibility (a) NASS and (b) the accommodation agency has for assessing health and social services provision. [88674]

Beverley Hughes: Prior to becoming operational the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) wrote to regional consortia for each potential cluster area early in 2000 to seek their views on issues such as integration, access to education and healthcare before finalising

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the initial cluster list. Any representations against designation were carefully considered by NASS before a final decision was made.

Neither NASS nor our accommodation providers formally assess the impact of dispersal on healthcare and social services. These are matters for the Department of Health (DOH) but it is not intended that dispersal should place an overwhelming burden on provision of services and MASS does liaise with colleagues in the DOH about dispersal.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what review of the experience of (a) Clearsprings and (b) Landmark (Liverpool) in (i) housing and (ii) accommodation of asylum seekers was conducted before contracts were agreed; [88676]

Beverley Hughes: The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) is part of the Home Office and all its procurement exercises are undertaken in accordance with standard Government procurement rules. As part of the procurement process checks were made on the capability and suitability of potential suppliers and these checks would have included a review of their experience of housing and accommodation but not necessarily limited to asylum seekers. Former asylum seekers who have been given refugee status or allowed to remain on another basis are able to work and engage in business. Their former status as an asylum seeker would not have been taken into account in deciding whether the company was reputable.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to allow new asylum seekers to be able to work and so enable them to pay for their own support. [89534]

Beverley Hughes: There are no plans to re-introduce an employment concession for asylum seekers. The concession was established when widespread delays were occurring in the asylum system. By the time the concession was abolished in July last year it had become largely irrelevant and only applicable to a minority of applicants. The vast majority—around 80 per cent.— of asylum seekers currently receive an initial decision within six months of their application being submitted and could not therefore benefit from the terms of the concession.

We also believe that allowing new asylum applicants to work could act as a pull factor. We are determined to maintain a robust asylum process which helps those fleeing persecution and not those who wish to come to the UK to work. Those who wish to come here for the purpose of employment have a range of schemes open to them and we continue to open up more routes to allow people to come here and work legally in ways which boost our economy.

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Cambridgeshire Police Authority

(Government Support)

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his response to the request by Cambridgeshire Police Authority for central Government support for the cost of (a) policing animal rights demonstrations during 2001–02, and (b) Operation Fincham in Soham during the current year. [90047]

Mr. Denham: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, approved two special grants on 7 January totalling #4.65 million for the Cambridgeshire constabulary. He has awarded them a grant of #1.1 million for the additional costs of policing demonstrations in connection with Huntingdon Life Sciences in 2001–02. This is in addition to the #1 million special grant the force received in 2000–01.

The police authority has also been given a special grant of #3.55 million as a contribution to the additional costs of Operation Fincham in Soham.

The additional assistance we have provided has been welcomed by the Chairman of the Police Authority (Councillor John Reynolds) and the Chief Constable (Tom Lloyd QPM).


Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if his Department will take lead responsibility for the Government response to the Strategy Unit Review of Charities and the wider Not-for-Profit sector; [89288]

Beverley Hughes: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has responsibility for charities, charity law and the voluntary and community sector in England and Wales. The Active Community Unit of the Home Office has responsibility for managing the programme of implementation of the recommendations in the Strategy Unit report, working in conjunction with other Departments and agencies as appropriate.

The consultation period for the report ran until the end of December 2002. Work has now started on analysing the responses that have been received. The Active Community Unit will later this year publish an implementation plan for the recommendations arising from the report. The Government are in principle committed to legislate and will be looking for an early opportunity to do so.

Children in Prison

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children were in prison in each of the last 10 years. [88518]

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Hilary Benn [holding answer 7 January 2003]: The number of people under the age of 18 held in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales in the past 10 years is as follows. Information is shown as at 30 June each year.

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