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13 Jan 2003 : Column 449W—continued


Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 4 November 2002 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Jabar Abdullah Mawlood. [89234]

Mr. Blunkett: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 17 December 2002.

Crime Initiatives

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what Government initiatives have been put in place in the (a) Twickenham constituency, (b) London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and (c) London, designed to bring down crime; and if he will make a statement. [88823]

Mr. Denham: There has been much work on crime reduction during 2002–03 within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames which has been funded through Government initiatives: Communities Against Drugs (#169,000), Safer Communities Initiative (#54,000), and the Partnership Development Fund (#20,000). This has helped Richmond Crime Reduction Partnership, which covers Twickenham, to implement local schemes such as the development of a youth project targeting those at risk of committing street crime, pro-active policing of suppliers of class 'A' drugs, and supporting a closed circuit television (CCTV) control room.

Across London, Government funding has been provided for several crime reduction initiatives including over #16 million through Communities Against Drugs; #21 million for CCTV equipment since 1999; #1.5 million on Reducing Burglary Initiative; #7.3 million for the neighbourhood wardens and street wardens initiative; #7.2 million for Targeted Policing Initiative, and #9.1 million for the Robbery Reduction Initiative.

Domestic Violence

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to

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police forces on linking the investigation of child physical abuse and the potential for domestic violence against women in the same household. [89124]

Mr. Denham: The core inter-agency child protection guidance is XWorking Together to Safeguard Children". It was published jointly by the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Department for Education and Skills in 1991, and revised and updated in 1999. The guidance is addressed to all those whose work brings them into contact with children and families, including the police. Chapter 6 of the document provides guidance on 'Child Protection in Specific Circumstances', and includes a section on domestic violence. It highlights the need for professionals to be alert to the frequent inter-relationship between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect of children. It specifically states that when there is evidence of domestic violence, the implication for any children in the household should be considered, including the possibility that the children themselves may be subject to violence or other harm. Conversely, where it is believed that a child is being abused, those involved with the child and family should be alert to the possibility of domestic violence within the family.

In addition to this, 'Policing Domestic Violence—a Modular Training Programme', was developed by Centrex in 2002. It is a national training product, intended to provide a structured, but flexible approach to the delivery of domestic violence training within the Police Service. Module 4 is dedicated to 'Domestic Violence and Children', and aims to explain the relationship between domestic violence and child abuse and give detailed information to operational staff on this subject. The material has been developed with the assistance of the Women's Aid Federation of England and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), and has been widely circulated both within and outside the Police Service for comment and enhancement.

Drugs (Coalfield Communities)

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional assistance does he plan to invest in (a) coalfield communities and (b) Bassetlaw following the re-launch of the Government's drugs strategy. [88963]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Additional funding from the spending review 2002 for tackling drug misuse will mean that from April 2003 all drug action team areas will see an increase of at least 10 per cent. in pooled treatment budget allocations.

Over the next three years, new money will be invested in the introduction or extension of a range of interventions within the criminal justice system and will initially be focussed on those areas with the very worst drug problems. However all areas will benefit from the major investment in improvements we are delivering across the country.

Heroin Addicts

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the

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Department of Work and Pensions to ensure that ex-heroin misusers can re-enter employment following a criminal conviction. [88962]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Home Office and the Department of Work and Pensions are in regular contact to ensure that those with a history of illegal drug use—including heroin use—are able to secure and maintain employment.

Illegal Immigrants

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if illegal immigrants who have spent a long period of time in the UK will be considered for deportation in the same way as those who have just arrived in the country. [88857]

Beverley Hughes: Length of residence in the United Kingdom is one of the factors taken into account when deciding whether or not to remove an illegal entrant. Other factors include: age; strength of connections with the United Kingdom; personal history; domestic circumstances; previous criminal record and the nature of any offence of which the person has been convicted (where applicable); any compassionate circumstances; and any representations received on the person's behalf.

Under the Long Residence Concession, persons who have continuously been in the United Kingdom for 14 years unlawfully, or a mixture of lawfully and unlawfully, before the commencement of enforcement action are normally given indefinite leave to remain unless there are strong countervailing factors.

In addition, it is our policy not to proceed with enforcement action against those families where there are children who have lived continuously in the United Kingdom for seven years or more. However, there may be cases where it is appropriate to depart from this policy, for example, if one of the parents has been convicted of a serious offence.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people he estimates are in the UK illegally but not in contact with authorities. [88858]

Beverley Hughes: There is currently no official estimate of the number of immigrants unlawfully present in the United Kingdom who are not in contact with the authorities. The Home Office has commissioned a review of methods of estimating the size of the illegally resident population used in other countries.

Nursing Staff (Work Permits)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much correspondence he has received from (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public on the licensing checks made by Work Permits (UK) on nursing agencies who recruit overseas nurses. [89345]

Beverley Hughes: I am not aware that the Home Office has recently received any correspondence specifically concerned with this subject.

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Prison Health

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his Answer of 18 December, ref 87475, how much funding has been allocated and over what time period for the full time and part time suicide prevention co-ordinators; what definition he uses of the term prisoner listeners; what the purpose of the initiative is; and if he will list the establishments piloting the new health care screening procedures. [89346]

Hilary Benn: For the most high-risk prisons #780,000 a year has been allocated for 30 full-time suicide prevention co-ordinators (SPCs). This money is allocated directly from the central funds. The costs of the other 99 full and part-time SPCs are funded from local budgets, and not aggregated centrally. These SPCs combine suicide prevention duties with other prison work at the discretion of individual Governors.

XListeners" are prisoner volunteers who are selected, trained and supported by the Samaritans to offer confidential support to their fellow prisoners who may be at risk of suicide, otherwise in crisis, or simply in need of someone to talk to. The scheme's objectives are to assist in preventing suicide, reducing self-harm and to help alleviate the feelings of those in distress.

Between August 2001 and June 2002 the new health care screening procedure was piloted in ten local prisons. Of the ten establishments, six were adult male remand prisons (Leeds, Wandsworth, Holme House, Liverpool, Manchester and Durham), two were for female remand prisoners (Eastwood Park and New Hall) and two were young offender institutions (Feltham and Glen Parva). The two female prisons include both adults and women aged 16–21 years. An evaluation of the pilot project supported implementation of the new reception screening arrangements across the estate, and a rolling programme is planned to start in April 2003.

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