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Domestic Violence

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of domestic violence were reported in the (a) Twickenham constituency, (b) London borough of Richmond upon Thames and (c) London in each year since 1992; how many people died in these incidents in each area; and if he will make a statement. [88816]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 January 2003]: Domestic violence is not separately identified in recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary collects figures from police forces on best value performance indicators (BVPIs) broken down by force and basic command unit (BCU) area.

BVPI 153a records the number of domestic violence incidents where there was a power of arrest. Domestic violence is defined as an incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or who have been intimate partners (defined as more than just friends or acquaintances) of family members, regardless of gender. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparents, in-laws and step family.

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Richmond BCU is co-terminus with the London borough and figures can be provided for that area but the data does not enable the number of incidents in Twickenham to be identified. This information has been collected only for the last two years. Previous records were compiled on a different basis and not to BCU level.

There were 329 domestic violence incidents (as defined above) in Richmond BCU in 2000–01 and 384 in 2001–02. In the Metropolitan police area there were 27,681 incidents in 2000–01 and 28,794 in 2001–02.

It is not possible to say how many of these figures were homicides.

The Government are committed to tackling domestic violence at all levels. It is a serious and abhorrent crime that accounts for one quarter of all violent crime and claims the lives of two women a week. Nearly half of all female murder victims are killed by a partner or an ex-partner. The Government will do everything it can to tackle it and ensure that victims receive the highest levels of support and protection.

My right hon. Friend Home Secretary recently announced a consultation paper setting out proposals to prevent domestic violence, which will be published by spring 2003. This consultation will build on the initial consultation on domestic violence in the White Paper, XJustice for All", and the on-going work of the inter-departmental Ministerial Group on Domestic Violence.

The inter-departmental Ministerial Group on Domestic Violence brings together eight Ministers to progress five priority areas for action.

Tackling the problem means more than just providing initial support for victims. We want to ensure that offenders are prosecuted, help the police to prevent repeat victimisation, and protect the lives of the vulnerable.

Estonian Baltic Dancers

Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether an official of the Immigration Service visited the residence in Northern Ireland of the Estonian Baltic Dancers; whether the dancers overstayed their 12 week group permit; and what attempt was made to verify their ages and the travel documents they were using. [90044]

Beverley Hughes: The residence of foreign nationals believed to be employed at the Movie Star Cafe was visited by the United Kingdom Immigration Service (UKIS) on 18 December 2002. Four female foreign nationals were encountered (one Latvian, one Estonian, one Russian and one Colombian) who all declared they were employed at the club.

The Latvian and Estonian females confirmed they were part of a group of 17 dancers who were granted a 12 week work permit on 1 July 2002. These two

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individuals advised that they had entered the UK (Northern Ireland) overland via the Irish Republic on a number of occasions since 1 July and had not seen an immigration officer on arrival. A provision of The Variation of Leave (Entry through Ireland) Order 1981 is that persons arriving in the United Kingdom by this route are deemed to have leave for a specific period as a visitor. They have, however, not been granted leave to work by an immigration officer and without doing so are not allowed to take employment. The individuals and the club owner were advised of this and that the deemed leave was due to expire the following day. The Immigration Service has confirmed that the two women departed the UK in order to avoid overstaying their leave.

The Russian and Colombian females were both visa nationals but neither held valid UK visas. The Immigration Service therefore served illegal entry

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papers on them and the Russian national made a voluntary departure on 20 December. The Colombian national has submitted an application to remain in the United Kingdom and has been granted temporary release pending consideration of her case.

An immigration officer examined the passports of the four foreign nationals encountered at the club and noted that all four were of adult age.

Somali Groups (Financial Support)

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial support has been given to Somali groups in each of the past five years. [89374]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 January 2003]: The financial support that the Home Department has directly paid to Somali groups between 1998–99 and 2002–03 were as follows.

RecipientAmount (#)
From Community Champions to Mohammed Wali for running activities and establishing services for the Somalian Refugee Community in Handsworth Bham.2,000
Community Cohesion Summer Activity Scheme paid to Regent College, Leicester for a sport and leisure programme for local Somali and Montserrat young people. Somali young people were also encouraged to go to other summer schemes but this was the only one funded specifically for the Somali new comer communities in this region.33,780
Purposeful Activity for Asylum Seekers
Somali Advice and Information Centre, Leicester2,170
Bariimo Somali Youth Project, Harrow2,100
Refugee Community Development Fund
Somali Physical Disabled Support Group, Sheffield4,930
Somali Youth Association, Milton Keynes 4,150
Somaliland Health and Education Project, London SE193,650
Stonebridge Somali Centre, London4,789
Somali Community Support Centre, London W144,861
Horn Stars Sports Club, London NW105,000
East London Somali Association5,000
European Refugee Fund
(The accounting periods are calendar years)
East London Somali Association28,847
Somali Advisory Bureau, London W29,230
East London Somali Association21,318
Somali Advisory Bureau, London W29,730
Somali Cultural Centre, London NW618,650
Somali Advisory Bureau, London W24,865

Football Hooligans

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures have been introduced (a) to assist the police in combating football hooliganism in the UK and (b) to ensure that people who organise fights are prosecuted. [88726]

Mr. Denham: Government works closely with the Association of Chief Police Officers, individual forces and the National Criminal Intelligence Service in tackling football disorder. The police and courts in England and Wales have been provided with extensive legislative powers for combating football hooliganism. This includes empowering the police to seek football banning orders against individuals who pose a risk of violence or disorder in connection with football matches. The orders prevent attendance at domestic matches and travel to matches played overseas. There are currently over 1,400 people subject to banning orders. There is no comparable legislation in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

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Gloucester Prison

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions he has had with the governor of HMP Gloucester regarding (a) the removal of young adults from the prison in June 2001 and (b) the reintroduction of young adults to the prison in June 2002; [89044]

Hilary Benn: Minor and temporary changes to the population of a prison for operational reasons are a matter for the Director General of the Prison Service.

The young offender population was removed from Gloucester prison in 2001 as there was sufficient accommodation available at other establishments, including Ashfield prison. In June 2002, the rapid growth in the prison population as a whole resulted in Gloucester prison again being used to accommodate young offenders. I am assured by the area manager and the governing governor responsible for Gloucester prison that conditions for young offenders at Gloucester are satisfactory.

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