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30 Jan 2003 : Column 1044W—continued

Schools (Crime)

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent study he has made into the level of crime in proximity to schools. [90782]

Mr. Denham: Two recently published studies commissioned by the Home Office and Youth Justice Board provide an indication of the level of personal robbery and street crime in the vicinity of schools.

Recently published Home Office research ("The Nature of Personal Robbery", Home office Research Study 254, 2003) which looked at the nature of personal robbery, found that only 1 per cent. of personal robberies actually occurred on or around school or college premises, though this may be an underestimate. However, the study also found that the risk period for school age victims was late afternoon (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.) when more than half (54 per cent.) were targeted and when many were making their way home from school, or similarly socialising with friends.

Similarly, recently published research commissioned by the Youth Justice Board ("Young People and Street Crime: Research into young people's involvement in street crime"), which focuses on street crime in London boroughs in the main, found that offending peaks dramatically after school finishes on weekdays, often in the vicinity of schools or on the main routes taken home by pupils. The research suggested that even if the perpetrators had not attended school during the day, they may well gravitate back there if they have nothing else to do.

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As part of the package of measures to tackle street crime and improve behaviour in schools, there are now 100 police officers based in selected schools in areas with high levels of street crime. This is a joint initiative between the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and is called Safer School Partnerships (SSP).

Safer School Partnerships build on previous police involvement in schools where police officers have tended to take an essentially teaching role; as part of an SSP their role is more operational. They provide a much fuller level of resource and will be able to develop a much closer relationship with the school and its community.

Police officers are working with school staff and other local agencies to reduce victimisation, criminality and anti-social behaviour within the school and its local community. SSPs aim to reduce crime in and around schools, so making cost-effective use of police time; helping schools improve, so parents keep sending their children to those schools; and reducing disorder, so heads can spend time improving their school, instead of dealing with behaviour problems.

The specific areas where SSPs are making a contribution to schools and their community include prevention and reduction of crime, anti-social behaviour and related incidents in and around the school, together with any bullying and violence experienced by pupils and staff, truancy and exclusion, damage to school buildings and drug related incidents.

Charity Commission

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Charity Commission's service delivery agreement for 2003 to 2006 will be published. [94114]

Beverley Hughes: This is a matter for the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission's service delivery agreement for 2003–06 is currently being finalised in discussion with Her Majesty's Treasury. The Chief Charity Commissioner will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

Statistics (Publication)

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when (a) the British Crime Survey, (b) Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, (c) Prison Statistics, England and Wales, (d) Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System, (e) Control of Immigration Statistics and (f) the Home Office Annual Report were published in each year from 1992 to 2002. [93333]

Mr. Denham: Within the time frame specified, 1992–2002:

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Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further measures have been put in place to protect potentially high-risk areas from terrorist attacks in the last 12 months. [93381]

Mr. Blunkett: Over the last 12 months the Government has enhanced the existing programme providing protective security advice to critical and high-risk sectors aimed at reducing the risks from a range of possible terrorist attack methods. The number of industrial operators receiving advice on counter-terrorism precautions has substantially increased, so as to cover operations critical to the national infrastructure and also a wide range of sites and sectors which could be considered attractive terrorist targets and, if successfully attacked, would potentially cause significant loss of life. Protective security advice is also made available to a broad range of contacts in the business and commercial community which includes the retail sector and operators of major public venues.

Thames Valley Police

Mr. Mackay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on retention in the Thames Valley police force. [91436]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 20 January 2003]: Thames Valley police has been recruiting strongly in recent years. However, the force has been experiencing retention difficulties including a net outflow of transfers.

I share the chief constable's concern about this. It is important to establish what is causing these difficulties. We are therefore working with the chief constable, police authority and staff associations, to look at all the associated issues and to develop practical solutions.

Tony Martin

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the findings of the recent Parole Board report on the case of Tony Martin, prisoner at HMP Highpoint. [92617]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 21 January 2003]: Decisions taken by the Parole Board in respect of individual cases are not published.

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West Midlands Police Force

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ethnic composition of the West Midlands Police Force was in each of the last five years. [93472]

Mr. Denham: The following tables are for police officers and all police staff and have been produced from figures supplied by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

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For the first four years, the figures were collected in four categories. For 2002, the 2001 Census categories of ethnic group were adopted and so there is a break in the series. Figures for 2002 have been affected by the low response rate from staff to self-classify ethnicity based on the 2001 Census classification. This resulted in a number of police staff being classified as 'Unspecified' ethnicity.

1. Police officers

31 March 19986,85913212342
31 March 19997,00813713144
31 March 20006,88714214244
31 march 20027,05014917646
WhiteMixedBlack/Black BritishAsian/Asian BritishChinese or other ethnic groupUnspecified
31 March 20026,6747311217010555

2. All police staff

31 March 19989,69423420459
31 March 19999,71622622462
31 March 20009,57522724061
31 March 20019,78923827567
WhiteMixedBlack/Black BritishAsian/Asian BritishChinese or other ethnic groupUnspecified
31 March 20029,2999718928516773

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