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4 Feb 2003 : Column 249W—continued

Drug-related Crimes

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes committed in Lincolnshire were drug-related in each year from 1997 to 2002. [94202]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Recorded crime figures include statistics on drugs offences, such as possession, and on acquisitive crimes, such as burglary, but do not record whether the latter are related to an offender's drug habits.

However, the New English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (NEW-ADAM) research programme, which involves interviewing and drug testing those arrested by the police, confirms a link between drug misuse and crime, although the conclusions do not relate specifically to Lincolnshire. Analysis of the data from the first eight sites in the survey, collected during 1999–2000, shows that 65 per cent. of arrestees provided a urine sample that tested positive for one or more illegal drug. The analysis also shows that up to 29 per cent. of arrestees tested positive for opiates (including heroin) and/or cocaine (including crack).

As a guide to the proportion of crime that is drug-related, analysis of the NEW-ADAM self-report data indicates that whilst only 21 per cent. of non-drug using arrestees reported having previously offended in the past 12 months, this figure rises to 75 per cent. for those arrestees who use heroin and/or cocaine/crack. Moreover, whilst users of both heroin and cocaine/crack represented just under one-quarter of all arrestees interviewed, they were responsible for more than three-fifths of all the illegal income reported.

In support of this, 55 per cent. of arrestees who reported using one or more drugs in the last 12 months and committing one or more acquisitive crimes acknowledged a link between their drug use and their offending behaviour. This proportion rose to 78 per cent. for arrestees who said they had used heroin and cocaine/crack.

Drugs Offences

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many banned visitors were arrested for possession of illegal drugs and subsequently charged, over the last three years for which figures are available; [94526]

Hilary Benn: Data concerning banned visitors at individual prisons is not held centrally. However, this information is being collated and I shall write to the hon member when it is available and place a copy in the Library.

The following table details national figures for banned visitors, including time periods, for 2001–02.

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Number of visitors banned2,815
For less than three months227
For three or four months2,292
For five or six months129
For more than six months89
Duration of ban not specified78

Data is not kept on the correlation between visitors arrested and then banned. Almost without exception the arrest of a visitor will lead to a ban. The following table provides figures for the last three years.

Number of visitors banned2,4642,5842,815
Number of visitors arrested728499526

EU Travel Ban List

Mrs. Gillan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers he has to ban (a) Mr. Robert Mugabe and (b) other people on the EU travel ban list, from entering the UK between the dates of 19 to 24 February 2003 apart from under the EU sanctions regime. [94726]

Beverley Hughes: The current European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe, which include a travel ban on Robert Mugabe and a further 71 individuals, are due to expire on 17 February. Negotiations are currently in progress amongst EU partners to renew the sanctions.

If unanimous agreement to extend these measures cannot be reached, provisions exist to prevent admission of individuals whose presence in the UK is not considered conducive to the public good. This can be effected at the personal direction of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, using the powers available to him under the Immigration Rules, or by an entry clearance or immigration officer.

Gun Control

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many converted air weapons were seized by police forces in England in each year since 1997; and how many different seizures there were; [91558]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The requested information is not collected centrally.

Gun Crime

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the level of gun crime was in each year between 1997 and the last year for which information was available in (a) Hampshire, (b) Southampton, (c) Portsmouth and (d) the Fareham Basic Command Unit. [94903]

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Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 31 January 2003]: The number of recorded crimes involving firearms in Hampshire, excluding air weapon offences, are given in the table.

Number of firearm offences in Hampshire (excluding air weapons)

YearNumber of offences

(26) Calendar year

(27) From 1 April 1998

There was a change of counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, which would have the tendency to increase the number of offences counted. Numbers of offences before and after this date are therefore not directly comparable.

Details of firearm offences for areas below police force area level are not collected centrally.


Mr. Peter Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many documents relating to applications for leave of entry to the UK were lost by the Immigration Service in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [95632]

Beverley Hughes: The Immigration Service does not compile statistics for documents that have been mislaid but received nine complaints from passengers during the last 12 months concerning the temporary or permanent loss of their documents.

Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proportion of (a) offenders and (b) victims agreed to participate in the mediation component of the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme; [93849]

Hilary Benn: The Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) was launched in 2001 to provide the courts with a tough community based programme designed to tackle persistent young offenders. It was extended last year and is now able to provide for approximately 3,500 young offenders a year.

3,243 people have started on ISSP. We do not have centrally-held data on the number of successful completions or the proportion of offenders and victims who agree to participate in the mediation component of the ISSP. However, ISSP is being independently evaluated by Oxford University: the final report with reconviction data is due in March 2004.

Job Sharing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the extent of job sharing in his Department. [90856]

4 Feb 2003 : Column 252W

Hilary Benn: Job sharing is only one of a number of alternative and flexible working patterns that employees are welcome to take up. 46 staff are currently recorded as being job sharers in the Home Office, and Forensic Science Service. Information on staff in the Prison Service who are job sharers is not held centrally and could not be provided without disproportionate cost.

It is Home Office policy (including Prison Service) to advertise jobs as being open to part-timers or job sharers unless there is an operational reason not to do so.

Prison Service

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) pay and (b) career development incentives there are for prison officers to assist prisoners in (i) obtaining educational and vocational qualifications and (ii) developing emotional and parenting skills; and what plans he has to change these incentives. [94491]

Hilary Benn: Prison officers involved in the teaching of vocational qualifications receive a specialist allowance of £1,200 a year. There are no direct promotion incentives for prison officers to assist prisoners in obtaining qualifications or in improving their emotional and parenting skills. However, a number of personal development opportunities are available. Prison officers undertake the Custodial Care National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) which includes optional units that measure competence in areas such as assisting in the provision of emotional and parenting skills. The Prison Service is considering linking attainment of the NVQ to the promotion process.

There are also a number of specific training courses for prison officers that relate to these areas and cover:

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