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4 Mar 2003 : Column 960W—continued


Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter of 13 September 2002 from the hon. Member for Eccles concerning Ms Weyni Abraha, which his Department has acknowledged ref: 18797/2. [100401]

Beverley Hughes: My noble Friend, (Lord Filkin) wrote to my hon. Friend on 4 March.

Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Broxbourne of (a) 25 October 2002, (b) 18 November 2002, (c) 20 December 2002 and (d) 16 January 2003 relating to her constituent, Mr. Raj Kumar of Broxbourne. [92616]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 January 2003]: I refer the hon. Member to my letter to her of 21 February. As I set out in that reply, I am sorry for the delay in responding.

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David Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the honourable Member for Walsall North will receive a reply to his letter of 8 January regarding a constituent ref. 7113. [98395]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 24 February 2003]: I wrote to my hon. Friend on 3 March 2003.

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he has not replied to the letter to him dated 4 November 2002 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms Mansovreh Bozoronia. [98963]

Mr. Blunkett: I refer my right hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 25 February 2003, Official Report, column 397W.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to adjust the budget for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for 2002–03. [99614]

Hilary Benn: An additional £25 million is being provided for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in the Spring Supplementary Estimate, published on 28 February. This will increase the 2002–03 resource budget for compensation to £208 million, sufficient to meet the liabilities accruing from compensation awards offered within that financial year.

Criminal Records Bureau

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff have been redeployed to the Criminal Records Bureau from the Passport Agency in each month since the introduction of the Criminal Records Bureau. [98722]

Hilary Benn: In order to support the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) continuous improvement programme, the United Kingdom Passport Service (UKPS) has seconded staff without any significant impact on the delivery of the passports.

The secondment programme began in June 2002 with the majority taking place during the period of lower seasonal demand for passports. UKPS normally seeks work for its staff elsewhere in the Home Office and other Government Departments at this time as a "wider markets" initiative. Currently, 35 UKPS staff remain attached to either CRB or are offering support to police forces.

The breakdown of numbers on a month by month basis is as follows:

June 200264
July 200280
August 2002228
September 2002228
October 2002228
November 2002192
December 2002122
January 200335
February 200335

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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the inquiry headed by Patrick Carter into the Criminal Records Bureau will cost; and who will be responsible for the costs. [99388]

Hilary Benn: The estimated cost of the review is £585,000. This includes the cost of various consultancies in support of the review. The Home Office will be responsible for this cost.

Domestic Violence

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which local authorities in England and Wales have a written and publicly available policy on domestic violence; when each local authority's domestic violence policy was published; and if he will make a statement. [94124]

Mr. Denham: Central Government keep records of local authority policies only where there is a statutory requirement to have one. It is therefore not possible to give the Information requested since there is no statutory requirement to have a domestic violence policy, though all are encouraged to do so.

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 5 February 2003, Official Report, column 328W, in what circumstances drug treatment and testing orders are revoked; what is deemed as failure to comply by a participant; and if he will undertake a review of DTTOs. [99284]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Drug Treatment and Testing orders (DTTO) can be revoked for any of the following reasons: failure to comply; a conviction for a further offence; for other reasons, including ill-health or death or where the offender has demonstrated good progress on the order.

Failure to comply refers to failure to adhere to the requirements of the order as set out under legislation and determined by the court. The two main requirements are to attend for treatment and to attend for testing as specified for a set period. The offender must also attend periodic court reviews and is expected to comply with instructions issued to him by his responsible officer.

The results of the first year of a two year re-conviction study and also a DTTO thematic inspection report will be published later this year. The Government intend that the DTTO will become part of the generic community sentence as proposed by the Criminal Justice Bill currently before Parliament.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted offenders were assessed as having drug problems in the last year for which figures are available; and what proportion of these were eligible for a Drug Treatment and Testing Order. [99540]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The best available evidence on the links between criminal offending and drug use comes form the New English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse (NEW-ADAM) research programme. This involves interviewing and drug testing those arrested by the

4 Mar 2003 : Column 963W

police at 16 sites throughout England and Wales. Analysis of the data from the first eight sites in the programme, collected during 1999–2000, shows that of those arrestees that provided a urine sample, 65 per cent. tested positive for one or more illegal drugs. Furthermore, 55 per cent. of arrestees who reported using one of 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.

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) enable courts to require offenders to undergo treatment and other programmes, designed to tackle their drug misuse and offending. Before making such an Order, a court has to be satisfied that:

Between November 2001 and October 2002, the latest period for which data is available, 6,296 offenders were assessed as suitable for a DTTO.

Extradition Bill

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) clauses and (b) schedules were (i) fully debated, (ii) partly debated and (iii) not debated during the committee stage of the Extradition Bill. [100222]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: For a clause or schedule to be debated during the Committee Stage a member of the Committee must either table an amendment to it or speak to the motion that it should stand part of the Bill. In the case of a large number of clauses in the Extradition Bill, no member of the committee chose to do so.

The number of Committee sessions for the Bill was agreed through the usual channels. The figure of nine was first suggested by the official Opposition.

At its first meeting the Committee sessions for the Bill was agreed the terms of a programme motion which imposed a number of cut-off points by which discussion of a particular part of the Bill had to be completed.

On only one occasion did the knife fall before the Committee had completed its discussion of the relevant part. This was in respect of Part 1 of the Bill which covers clauses 1–67. The knife fell when the Committee was discussing clause 63.

Amendments to clauses 63, 64 and 65 had already been discussed at previous Committee sittings. At the point when the knife fell, the Chair was obliged to put the question for each of the remaining Part 1 clauses that it should stand part of the Bill. It was open to any member of the Committee to oppose it. No member of the Committee chose to do so in respect of clauses 66 and 67.

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When it became clear that there was a possibility that the knife might fall before the Committee had completed its deliberations on Part 1, the Government made several offers to change the timetable. All of these offers were rejected by the official Opposition.

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