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Maritime Inspections

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) qualifications and (b) training are required for Maritime and Coastguard Agency inspectors to inspect living and working conditions on UK registered ships. [106859]

Mr. Jamieson: On entry to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), marine surveyors must have a master mariner or chief engineer qualification, or a relevant maritime degree. Qualifications and experience are supplemented by internal training and guidance based on International Labour Organization (ILO) and UK requirements.

In-service training is provided by experienced surveyors and a specialist food and hygiene inspector. The MCA also uses a competency framework to maintain and develop its surveyor skills, which includes Ship Health and Safety and Welfare. Training is kept under review.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meetings of the 27 and 28 March with European transport ministers. [107366]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Transport, to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Falkirk East (Mr. Connarty) on the 2 April 2003, Official Report, columns 703–05W.

Rail Cards

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Association of Train Companies regarding the use of railcards for train journeys costing less than £10; and what his policy is on encouraging short journeys by train. [106424]

Mr. Jamieson: Ministers have frequent discussions with representatives of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), at which a range of issues have been discussed, including their proposals for the use of the South East Network card. The availability of rail cards are not regulated. Decisions on its availability and conditions of use are therefore a matter for the train operators.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on (a) recent changes and (b) planned changes to (i) funding arrangements for freight on the railways and (ii) his Department's strategy for increasing the volume of freight carried on Britain's rail network. [104939]

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Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) on 25 February 2003, Official Report, column 486W.

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent research has been used to assess passenger (a) personal security and (b) perceptions about their surroundings on the railways; and if he will make a statement. [106888]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department is currently reviewing passenger perceptions of personal security in public transport journeys. This review follows on from earlier Departmental research published in 1997. We are also currently identifying good practice on on-train personal security. Part of this work includes considering the perceptions of passengers.

Analysing the perceptions of rail passengers has also been included in recent research projects to find out the transport needs of women, older people, and people from minority ethnic communities.

The Secure Stations Scheme is a national accreditation scheme recognising set standards of good practice in rail station, staff and passenger security. An independent survey of passenger perceptions is undertaken as part of the station's application process.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidences of arson on the railways there were in each year since 1995, broken down by (a) train operating company and (b) line. [87629]

Mr. Jamieson [pursuant to his reply, 17 December 2002, c. 685W]: There is no legal obligation for the industry to report the TOC involved in an incident reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). However, since January 2000 the industry has agreed to record the TOC on a voluntary basis. Line details are reportable under RIDDOR but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has only been able to capture this information since January 2000 with the introduction of its new database system.

A table provided by the HSE, which records details of arson instances between January 2000 and March 2002 including the TOC and line involved, has been deposited in the Libraries of the House. In addition, a table provided by the British Transport Police on the number of reported incidents of arson since 1999 has also been deposited in the Libraries of the House.

Stansted Airport

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reasons underlie the differences between the projected capacity figures for the three expansion options for Stansted Airport outlined in The Future of Air Transport in the South East and SERAS report No. 51. [106503]

Mr. Jamieson: The terminal capacities for both the one and three additional runway options at Stansted presented in the "Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: South East" do not differ from those quoted in the SERAS report No. 51 (Stansted

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options five and seven). Both documents quote capacities of 82 and 129 million passengers per annum (mppa) respectively.

The consultation option for two new runways at Stansted was developed as a variant in the early stages of the study and is presented in the "SERAS Stage One Appraisal Findings report (section 4.1.9)". The capacity quoted for this option in the consultation document and that report is 102 mppa. Copies of all reports are available in the House Libraries.


Crime (Clear-up Rate)

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the clear-up rate for crime was in each of the District Council Units in Belfast in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [106238]

Jane Kennedy: The following table shows notifiable offences recorded and cleared by the police in each of the District Command Units in Belfast for the period January—December 2002.

These figures are provisional and may be subject to revision.

District Command UnitRecordedClearedClearance rate (percentage)
Belfast East8,2571,21014.7
Belfast North12,3151,52312.4
Belfast South18,3732,73714.9
Belfast West6,2311,25920.2

HMP Maghaberry

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to implement the recommendations set out in the recent report on HMP Maghaberry by HM Inspector of Prisons and to ensure that more female officers and managers are deployed in Mourne House. [106049]

Jane Kennedy: The Northern Ireland Prison Service have in place an action plan to implement the accepted recommendations contained in the HM Inspector of Prisons Report on Maghaberry Prison. The Service has also commissioned a feasibility study to address female

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prisoner and immigration detainee accommodation in light of a recent Strategic Prison Estate Review. The deployment of staff within the Service takes account of operational requirements and must be in line with equal opportunities regulations.


Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many murder cases in Northern Ireland opened in the last 30 years remain unsolved. [106239]

Jane Kennedy: Four hundred and eighty-six murders remain unsolved from 1987 to 2003. Statistics were not held on computer prior to 1987 and the information requested from 1973 to 1986 could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Police (Lisburn)

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police officers are attached to the Lisburn District Command Unit; and what plans there are to increase this number. [106870]

Jane Kennedy: On 1 April 2003 the complement of police officers in Lisburn District Command Unit was as follows:

Police OfficersNumber
Regular Officers217
Full-time Reserve Officers89
Part-time Reserve Officers58

The Police Service in consultation with the Policing Board has produced a human resource planning strategy to ensure that there is sufficient support for operational policing. There will also be a redeployment of police officers from many Headquarters roles which should see an increase of officers in District Command Units over the next three years.

Weapons Finds

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many finds of arms and bomb making material there have been in (a) Belfast and (b) Northern Ireland in each year since 1996. [105910]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is included in the following table:

Number of firearms, ammunition and explosives recovered: 1 January 1996 to 28 February 2003

Belfast areaNorthern Ireland
YearFirearmsAmmunitionExplosives (Kgs)FirearmsAmmunitionExplosives (Kgs)
2003(3) 81202.33241,57112.82

(3) 28 February


1. The following types of incidents are included:

Weapons, ammunition and explosives recovered as a result of a person/rummage search (e.g. house/vehicle searches).

Ammunition recovered as a result of intimidation incidents (e.g. bullets received in mail).

Weapons, ammunition and explosives found by members of the public.

Other violent incidents where weapons/ammunition have been used and recovered (e.g. armed robberies).

Paramilitary style attacks involving shootings where weapons/ammunition have been recovered.

2. Explosives recovered figures have been supplied by the army and exclude those seized as a result of ATO defusing devices.

3. Belfast area includes those PSNI stations covered by Belfast east, Belfast west, Belfast north and Belfast south DCUs.

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2002 and 2003 statistics are provisional and are subject to minor amendment.

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