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6 Jan 2004 : Column 312Wcontinued
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in proactive screening programmes as a result of departmental awareness-raising schemes; what screening programmes are operating in each health authority area; and what action is being taken to increase screening in areas that are underspending in this area. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The national breast and cervical screening programmes operate in each strategic health authority area. A number of other national screening programmes are currently being developed. These include screening for Down's syndrome where presently 75 per cent. of maternity units have a screening programme in place. 210,000 babies have been screened under the newborn hearing screening programme since it started. Newborn screening for sickle cell disease is in place in London and West Midlands. Raising public and professional awareness is a key aspect in the development of all screening programmes. Funding to implement screening programmes is mostly included in baseline financial allocations to primary care trusts. In keeping with the decision to enable local PCTs to decide their priorities in the light of their own needs, PCTs decide the allocation of resources locally.
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The tobacco information programme is designed to address all sections of the adult population and every opportunity is taken to obtain editorial coverage on the health pages of national newspapers and women's magazines.
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of tuberculosis were reported in (a) England, (b) each NHS region and (c) each strategic health authority in each year since 1996. 
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Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the number of anti-social behaviour offences occurring over Halloween relative to other periods of the year. 
Ms Blears: The number of notifications received by the Home Office of applications for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) within the North Yorkshire Magistrates Courts Committee (MCC) area, which includes the Vale of York, up to 30 June 2003 (latest available) is given in the table. All of the applications have resulted in an ASBO being issued.
|1 June 2000 to 31 December 2000||0|
|1 January 2001 to 31 December 2001||7|
|1 January 2002 to 30 November 2002||0|
|31 December 2002 to 30 June 2003||2|
(9) From 1 April 1999 up to 31 May 2000 data collected by police force area (pfa).
Following implementation of the Police Reform Act (2 December 2002), data for December 2002 is incorporated into the first quarter 2003 data.
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 15 December 2003]: The latest available information shows that at the end of September 2003 1,575 people were detained solely under the Immigration Act, of whom 1,270 had sought asylum at some stage. Information on the number of these who were detained as part of a family group is unavailable.
However, IND internal management information indicates that on 8 December 38 children were in detention. This information also indicates that the average time for which children are detained in UK removal centres is about 10 days. This figure is skewed
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somewhat due to some long-stay cases. In fact, the bulk of cases are dealt with in a short period. We are working hard to ensure that where children are detained this is for as short a time as possible and are implementing additional measures to ensure the welfare of detained families with children. These measures include requiring ministerial authority to detain any child for longer than 28 days and ensuring that there are no administrative delays which might extend their detention by giving oversight of all children in immigration detention to a senior Home Office official.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money has been invested, and how many schemes have received funding (a) in Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East, (b) in the north-east and (c) in total under the Building Safer Communities initiative. 
Ms Blears: Under the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSC), the following allocations were made in 200304 to the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) covering the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency:
Redcar and Cleveland CDRP£168,331 for 13 schemes
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken in (a) Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East and (b) the north east to help crime and disorder reduction partnerships deliver crime reduction; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: A wide range of activities is taking place in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, and also in the north east as a whole, to help Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) deliver crime reduction. These are normally funded through Home Office programmes such as the Building Safer Communities Fund, Building Capacity Fund, and Basic Command Unit Fund.
Examples of activities that draw on Home Office funds include, in the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East area, a dedicated drugs unit being introduced in the Redcar and Cleveland CDRP, and a 'Dealer a Day' initiative initiated by the police commander. This initiative has led to over 950 arrests and the recovery of substantial quantities of drugs, cash and stolen goods. In the East Cleveland area specifically, Home Office funding has led to CCTV
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schemes in Saltburn, Guisborough, Loftus, and Marske. In Middlesbrough, recent initiatives have included tackling burglaries in sheds, garages, and outbuildings, and tackling vehicle crime by focusing on 'at risk' groups and locations e.g. subsidised security devices, additional security patrols.
In the north east as a whole, significant developments include the establishment of a multi-agency Regional Drugs Intelligence Unit at a cost of £500,000 over two years, funded by the Home Office Police Standards Unit, and the extension of intensive criminal justice intervention programmes to Newcastle, Sunderland, Hartlepool, and Stockton in addition to the existing programme in Middlesbrough.
The Government Office for the north east provides advice, training and support to all the CDRPs in the region. They act as a conduit for sharing best practice between partnerships, for example, funding a seminar in Middlesbrough for CDRPs across the country with similar characteristics to Middlesbrough, to share common issues and solutions. They regularly attend CDRP meetings to offer advice and information on funding and good practice and to support performance improvement.
The Home Office has introduced a self-assessment framework (SAF) for Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and Drug Action Teams in England and Community Safety Partnerships in Wales to assist them to improve their performance as partnerships. The SAF is a useful tool to promote continuous improvement in both strategic and operational delivery of the crime reduction and misuse of drugs agendas.
The Home Office are also updating the existing guidance for partnerships on audits and strategies in preparation for the next round of triennial audits which partnerships must produce by April 2005. This new web based step by step toolkit will be available on the Crime Reduction Website from February 2004.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken in (a) Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East and (b) the north east (i) to reduce gun crime and (ii) to disrupt drugs markets; and if he will make a statement. 
reducing the supply and availability of firearms;
effective police operations to drive down firearm offences;
tough laws and effective enforcement;
engaging the worst affected communities to address the underlying gun culture.
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and since its launch on 3 December 2001, 926 people have been arrested. Drugs including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, amphetamine, and cannabis have been recovered with a street value of nearly £950,000. Officers also seized over £200,000 in cash during the raids. Prison sentences exceeding 200 years have been given by the courts, coupled with other forms of sentencing ranging from fines, community work and community rehabilitation, to suspended sentences, supervision orders and drug treatment and testing orders. In July the scheme was extended to cover East Cleveland in July 2003 and similar success is expected there.
Regionally, with the support of Government Office North East, the Police Standards Unit has funded the establishment of a Regional Drugs Intelligence Unit based at Durham Constabulary which brings together analysts from the three north east police forces in one dedicated unit to improve intelligence led work to tackle middle market drug dealing across the region. Set up in October 2003, this unit's work will link in to other information and intelligence gathering initiatives already underway in the north east, including asset recovery.
The north east, and the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East area in particular, experiences relatively low levels of gun crime. For this reason, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships prioritise actions on addressing drug crime, burglary and vehicle crime in these areas.
restrict their use without adult supervision;
ban the carrying of replicas or air weapons in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse; and
ban the sale, manufacture and import of tandem cartridge air systems, such as the Brocock, and require the licensing of those already held as they are particularly vulnerable to conversion to fire live ammunition.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken to strengthen co-ordination of local partnerships to ensure they are able to deliver the crime and drugs agenda in (a) Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East and (b) the north-east. 
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Ms Blears: The Home Office and the Government Office in the North East Region (GONE), are working with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) and Drug Action Teams (DATs) to ensure the further integration of their work. Guidance on integration was issued to CDRPs and DATs in November 2003. The aim is to simplify local working relationships, give greater recognition to common interests and provide the right framework to enable the effective delivery of the crime reduction and drugs agendas. The crime and drugs teams have been fully integrated within GONE since June 2002.
Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, which are both unitary authorities, are working towards integration of their CDRPs and DATs by April 2004. To support this process the Home Office has introduced a self-assessment framework (SAF), which will enable CDRPs and DATs to assess their performance as partnerships and will assist the GONE in managing the improvement in both their strategic and operational delivery.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on (a) improved information sharing between crime reduction partnerships and (b) the sharing of good practice techniques between police forces; and how such practices have benefited the residents of Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East. 
Ms Blears: Effective data exchange and analysis is a prerequisite of productive partnership working and crime reduction. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP) are encouraged to share information to tackle crime and criminality more effectively within their partnership.
The Government Office for the North East is working with every agency in the North East Region who are partners on CDRPs to enhance their data in order to facilitate information sharing, and has developed an IT solution, North East Region Information Sharing System (NERISS), to this end.
The Government Office has also been carrying out a research project on Effective Practice and will compile a compendium of all of the initiatives of a crime and disorder nature in the Region. The findings will be published on the internet for use by all practitioners as a Best Practice library.
One of the main roles of the Home Office Police Standards Unit (PSU) is to exchange good practice in order to support the improvement of police performance. The Unit has been working with the Cleveland Police Force on several projects to tackle issues such as burglary reduction with the 'Safer Tees Valley Partnership' to reduce repeat victimisation and the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) forcewide as a tool to improve the
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detection of all crime. The PSU are currently working with the National Centre for Policing Excellence among other partners to simplify the process of sharing good practice and provide greater access, preferably with a single point of contact.
Government Agencies Information Network (GAIN) is a multi-agency group bringing together intelligence and investigation officers from enforcement agencies in central and local Government to share information for the purposes of crime reduction. The first Strategic Group Meeting of the Regional GAIN Board occurred this month and a range of issues is being progressed within the north-east.
Improved information sharing in Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East and across the north-east has allowed the effective targeting of a number of known criminals. This has contributed to significant reductions in burglary and vehicle crime in the area, especially in Middlesbrough, where burglary fell 22.9 per cent., thefts of motor vehicles fell 15.9 per cent. and thefts from motor vehicles fell 5.6 per cent. between 200102 and 200203. In Langbaurgh over the same period, burglary fell 20.7 per cent., though thefts of and from motor vehicles both rose.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on police community visibility schemes with particular reference to mobile police stations; and how he estimates such initiatives can reduce crime in the area covered by the Cleveland Police Force. 
Cleveland Police is in the process of reviewing the accessibility of service to more rural areas of the force where mobile police stations may well be a solution. In addition the force is reviewing Community Policing models, in keeping with the Chief Constable's vision of 'Putting People First'. This vision of community policing aims to impact positively on public reassurance in terms of visibility of and accessibility, to officers by providing a minimum level of policing to all communities.This is in line with the National Policing Plan 200407 which sets as a key priority for the police service
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