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13 Jan 2004 : Column 651W—continued

Innovation and Enterprise

15. Mr. Luke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on innovation and enterprise in Scotland. [146405]

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Mrs. McGuire: Innovation and enterprise are at the heart of productivity growth and social gain. Scotland has gained an international reputation as a centre of innovation and expertise in life sciences and other technologies.

The Chancellor's recent pre-Budget report announced a number of measures, which build on existing programmes to promote innovation and enterprise in Scotland and across the UK. These include a widening of the eligibility for research and development tax credits, reforms to reduce the regulatory burden on enterprise and measures to overcome barriers facing small business when raising finance.

Art Acquisition

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on the acquisition of works of art in each year since 1997, broken down by amounts spent on (a) paintings and (b) sculpture; what the single most expensive piece of art purchased by his Department since 1997 was; how much it cost; and what the total revenue raised by his Department through sales of its works of art has been since 1997. [142362]

Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999.

Since that date, the office has spent £3,055 on works of art. The most expensive item cost £720. No works of sculpture have been acquired and no departmental-owned works of art have been sold during this period.

Departmental Identity Cards

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the implications of the introduction of compulsory identity cards for his Department. [144557]

Mrs. McGuire: I do not consider that the introduction of a national identity card scheme will have any particular implications for the Scotland Office. Decisions on the use of identity cards to access devolved services in Scotland will be a matter for the Scottish Executive.

Give as You Earn Scheme

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many and what percentage of staff in his Department contribute to a charity through the Give as You Earn scheme; how much money is donated to charity per month by staff in his Department through the scheme; and what steps he is taking to encourage greater participation in the scheme by staff in his Department. [143901]

Mrs. McGuire: A small number of staff in the Scotland Office currently contribute just over £200 per month to charities through the Give As You Earn scheme. Further details cannot be provided so as to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned.

Information about the Give As You Earn scheme is available on the departmental intranet site and periodic reminders are issued about the facility. Staff may, of course, make donations to charities by other means.

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Airwave Police Radio System

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from (a) the Essex Police Authority and (b) others on funding by the Home Office for the Airwave radio system; and what changes have been made in the level of funding to be made available for the system in Essex. [146626]

Ms Blears [holding answer 8 January 2004]: Essex Police Authority and several other Forces have written about funding of their 2004–05 costs for optional services over and above the basic service. The Home Office is currently establishing the funding needs for each force and will inform Essex Police Authority of changes to its settlement in the near future.


Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many instances of arson there have been in England and Wales in each of the last five years. [146421]

Ms Blears: The available information is given in the table.

Number of offences of arson recorded by the police in England and Wales


(5) There was a change of counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, which had the effect of increasing the number of crimes counted. Numbers of offences for years before and after this date are therefore not directly comparable.

(6) The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced across England and Wales in April 2002. Some police forces adopted the standard prior to this date. Broadly, the NCRS had the effect of increasing the number of crimes recorded by the police. Therefore, following the introduction of the standard numbers of recorded crimes are not comparable with previous years.

Ball Bearing Guns

Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce measures to deal with the use of ball bearing guns in public; and if he will make a statement. [146764]

Caroline Flint: Under the provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 it will be an offence to have an imitation firearm in a public place without reasonable excuse. We expect this provision to come into force on 20 January. The issue of controls on imitation firearms will be dealt with in the review of firearms legislation which I intend to launch shortly.

Boris Berezovsky

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the outcome of police investigations into the claims made

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during the hearing of the extradition case against Boris Berezovsky that an assassin had been sent from Russia to attack him. [146730]

Ms Blears: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that the Metropolitan Police Service was made aware of an alleged threat to Boris Berezovsky. Inquiries made were unable to either substantiate this information or find evidence of any criminal offences having been committed. Investigations into this matter have been concluded.

Community Support Officers

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community support officers will be in post in the London borough of Sutton by the end of March 2004. [146000]

Ms Blears: The allocation of Community Support Officers (CSOs) within the Metropolitan Police Service is a matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

The Commissioner has informed me that he plans to deploy 17 CSOs in Sutton by the end of March 2004.

Crime Reduction Initiatives

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding has been made available to local communities to support interventions that (a) disrupt local drug markets by tackling both the supply and demand, (b) tackle drug-related crime and (c) address associated anti-social behaviour in (i) Middlesbrough South and Cleveland, East (ii) the North East and (iii) England. [144753]

Caroline Flint: In December 2002, the Government announced in the Updated Drug Strategy substantial direct annual spending to tackle drug misuse. Details are set out in the following table.

£ million

Protecting young people149155163
Reducing supply380380380
Safeguarding communities(7)212297367
Drug treatment(8)503512573

(7) Includes expenditure strengthening delivery.

(8) Includes mainstream spending, prison treatment and pooled budgets.

Regional breakdowns of financial allocations to local communities are not available in the form requested. However the table shows funding streams allocated directly to the Drug Action Teams in Middlesbrough, and in Redcar and Cleveland.

Regional funding 2003–04

Middlesbrough allocationRedcar and Cleveland allocation
DAT Development Funding35,00034,000
Pooled Treatment Budget1,113,000765,000
Throughcare and Aftercare133,00035,000
Capacity Building Funding350,000

In addition to this, national funding provided to, for example, the Police, Probation and Prison Services, is used to tackle the drug-related issues in question.

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A breakdown of direct allocations by Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships against drug-related anti-social behaviour is not available.

Department Policies

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the impact of his Department's policies on the constituency of Regent's Park and Kensington North since 1997. [145422]

Ms Blears: Most of the policies initiated by the Home Office since 1997 have had an impact on the Regent's Park and Kensington North constituency as on other parts of the country. Our policies in the areas of crime reduction, anti-social behaviour and policing are providing direct benefits to the people of Regent's Park and Kensington North.

It is not possible to give details back to 1997, but policies and initiatives in recent years in the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) areas of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster have included:

Crime Reduction Initiatives

Initiatives that have been funded in Kensington and Chelsea and City of Westminster for crime reduction purposes (total amount of funding awarded).

Name of initiativeYearCity of Westminster (£)Kensington and Chelsea (£)
CCTV—Round 1 2000–031,205,000117,000
CCTV—Round 22001–0365,738281,000
Reducing burglary initiative2002–0359,582
Communities against drugs2001–02277,800199,400
Safer communities initiative2002–03162,58196,144
Partnership development fund (PDF)2001–0212,500
Small retailers in deprived areas (SRDA)2003–0421,02321,023
Building safer communities fund (BSC)2003–04455,792304,805
Basic command unit fund (BCU)2003–04433,000232,000

Interventions funded by crime reduction allocations included:

Westminster: CCTV cameras and a mobile CCTV system, an initiative to tackle drug related crime from a health, community and environmental angle, street wardens and action against drugs.

Kensington and Chelsea: CCTV in North Kensington crime hot spots and purchase of a mobile CCTV van, tackling vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the Delgarno Neighbourhood, a hardening and repair of burgled properties initiative, action against drugs aimed at young people, community outreach on domestic violence and youth diversion programmes.

Statistics published on the Metropolitan police website show a fall in crime over the past year.

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Street Crime

The Metropolitan police service has been part of the street crime initiative since its launch in March 2002. Westminster is one of the priority London street crime boroughs. There were 1,752 robberies in Westminster during 2002–03, a reduction of 36.6 per cent. on 2001–02. In Kensington and Chelsea there were 673 robberies in 2002–03, a reduction of 43.4 per cent. on 2001–02. Overall robbery reduced in London by 21 per cent. comparing 2002–03 with 2001–02.

Positive Action for Young People (PAYP)

Central London Connexions was launched in June 2002, following a pilot period. Connexions has provided considerable support to help young people in the Regent's Park and Kensington North area to participate and achieve in education, employment and training in partnership with youth services, schools, colleges and other providers. Personal advisers (PAs) are placed in many voluntary and statutory youth clubs providing support to young people including music, art and sports projects, and through PAs in detached youth work teams.

PAYP programmes have been particularly successful on Regent's Park and Delgarno estates.

From April to September 2003, across the boroughs of Camden, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, 11,341 interventions took place with young people through Connexions support to approximately 6,000 young people. An additional 7,184 young people took part in PAYP activities in the area.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Westminster: The City of Westminster was granted £25,000 in 2002–03 for a designated controlled drinking areas scheme.

Kensington and Chelsea: In 2003–04, funding of £22,414 has been allocated from the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit to enable the CDRP to commence recruitment of an anti-social behaviour (ASB) specialist.

Remaining funds will be used to contribute towards the development of a web-based anti-social behaviour case tracking tool.


Government grant (excluding targeted initiatives) for the Metropolitan police force for 2003–04 is £1,764.05 million, an increase of 5.2 per cent. or £87.73 million over 2002–03.

On top of this, the Metropolitan police will benefit from a number of targeted initiatives, set out in the table:

Metropolitan police funding— selected specific grants
£ million

Crime fighting fund43.0565.8970.46179.4
Community support officers81523
Street crime14.208.0122.21

In addition, the Metropolitan police will also receive in 2003–04:

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Between 1997 and 2003, the number of police officers in the Metropolitan police force increased from 26,677 to 28,845.

The introduction of community support officers (CSOs) in 2002 is helping to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on the streets.

Regent's Park and Kensington North constituency is served by two Operational Command Units (OCUs). Borough of Camden OCU covers Regent's Park. It will have a total of 38 CSOs by the end of March 2004. The OCU of Kensington and Chelsea (of which Kensington North form only a part) will have a total of 42 CSOs by the end of March 2004.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's Community Safety Team has allocated an additional 10 CSOs for 2004–05 for the St. Charles Ward in North Kensington. Funding for this has come from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

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