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17 May 2004 : Column 764W—continued

Criminal Justice Act

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when part 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 will be brought into force. [169161]

Mr. Blunkett: We are working towards implementation of the retrial provisions contained in part 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and will bring this part of the Act into force as soon as practicable.

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when section 114 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 will be brought into force. [169162]

Paul Goggins: No final decision has yet been made but the current aim is to bring the hearsay provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 into force as soon as possible.

Custodial Sentences (Wolverhampton)

Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those convicted in 2003 by courts in Wolverhampton for offences of failing to have valid (a) vehicle excise discs, (b) vehicle insurance and (c) MOT certificates received custodial sentences. [168400]

Caroline Flint: None: these offences are not imprisonable.
 
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Departmental Communications

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent on (a) internal communications and (b) advertising internal initiatives in each of the last five years. [163577]

Fiona Mactaggart: The information is as follows:

(a) The Home Office is a large organisation with inter-related aims so it is important that the 73,000 staff throughout the department and its agencies understand how the work that they do fits together to deliver the departmental outcomes. The department achieves this through the production of a range of services and publications. Examples are Home Office Today—a daily on-line news service for staff, and Inside Track the corporate staff magazine. In addition each agency keeps its own staff informed of internal activities through agency publications. Together the Department and its agencies spent the following sums on internal communications staffing and products:
£
2001–023,670,000
2002–034,080,000
2003–044,180,000




Note:
Figures for previous years can be provided only at disproportionate cost.



(b) The figures in (a) above include the cost of advertising internal initiatives to Home Office staff and cannot be separately identified.

Documentation (Arrivals)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure that inadequately documented passengers arriving in the UK are intercepted. [170521]

Mr. Browne: Measures to intercept passengers with inadequate documents on their arrival in the UK include risk-assessing all incoming flights, conducting intelligence-led document checks, observing passengers as they disembark from aircraft and planned special exercises sometimes involving other agencies and at certain locations using CCTV.

At the main arrivals control, passengers are interviewed and their documents examined to detect impostors and to identify forged or counterfeit passports or passengers without the requisite entry clearance.

In addition we have strategies in place to prevent passengers with inadequate documents arriving in the UK. These include the use of pre-entry controls in France (Juxtaposed controls), new detection technology screening equipment to detect clandestine entrants and Airline Liaison Officers (ALOs) who offer advice to airlines on the validity of travel documents held by passengers.

The Government are currently legislating to make disposing of travel documents without reasonable excuse a criminal offence. In addition a pilot is planned for airlines to scan travel documents at points abroad
 
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and supply copies to the UK Immigration Service. This will deter those who might otherwise destroy their documents en route.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether surveillance techniques have been extended to airports other than Heathrow, to ensure that inadequately documented passengers are intercepted. [170522]

Mr. Browne: Surveillance techniques to ensure that inadequately documented passengers are identified and intercepted are already in use at major airports other than Heathrow. The UK Immigration Service has the ability to employ CCTV and/or overt surveillance in order to identify and intercept such passengers.

Smaller airports where these methods are not routinely employed are subject to regular risk assessment, monitoring and special exercises with Customs and other agencies. Resources are deployed to identify and intercept inadequately documented passengers on an intelligence led basis.

Drink Driving

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were sentenced in England and Wales for driving with excess alcohol, excluding those causing death or serious injury, in each of the last 10 years; how many of those received a custodial sentence; and what the average custodial sentence length was. [169087]

Paul Goggins: The available information is contained in the table and relates to persons sentenced for offences of driving etc after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.

It is not possible in the statistics collected centrally to exclude those offences where serious injury is caused, but the figures exclude persons sentenced for the specific offence of 'causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs'.
Number of persons(28) sentenced at all courts for offences relating to driving etc after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, those sentenced to custody and the average custodial sentence length, England and Wales 1993—2002 Driving etc after consuming alcohol or taking drugs

Driving etc after consuming
alcohol or taking drugs
1993
Total sentenced80,926
Custodial sentence2.575
Average sentence length (months)3.1
1994
Total sentenced78.038
Custodial sentence3.243
Average sentence length (months)3.2
1995
Total sentenced81.474
Custodial sentence3,443
Average sentence length (months)3.1
1996
Total sentenced85.010
Custodial sentence3,529
Average sentence length (months)3.1
1997
Total sentenced89.271
Custodial sentence4,065
Average sentence length (months)3.0
1998
Total sentenced83.092
Custodial sentence3.754
Average sentence length (months)3.0
1999
Total sentenced79.524
Custodial sentence3.653
Average sentence length (months)3.0
2000
Total sentenced76.779
Custodial sentence3.465
Average sentence length (months)3.1
2001
Total sentenced76.113
Custodial sentence3.475
Average sentence length (months)3.0
2002
Total sentenced81.444
Custodial sentence3,290
Average sentence length (months)3.2

 
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Statistics on court proceedings for 2003 will be published in the autumn.

Drugs

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what collaborative endeavours there are with other Governments to stifle the synthetic supply of drugs. [168727]

Caroline Flint: The United Kingdom Government have signed and ratified the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which establishes an international control system for such substances, including a number of synthetic drugs. It has also signed and ratified the United Nations 1988 Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which provides comprehensive measures against drug trafficking and the diversion of precursor chemicals of synthetic drugs.

UK law enforcement agencies have well-established bi-lateral links with their opposite numbers overseas, and share both strategic and tactical intelligence on synthetic drugs and their precursor chemicals on a regular basis.

They also participate in a range of multi-lateral, operationally focused intelligence work, including, for example:


 
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