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Street Crime (London)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on policing in central London and each of its surrounding boroughs in 2003–04. [184278]

Ms Blears: The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s net budget requirement in 2003–04 was £2,207.8 million. Distribution of resources within the Service is a matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Resources are allocated directly to borough operational command units using the Service's resource allocation formula. In addition, borough units are able to call upon all-London Units (such as dog sections, Territorial Support Group, Traffic and Air Support Units) when operational priorities dictate.

The Commissioner informs me that the budget for the Westminster borough operational command unit in 2003–04 was £81.4 million. The cost of policing public order, specialist units, non-operational support units providing service to Westminster, the Royal Palaces, Palace of Westminster and Diplomatic Protection was additional. Total police spending in Westminster could be calculated only at disproportionate cost.

I understand from Chamberlain to the Corporation of London that the net budget for the City of London Police in 2003–04 was £67.2 million.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many street crimes were reported in London in (a) 1997, (b) 1999, (c) 2001, (d) 2003 and (e) 2004; and how many were prosecuted in each year. [184288]

Ms Blears: Information specifically relating to street crimes is not collected centrally. The statistics that are collected on recorded crime relate to offences of business and personal robbery. Prosecution data does not distinguish between these two types of robbery and is only available for all robbery offences.

Terrorism/Security Legislation

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the recent findings on the percentage of people of Asian origin arrested under terrorism and security legislation. [184174]

Ms Blears [holding answer 19 July 2004]: Published figures on arrests under terrorism legislation do not include information on ethnic origin. The statistics published recently in the report under section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 included the ethnic breakdown of those stopped and searched under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

We are concerned about any issues of disproportionality and are committed to improving and developing a close partnership with all communities towards the shared aim of combating terrorism. We are
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undertaking specific work to reassure communities that counter-terrorism powers are being used proportionately and appropriately.

The Home Office has formed the Stop and Search Action Team to take work forward to ensure that stop and search as a police power is used fairly and as effectively as possible in the prevention and detection of crime. We have also published guidance for police forces on the authorisation of powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which emphasises the need to consider as wide a range of factors as possible when authorising the use of these powers.

The powers within the Terrorism Act are aimed at terrorists, whatever their background or section of society they may come from. They are not aimed at a particular race, religion, or any other social group. In using them, the police have regard to the threat we face in this country from terrorism. That threat is mainly, but not exclusively, from international terrorism in connection with Al Qaida and its associated networks.

Terrorist Attack

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to post advice for citizens on actions to be taken during terrorist attacks on the (a) Home Office and (b) UK resilience websites. [184600]

Mr. Blunkett: I refer the hon. Member to my statement of 20 March 2003, Official Report, column 51WS.

The UK Resilience website already directs the public to the Home Office website and the advice on what measures they can take to protect themselves from terrorism at work, home and when preparing to go abroad

The hon. Member will also be aware that on Monday 26 July my colleague Caroline Flint MP launched a public information booklet called "Preparing for Emergencies—What You Need To Know" which will be delivered to every household in the UK during August. This booklet can be accessed on the following website:

Victim Support

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent by his Department supporting victims of (a) crime and (b) domestic violence in each of the last 25 years; and what the planned budgets for each are as a result of the Spending Review for each police authority area in England and Wales. [186136]

Ms Blears: The information is as follows:

(a) A large part of the budget of the criminal justice agencies goes to help support victims of crime—it is estimated that around £650 million is invested at national level. However, it is not possible to break down the specific amounts, or to separate different types of crime. The following table shows the expenditure over the last 25 years that can be identified as being directly allocated from the Home Office to support victims of crime.
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Allocation to organisations directly supporting victims

Financial yearTotal (£ million)

(b) The Home Office also provides funding for numerous initiatives and pilot projects including the Road Traffic pilot projects and support for victims of human trafficking. The Home Office also announced in April 2004 that it would provide additional funding of £4 million over two years, specifically to boost the development of services for victims of sexual offending, including developing and extending the network of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs).

(c) The Government are committed to tackling domestic violence. The Home Office is spending £14 million on domestic violence in the 2002 Spending Review period (2003–04 to 2005–06). This money is being used to help support victims, bring perpetrators to justice and prevent domestic violence in the first place, all of which will help make victims and their children safer. In earlier spending rounds, domestic violence related projects have included the piloting of a range of interventions through the Violence Against Women Initiative, part of the £10.7 million Crime Reduction Programme.

(d) Spending programmes and support for police authorities from the provisions of the 2004 Spending Review are under consideration.

Visiting Forces Act

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions since 1974 US forces personnel have submitted certificates of immunity under the Visiting Forces Act 1952 to British courts. [178709]

Mr. Browne [holding answer 14 June 2004]: Statistics on certificates of immunity are not collected centrally.
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Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to encourage voluntary activity among (a) senior civil servants and (b) members of the Cabinet. [185081]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 19 July 2004]: Volunteering within the Home Office is encouraged at all levels including senior civil servants particularly through a new scheme called the "Out of Office Experience," which has been running for the last 12 months. As part of this initiative staff are encouraged to apply for up to five days Special Annual Leave per year, with pay, to undertake voluntary work. The initiative encourages volunteering and enables staff to see Home Office policies being delivered at the front line.

There is no specific initiative in place to encourage volunteering among Cabinet members, but all ministers witness at first hand the dedication of many volunteers and the valuable contribution their activity makes in many areas of life when they undertake official visits to agencies that use volunteers.

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