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7 Sept 2004 : Column 956W—continued

Essex Police

Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what change in funding Essex Police Authority has received in each year since 1997. [186315]

Ms Blears: The information is set out in the table.
General government grants(3)Annual percentage change in general government grantsSpecific grants and capital provision(4)TotalAnnual percentage change in all government grants
£ millionPercentage£ million£ millionPercentage

(3) General government grants comprise Home Office principal police grant, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Revenue Support Grant and National Non Domestic Rates. Figures include £2.0 million in 1999–2000, £1.25 million in 2000–01 and £14,000 in 2001–02 for the transitional costs associated with changes in boundaries of the Metropolitan Police District from April 2000.
(4) Includes funding from the Crime Fighting Fund, Rural Policing Fund, South East Allowance Payments, Basic Command Unit funding, Community Support Officer funding, Special Priority Payments, DMA Expansion Programme, Capital grant (including Supplementary Credit Approvals), Airwave (£4.6 million in 2002–03, £2.3 million in 2003–04 and £0.4 million this year) and the Premises Improvement Fund. Specific grants in 2004–05 are an estimate.
(5) Figures for 2001–02 are not directly comparable with 2002–03 due to the change in funding arrangements for National Crime Squad/National Criminal Intelligence Service. Adjusted figures for 2001–02 are therefore included.

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Female Prisoners (Substance Misuse)

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of female prisoners have a substance misuse problem; and if he will make a statement. [186862]

Mr. Browne: The Prison Service relies on the findings of epidemiological studies to determine drug treatment need in female establishments. A survey carried out in 2001 1 showed that up to 60 per cent. of female prisoners had a drug problem. The same survey also suggested that over 33 per cent. of women in prison had patterns of hazardous drinking.


Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provisions are available for the psychiatric assessment of persons (a) under a stage one warning for harassment and (b) convicted of harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. [186529]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I have been asked to reply.

As set out in the national service framework for mental health, any service user who contacts their primary health care team with a common mental health problem should have their mental health needs identified and assessed.

Anyone sent to prison is screened on first reception to identify any health-related, including psychiatric, problems that need prompt attention or more thorough investigation.

Home Detention Curfews

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been released on the home detention curfew scheme. [186563]

Paul Goggins: Information reported to the Home Office shows that there were 95,810 prisoners released on the Home Detention Curfew Scheme between January 1999 and 30 June 2004.
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Job Losses (Civil Servants)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the reductions in the numbers of civil servants in his Department announced in the comprehensive spending review will be of special advisors. [185462]

Fiona Mactaggart: Special Advisers are appointed by Ministers, with the approval of the Prime Minister, in accordance with Article 3(2) of the Civil Service Order in Council 1995 (as amended).

The 2004 spending review published planned reductions in Home Office posts of 2,700 by 2008. The Home Office will report progress through its departmental report and on its website.

Litigation Costs

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to public funds was of the A v. West Yorkshire Police case. [185140]

Ms Blears: I understand from the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police that costs incurred by the force totalled £90,000, including costs for 'A', the cost of hearings and taking the matter to the House of Lords. Expenditure incurred by Treasury solicitors in this case totalled £66,638, including disbursements such as counsels' fees.


Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people convicted of paedophile offences have had restrictions imposed on their ownership of credit and debit cards as part of their punishment; [185432]

(2) what provisions exist for limiting the use or issue of credit and debit cards to convicted paedophiles. [185433]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 20 July 2004]: The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a new civil preventative order; the sexual offences prevention order (SOPO). A court may make a SOPO against someone with a conviction or caution for a relevant sexual offence (those listed in schedules 3 or 5 to the Act) where it is satisfied that such an order is necessary to protect the
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public or any particular member of the public from serious sexual harm from the defendant. A SOPO prohibits the offender from doing anything described in the order. This means protecting the public from serious physical or psychological harm caused by the defendant committing one or more of the offences listed in schedule 3.

It is possible that a court could make a SOPO that would limit the use of credit or debit cards by the offender, if it was thought that limiting this use would protect the public from serious sexual harm. For example, a SOPO could prohibit an offender from making online purchases. Such a restriction would have to be compatible with a defendant's rights under Article 8 of the Convention.

Statistics on the forms of prohibitions contained in SOPOs are not held by the Home Office.

In addition, the Home Office has been working closely with the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS), who have a clear policy that acquiring banks routinely monitor the transaction activity of their internet merchants, and that they will not knowingly do business with sites that sell content inciting, advocating or perpetuating violence against persons, including scenes of sexual assault. APACS have also been developing a range of work with the Internet Watch Foundation to assist in tracking and identifying illegal sites.

PFI/PPP Contracts

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many contracts have been let by his Department in each financial year since 2001–02 to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Deloitte and Touche, (c) KPMG and (d) Ernst and Young for advising his Department on private finance initiative and public private partnership contracts; and what fees were paid in each case. [182262]

Fiona Mactaggart: From the best information available, the number of contracts let with these suppliers, and the fees paid, are as follows:
Fees £000

2 Marsham Street(6)7571839
Criminal Records Bureau(7)00163
Deloitte and Touche
Secure Training Centres0252153
HM Prisons Bronzefield
and Peterborough(9)
Criminal Records Bureau0250
Ernst and Young

(6) 2 Marsham Street—financial advice prior to contract close and arrangements to launch a variation bond
(7) Criminal Records Bureau—PricewaterhouseCoopers provided internal audit services, and KPMG provided financial advice and support
(8) Passports—Scoping Study for Development of Sampling Strategy (Fraudulent Passports). Note: This is the contract value.
(9) HM Prisons—advice on accounting treatment of Bronzefield and Peterborough

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The use of external consultants helps the Department to successfully deliver projects across the office, particularly where the in-house resources are insufficient in number, or do not possess the specialised skills and expertise required.

The Department also benefits from strategic business advice and the transfer of skills and knowledge to staff.

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