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14 Sept 2004 : Column 1553W—continued


People Smuggling

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are taken to co-ordinate Government resources in monitoring non-commercial aircraft movements to detect people smuggling; and if he will make a statement. [183225]

Mr. Browne: The Government monitors the movement of non-commercial aircraft through the Border Agencies Working Group, a forum that brings together representatives from the control authorities, the Civil Aviation Authority and Transec. The Group co-ordinates an on-going series of multi-agency operations at small ports and airfields, which assess levels of risk, and provides a forum for the control authorities to develop shared intelligence.

Additionally the Immigration Service regularly assesses the risks to the UK immigration control and will be monitoring whether the recent disruption by the police of an alleged facilitation attempt using light aircraft in Kent was a "one-off" or is part of a trend to target small airfields. The border agencies and law enforcement are actively engaged in a series of joint working initiatives to identify and combat external risks and organised criminal activity targeting the UK borders at small ports and airfields.

Antisocial Behaviour

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how his Department's TOGETHER campaign attempts to tackle antisocial behaviour in Leyton and Wanstead. [187741]

Ms Blears: TOGETHER is a campaign for both practitioners and the public across all of England and Wales. The approach includes prioritising local concerns about antisocial behaviour, getting the right people from local agencies working with the community
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to tackle the problem and making effective use of available sanctions and providing feedback to the community on progress at all stages.

On the practitioner side, the campaign is an ambitious programme that is designed to provide help, resources and know-how to every practitioner across the country. It has three core aims; to make the use and application of tools and powers simple and effective, to take the best of what is developed locally and spread it nationally, and to create a change in culture so that action is taken. The TOGETHER Academy, ActionLine and Website—backed up by practical step-by step guides and antisocial behaviour ambassadors remove excuses for inaction and raise the level of practice across England and Wales.

On the public side it is for individual Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to decide how to take forward the campaign at a local level. The TOGETHER campaign pack gives the tools for local authorities, police and community groups to run a TOGETHER campaign in their area.

Burglary (Wandsworth)

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the results of the evaluation of the Reducing Burglary Initiative for the London borough of Wandsworth. [187828]

Ms Blears: My hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) said in reply to my hon. Friend's oral question about the Reducing Burglary Initiative on 14 June 2004, Official Report, column 515 that the report of the findings of the process evaluation of the initiative would be published in the summer, though this will not identify projects individually. However, because of delays in finalising the report for publication, it will now be published later this autumn.

Crime Trends

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made, using the Home Office Trends in Crime model, of the impact on crime rates of (a) economic and (b) demographic changes in each year since 1995. [187234]

Ms Blears: The Home Office Trends in Crime model is an empirical model which attempts to explain annual changes in recorded crime in England and Wales by reference to annual changes in a number of economic, demographic, and criminal justice variables. It has been developed by joint external and internal research effort with the purpose of providing the Home Office with a tool for identifying those determinants of crime that are both within and outside of its control.

The model is robust, but highly aggregated. As such it cannot account for all the factors that impact on crime rates. It has nonetheless demonstrated that economic and demographic factors have been important determinants of changes in crime over time.

The model has not been used to attribute annual changes in crime to each of the explanatory variables. However, the model predicts that, if other factors remain constant, a permanent 1 per cent. increase in the growth rate of consumption expenditure reduces the
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growth rate of crime by about 1.7 per cent. On a similar basis, an increase of 1 per cent. in the growth rate of the proportion of young males in the population would increase the growth rate of crime by about 0.5 per cent.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide his Department's staffing levels for 1998–99, in the format set out in table 6.1 of his Department's Annual Report and Accounts 2003–04. [181494]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 29 June 2004]: Since 1998–99, the Central Home Office has been re-organised to meet its Public Service Agreements (PSAs) and it not possible to make a direct staffing level comparison in the format set out in the Department's
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2003/04 Annual Report. This comparison is further made more difficult as a result of the current Spending Review and Strategic Plan commitments to reduce staffing levels. The streamlining Department's headquarters resulting in a reduction of staff numbers by 30 per cent. to focus resources on the front-line will mean further format comparisons will be as difficult. There will also be similar reductions in the headquarters of Prison Service and Immigration and Nationality Directorate (reducing in total headquarter staff numbers by 2,700 full-time equivalents).

The following table provides the closest comparison. Staff that were recorded in Criminal Policy Directorate, Police Policy Directorate and Organised and International Crime Directorate are now organised within the Criminal Justice Group, Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group, Community Policy Group and Correctional Services.
Staff distribution—1998–99 Central Home Office
(excluding agencies)
Civil service full-time equivalents Casuals Secondments Total
Criminal Policy Directorate45700457
Police Policy Directorate68217.54141,113.5
Organised and International Crime Directorate102023125
Immigration and Nationality Directorate4,50010004,600
Fire and Emergency Planning Directorate209211212
Constitutional and Community Policy Directorate17600176
Research Development and Statistics Directorate226120238
Planning and Finance Directorate.16700167
Corporate Resources Directorate (in 2003/04 called Human
Resources, Corporate Development Services Directorate )
Legal Advisors3333
Communication Directorate9999
Ministerial and Central Secretariat7777
Prison Service Monitoring Unit44
HM Inspectorate of Prisons1212
Prisons Ombudsman1515
Total Central Home Office (excluding Agencies)7,4111,37.54507,998.5
Home Office: agencies
Prison Service38,3521,043039,395
United Kingdom Passport Agency1,118531501,500
Forensic Science Service1,2841101,295
Fire Service College18500185
Total Home Office48,4171,464.545050,331.5


Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many extension of leave to remain applications had not been decided by the end of the original leave to remain period as at (a) 1 January 2003 and (b) 1 January 2004; and how many of those outstanding cases had been outstanding for (i) over six months and (ii) over 12 months on such dates. [186954]

Mr. Browne: The requested information on outstanding applications is not readily available and could only be obtained by examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

It is the aim of General Group in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to decide 70 per cent. of all new chargeable applications within three weeks and 100 per cent. within 13 weeks.

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