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2 Nov 2004 : Column 192W—continued

Doorstep Selling and Cold Calling

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to combat doorstep crime; and if he will make a statement. [189740]

Ms Blears: The Home Office has been working since 2000 to help prevent distraction burglary—i.e. those cases where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used on an occupant of a dwelling to gain or try to gain access to the premises to commit burglary. Among other things, we have:

Other doorstep crimes—such as those committed by rogue traders—often involve breaches of consumer laws that are the responsibility of the Department for Trade and Industry. We are working closely with them on tackling these crimes.
 
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Drunk Driving

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of breath tests taken in the Greater London area resulted in arrests for drunk driving during the last 12 months. [194135]

Caroline Flint: The number of arrests resulting from positive or refused breath tests are not collated centrally. However, 24 per cent. of screening breath tests carried out in 2002, in Greater London were positive or refused.

Statistics for 2003 will be available in the spring 2005.

Firearms

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many accidental (a) fatalities and (b) injuries have been caused by licensed people using (i) shotguns and (ii) rifles in the field in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [163013]

Caroline Flint: No information is collated centrally in relation to accidents resulting from the use of shotguns and rifles in the field.

Internet (Material Seizure)

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with US law enforcement agencies concerning the seizure of material from UK-based internet hosting providers; and if he will make a statement. [191627]

Caroline Flint: I can confirm that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has had no discussions in regard to the matter referred to in the question posed by the hon. Member. In the circumstances I do not therefore believe that it is necessary for me to make a statement.

Knife Crimes

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents involving knives and other bladed weapons were reported to the police in each year since 1997 for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [193040]

Ms Blears: This information is not collected centrally. The number of offences involving knives are not separated out in the recorded crime statistics. The Homicide Index holds details on the number of homicides where the apparent method of killing was the use of a sharp instrument. The available information from 1997–98 to 2002–03 is given in the table.
Number of homicides involving the use of a sharp instrument

Number
1997–98202
1998–99202
1999–2000213
2000–01214
2001–02262
2002–03272

Louise-Ann Nel

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter from
 
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the hon. Member for West Lancashire of (a) 20 April and (b) 18 May concerning Louise-Ann Nel (Home Office Refs E1000813/N1012865) [194806]

Mr. Browne: My hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) wrote to my hon. Friend on 26 October.

Mobile Phones

Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of enforcement of the ban on the use of handheld mobile telephones while driving. [194824]

Caroline Flint: The new specific offence of using a hand-held phone while driving is intended essentially as a deterrent and to provide a simple, objective offence to enforce and prosecute which does not depend on judgements of degree of control or carelessness. The Association of Chief Police Officers have welcomed it as a straightforward method of dealing with this dangerous behaviour. The police will enforce the offence as operationally appropriate.

I understand that the Department for Transport is monitoring the use of mobile phones by drivers. The most recent survey carried out on weekdays in September 2004 found that the use of hand-held phones by car drivers had dropped by over 25 per cent. since September 2003.

Pedestrian Footways

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to change the guidance he gives to the police in respect of cycling on pedestrian footways; and if he will make a statement. [193504]

Caroline Flint: Chief officers of police are best placed to assess the nature and cause of cycling offences locally and to decide the most appropriate response.

The Government do not condone irresponsible cycling and will continue to promote safe behaviour on bicycles. To help the police with enforcement we have made it possible for Community Support Officer (CSOs) appointed under the Police Reform Act 2002 to issue £30 fixed penalty notices for cycling inconsiderately or irresponsibly on pavements.

The cycling infrastructure and environment are currently under improvement as a result of our National Cycling Strategy. We expect this improvement to reduce the incentive to cycle on the pavement.

Police

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average per capita spending on the Metropolitan Police force is in the current financial year. [190253]

Ms Blears: The budget requirement of the Metropolitan Police Authority in 2004–05 is £2,650 million. This includes the net revenue budget and spending for targeted programmes and for capital provision 1 .The estimated population is 7.348 million 2 .
 
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Average per capita spending on the Metropolitan Police Service in 2004–05 is £361. Grant towards funding the expenditure is £2,132 million or £290 per head of population.

2 Source: Mid 2002 population estimate—Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of the police force in Southend was in each of the last five years; and what the performance indicators are for the force. [191134]

Ms Blears: The Chief Constable of Essex Police informs me that the expenditure of Southend Basic Command Unit (BCU) in each of the last five years is as follows:
Expenditure (£ million)
1999–200010.3
2000–019.7
2001–0210.3
2002–0310.7
2003–0411.5
2004–05(24)12.0


(24) Estimate.


In addition, the Southend BCU benefits from use of central force facilities, including traffic policing and air support.

The Police Performance Monitoring Report for 2003–04, published in September 2004, shows performance for forces over six domains of policing responsibility. At BCU level, data are available for two of those domains: Reducing Crime and Investigating Crime.

The Reducing Crime domain measures the number of domestic burglaries, vehicle crimes and robberies per 1,000 population. Figures for the Southend BCD are:
Crime typeNumber of crimes (2003–04)Crimes per 1,000 population (2003–04)Change from 2002–03 (percentage)
Domestic burglary83212-23
Vehicle crime2,25414+2
Robbery4083+30

The Investigating Crime domain measures sanction detections and offences brought to justice (OBTJ) per recorded crime. OBTJ data are only available at force level, but detection data are available at BCU level. Detection rates (including administrative detections) for 2003–04 for the crime types listed above in the Southend BCU are given in the table.

Crime type
Detections per crime (2003–04) (percentage)
Domestic burglary13
Vehicle crime8
Robbery20









 
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Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total spending by Warwickshire police (a) was in each of the last seven years and (b) is expected to be in 2004–05; how much in each case was spent by the force on pensions; and how much of the total expenditure in each case was funded from (i) central government and (ii) council tax. [191985]

Ms Blears [holding answer 18 October 2004]: The information is set out in the following table.
£ million

Total government funding(26)Other(27)Council TaxTotal Gross Revenue ExpenditureNet Expenditure on Pensions
1997–9841.62.89.353.77.1
1998–9942.50.911.154.56.8
1999–200043.31.812.757.88.0
2000–0146.30.714.160.98.4
2001–0249.11.615.866.58.8
2002–0350.31.119.070.47.9
2003–0452.22.922.177.211.5
2004–05(25)53.84.124.182.012.3


(25) 2004–05 estimates provided by Warwickshire police.
(26) Includes Principal Home Office police grant, ODPM Revenue Support Grant and National Non Domestic Rates, special grant, revenue for Airwave, Crime Fighting Fund, Rural Policing Grant, Loan Charges grant, and other smaller specific grants.
(27) Includes all other force income and movements in reserves.
Source:
Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Police Statistics (Actuals 1997–98 to 2002–03 and Estimates 2003–04).




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