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11 Nov 2004 : Column 892W—continued

Dispersal Order Scheme

John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the dispersal order scheme at (a) Elm Park, (b) Hornchurch and (c) Upminster Bridge stations. [194728]

Caroline Flint: I understand from British Transport Police that the use of dispersal powers under section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 together with other measures has contributed to a visible fall in groups of youths loitering on stations and causing disorder on the eastern end of the District Line, together with a significant reduction in recorded crime.


David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrestees in (a) Haltemprice and Howden, (b) the East Riding of Yorkshire and (c) the Humberside police authority area tested positive for category A and B drugs in each of the last four quarters for which figures are available. [194981]

Caroline Flint: It is not possible to provide figures for the number of individuals testing positive at arrest for Class A or Class B drugs. However, the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 gave the police power to
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drug test arrestees once they are charged with a trigger offence. Data on the number of individuals testing positive at charge for opiates and/or cocaine and/or crack are available from three drug testing sites in
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Humberside police force, and are shown in table 1. There is no data available for the areas of Haltemprice, Howden and East Riding of Yorkshire as they are not currently drug testing sites.
Table 1: Drug test results for opiates and/or cocaine/crack at Humberside police force—October 2003 to September 2004

Number of
tests attempted
Number of
positive tests
Proportion of tests that were positive (Percentage)
October to December 2003 BCU: Kingston upon Hull44618040
January to March 2004 BCU: Kingston upon Hull57920235
April to June 2004 BCU: Kingston upon Hull, North Lincs, North East Lincs72120528
July to September 2004 BCU: Kingston upon Hull, North Lincs, North East Lincs80924630

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what classification of drugs has taken place in Thames Valley police area during the last 12 months. [195606]

Caroline Flint: The number of illegal drugs seized by the Thames Valley police area during the last 12 months is not currently available. The latest data that are available for the Thames Valley police force are for 2002. The information is analysed from the Home Office Drug Seizures Database and relates to all drugs classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The data have been published in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin on Drug Seizure and Offender Statistics 2001 and 2002 (maps 1, 2 and 3 on pages 10, 15 and 19 of the main bulletin and tables A1.1 to A 1.5 of the area tables). The bulletin is available on the RDS website and in the House Library.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fixed penalty notices have been issued under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835, in each year since 1999, broken down by (a) police and (b) local authority area. [196411]

Caroline Flint: The regular collection of data on fixed penalties for motoring offences does not identify separately offences peculiar to driving a motor vehicle on a footpath (section 72 of the Highways Act 1835), from other motoring offences of neglect of pedestrian rights. Neither are fixed penalty data collected centrally on the number of pedal cyclists riding on a footpath or obstructions caused by animals (also under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835).

However, the table shows information collected as part of a special exercise conducted in 2001 on the number of fixed penalties issued by police force area, for specific offences under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835, in 1999 and 2000 only.
Fixed penalty offences: Number of substantive tickets issued, England and Wales, August to December 1999 and January to December 2000 for cycling and driving on the footpath (pavement) offences under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 by police force area

Cycling on the footpath
Driving on the footpath
Police force area1999200019992000
Avon and Somerset19341642
Devon and Cornwall2834443
Greater Manchester3878(19)n/a(19)n/a
London, City of10310
Metropolitan Police2966822
North Yorkshire181653191
South Yorkshire113461111
Thames Valley8623
West Mercia361756
West Midlands49117
West Yorkshire(21)2(21)2
North Walesn/a(22)134(22)1
South Wales463860
Total (42 forces)665821377788

n/a = Not available
(19) Included within cycling on the footpath (pavement).
(20) October to December 1999 only.
(21) November and December 1999 only.
(22) October to December 2000 only.

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will arrange for the payment of fixed penalty notices issued in Great Britain to holders of
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driving licences issued in Northern Ireland to be payable by cheque without the necessity of appearance at court in Great Britain. [196419]

Caroline Flint: If a driver is able to avail himself of the fixed penalty system, he does not have to appear in court. Holders of driving licences issued in Northern Ireland are now in this position. The Crime (International Cooperation) Act 2003, which came into effect on 11 October 2004, allows NI driving licences holders to apply for a GB counterpart to the licence. The possession of the counterpart allows them access to the fixed penalty system for endorsable road traffic offences committed by them while driving in Great Britain.

The decision to offer a fixed penalty is for the police. They may choose prosecution if they consider that the more appropriate course.

Foreign Agencies

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what correspondence his Department had with foreign agencies prior to the seizure of web servers from the office of Rackspace; from which agencies correspondence was received; and what authorisations were granted to these foreign agencies. [195833]

Caroline Flint: The Home Office received no correspondence from foreign agencies in relation to this matter, and gave no authorisations.

Forensic Science Service

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the proposal to convert the Forensic Science Service into a public-private partnership. [196631]

Caroline Flint: As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made clear following the independent review of the Forensic Science Service (FSS), radical change is the only realistic option if the potential for forensic science is to be maximised.

Since then, we have been working closely with the FSS and the police to ensure that we are clear about how the necessary changes can best be managed, taking into account the demands of the criminal justice system, on-going developments in the use of forensic science and the business needs of the FSS itself.

An Outline Business Case has been prepared that provides an analysis of those needs and of the forensic science market. The results are the subject of on-going discussions with key stakeholders.

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