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16 Nov 2004 : Column 1417W—continued


Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers preventing racial harassment have been introduced since 1997; and how many times these powers have been used in Burnley. [168316]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 created new and separate offences where the offences of causing fear and violence or of causing harassment, alarm or distress under the Public Order Act 1986, or the offences of harassment or putting in fear of violence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 were racially aggravated.

Figures for the number of prosecutions in Burnley for this type of offence are not centrally available. Over the period 1999–2000 to 2002–03, Lancashire police recorded a total of 1,122 racially- or religiously-aggravated harassment offences.

Prior to 1997, the Race Relations Act (RRA) 1976 prohibited discrimination on racial grounds. The RRA did not specifically refer to harassment, but it was clear from case law that racial harassment was a type of detriment capable of amounting to the kind of treatment prohibited by the Act.

As part of its fulfilment of its obligations under the EC Race Directive, the UK amended the Race Relations Act 1976 (by virtue of the Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003) so as to make it unlawful to harass a person, on grounds of race or ethnic or national origins, in the areas of activity covered by the 1976 Act.

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were committed by juvenile offenders in (a) West Derbyshire and (b) the East Midlands in each of the last two quarters for which figures are available; and how many cautions were issued. [198370]

Paul Goggins: The information contained in the table gives the number of juveniles (persons aged 10–17) convicted of all offences and those given reprimands and final warnings, during the last two quarters of 2002 in the East Midlands. It also contains data for the Derbyshire police force area, and, for persons found guilty, in the petty sessional areas of Derby and South Derbyshire and North East Derbyshire which cover the area of the West Derbyshire constituency.

The information collected centrally does not enable cautions in the West Derbyshire constituency to be identified. Neither is it possible to give the number of crimes committed by juveniles, only the number of juveniles who are found guilty of all offences.
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Statistics for 2003 will be published on 18 November.
Number of juveniles found guilty at all courts, and those given reprimands and final warnings(45)for all offences, East Midlands, 3rd and 4th quarter 2002

Area, age and disposal etc.
3rdQuarter 20024th Quarter 2002
East Midlands(46)
Juveniles aged 10–17 receiving a reprimand1,2431,138
Juveniles aged 10–17 receiving a final warning451404
Juveniles aged 10–17 found guilty1,7811,669
of which:
Derbyshire police force area
Juveniles aged 10–17 receiving a reprimand(47)250224
Juveniles aged 10–17 receiving a final warning(47)139141
Juveniles aged 10–17 found guilty
of which:
found guilty in the Derby and South Derbyshire PSA172150
found guilty in the North East Derbyshire and Dales PSA116100

(45) Cautions were replaced by reprimands and final warnings for persons under 18 from June 2000.
(46) Police force areas of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
(47) Not available by petty sessional area.

Criminal Justice

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions have taken place between his Department and his colleagues at the Northern Ireland Office about the Draft Treaty on Co-operation on Criminal Justice issues between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [192342]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 19 October 2004]: There have been official-level contacts between the Home Office and the Northern Ireland Office during the year with respect to co-operation on criminal justice issues between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. These have included reference to the proposed draft Intergovernmental Agreement on Criminal Justice Co-operation as set out in the Updated Criminal Justice Review Implementation Plan published by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in June 2003.

Northern Ireland Office officials have been in touch with officials in the Performance and Delivery Unit, Judicial Co-operation Unit, Criminal Law Policy Unit and the European and International Unit of the Home Office, and through them also with officials involved in road crime and drugs policy, as well as the Secretary of State's private office. I am satisfied that the Department is being kept fully apprised of relevant developments in this area.

Custodial Sentencing Statistics

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were given custodial sentences of (a) less than 12 months, (b) between one and four years and (c) more than four years in Crown Courts in each year since 1995, broken down by (i) gender, (ii) age and (iii) type of offence. [190890]

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Paul Goggins: The information requested is contained in the table and relates to England and Wales for the years 1995 to 2002 and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Statistics on court proceedings for 2003 will be published in the autumn.

Cyber Crime

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department is taking to prevent financial fraud originating on the world wide web. [197809]

Caroline Flint: The Government take the issue of fraud on the world wide web very seriously and have taken a number of steps to tackle this kind of crime.

The Home Office website provides advice on avoiding internet fraud, while the Department of Trade and Industry has advice on scams and rip-offs, including internet scams, on its Consumer Direct website.

The Home Office has created, and maintains the 'e-tailing mini site', which forms part of the crime reduction website. The mini site provides information to help both businesses and consumers protect themselves specifically when using the internet.

We have published, jointly with the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) a leaflet on card safety which includes a section on using cards safely over the internet. The leaflet has been sent to all police forces in England and Wales, and to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships. It is also available on the Home Office website and the e-tailing mini site, and APACS members (banks) will be sending a version of the leaflet to their cardholders.

The Home Office is represented on an industry-led steering group which aims to tackle 'Card Not Present' (CNP) fraud (which includes fraud over the internet). We support practical measures being introduced by the industry to increase levels of security for internet transactions. These include Address Verification Services (AVS) and Card Security Code (CSC), along with Mastercard Secure Code and Verified by Visa which require password verification for internet transactions. These initiatives are already making a significant impact on CNP fraud.

The work of the CNP steering group has also led to the production of a manual (Spot and Stop Card Fraud Retailer Pack) which aims to educate merchants on the dangers of CNP fraud and the steps which can be taken to prevent it.

Government are also involved in the development of Project Endurance, an initiative aimed at launching an internet security awareness campaign in 2005. The project brings together a number of UK Government Departments and law enforcement organisations with a number of high-profile private sector companies. This campaign is to be targeted at micro businesses and consumers, primarily aimed at helping these users gain confidence in using the internet.
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Dangerous Driving

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the steps he has taken to strengthen the punishments available to courts when dealing with people who have caused death by bad driving. [192977]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 21 October 2004]: We have increased the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs from 10 to 14 years imprisonment, and for aggravated vehicle taking where a death occurs from five years to 14 years imprisonment. The new maximum penalties for these offences were introduced in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and apply to all offences committed on or after 27 February 2004.

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