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10 Jan 2005 : Column 368W—continued

Telephone Numbers

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-geographic 0870 telephone numbers are in use by his Department; and what services can be accessed by calling each of them. [205830]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office uses the following 0870 numbers:
0870 numbers
Immigration and Nationality Directorate
Main0870 606 7766
Application Forms0870 241 0645
Beckett House recorded information message0870 240 3781
Complaints0870 241 6523
UK Passport Service
Main0870 521 0410
Textphone0870 240 8090
High street partners0870 243 4477
Complaints0870 241 1902
Criminal Records Bureau
Main0870 909 0811
Registration0870 909 0822
Disclosure applications0870 909 0844
Minicom0870 909 0344
HM Prison Service0870 000 1397
HMP Holloway0870 000 0575
Home Office
Home Office Public Enquiries0870 000 1585
Home Office Publications (operated by
Prologue on behalf of the Home Office)
0870 241 4680
TOGETHER (advice to practitioners on
tackling antisocial behaviour)
0870 220 2000
Crime Reduction (advice on preventing car
0870 000 8518
Security Industry Authority0870 243 0100

10 Jan 2005 : Column 369W

Traffic Offences (Sentencing Policy)

Mr. Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish detailed proposals to update sentencing policy for serious road traffic offences. [200255]

Paul Goggins: The Criminal Justice Act 2003 increased maximum sentences for causing death by dangerous and careless driving from 10 to 14 years.

The Government believe that the law on road traffic offences involving bad driving needs urgent reform. The announced review of road traffic offences has largely been completed but there are a number of further issues which require careful scrutiny before a consultation paper can be published. We intend to publish the consultation paper shortly.

Transsexual Prisoners

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department will publish guidelines on the treatment of transsexual prisoners. [201854]

Paul Goggins: The Prison Service hopes to publish these guidelines by next spring.

Vehicle Disposal

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received in relation to the review of the statutory charges document for vehicle removal, storage and disposal. [206643]

Caroline Flint: Charges in respect of the removal of vehicles and their subsequent storage and disposal are set by Statutory Instrument in the form of Regulations made under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 and the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Many of the operators who undertake such removals are keen to see various alterations to these Regulations. From time to time, they, their representative organisations, or others on their behalf enquire when the level of charges might be changed or whether it is proposed to review and amend the basis and structure of the charges and how they are applied.
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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to review the statutory charges document for vehicle removal, storage and disposal; and if he will make a statement. [206644]

Caroline Flint: The charges for vehicle removal, storage and disposal are set by statutory instrument following consultation with the interested parties. We do not propose to change that.

The appropriate level for the charges, the basis on which they are set, their structure, how they are applied in different circumstances and arrangements for their periodic reassessment are matters we have been considering. We will be continuing this work in 2005.

Voluntary Sector Contracts

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the cross-cutting inter-departmental review on contracts with the voluntary sector. [206411]

John Healey: I have been asked to reply.

Copies of the 2002 Cross Cutting Review of the Role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Service Delivery were deposited in the Library on 1 September 2002. Full findings of the Government's recent Voluntary and Community Sector Review will be published shortly through three publications, copies of which will be placed in the Library.

Women Offenders

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to produce regular reports on the progress of the Home Office's Women Offenders Reduction Programme initiative. [206013]

Paul Goggins: The Women's Offending Reduction Programme was published on 11 March 2004 and contains action points agreed by a range of stakeholders, both within and outside the criminal justice system. Progress with these action points is monitored and co-ordinated by the Women's Policy Team who provide me with six monthly reports. Formal reviews of progress will take place at the end of each year of the programme when a report will be produced and made publicly available.

Young Offenders

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress made towards the Government's 2001 manifesto pledge to improve the standard of custodial accommodation and offending behaviour programmes for 18 to 20-year-old offenders. [201393]

Paul Goggins: The Government have invested heavily in improved regimes for all prisoners, concentrating on activities such as education and vocational training which are particularly valuable for young adults. Funding for offender education and training has risen from £97 million last year to £122 million this year.

Five larger Young Offender Institutions and five local prisons have received an additional £20 million investment over the last four years, improving standards of decency and providing enhanced regimes for over one
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third of young adult offenders held in custody at any one time. Other improvements include the refurbishment of accommodation and facilities at Rochester, Castington and Swinfen Hall.

Two other Young Offender Institutions, Thorn Cross and Deerbolt, have received extra investment to run the High Intensity Training programme which addresses offending behaviour and provides education, vocational training and mentoring to reduce the risk of re-offending.

The National Offender Management Service will improve the way offenders are managed, including young adults. In addition, a project board has been established to develop a strategy for managing young adult offenders, including any special regime requirements for this group.

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines are in place to ensure the detention of young offenders within 50 miles of their homes. [204398]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 13 December 2004]: There are no guidelines in relation to the distance that young adult offenders (aged 18–20 years) are held from their home address.

In its management of the prison population, the National Offender Management Service aims to hold all prisoners (including young adult offenders) in establishments that provide the degree of security they require, are suitable to their gender, age and legal status, provide special facilities appropriate to prisoner needs and are near to their homes or the courts dealing with their cases.
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The Youth Justice Board's guidance for young offenders (aged under 18) is that the most local placement will be sought which is also consistent with the other needs of the young person.

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance is provided to family members of young offenders detained more than 50 miles from their homes to enable them to make regular visits. [204399]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 13 December 2004]: Assistance is provided through the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme, which is funded and operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service. The purpose of the scheme is to provide help with travel costs and accommodation, where necessary, to prisoners' close relatives and partners, who are on a low income as specified in the rules of the scheme. Help may also be available to someone who is the prisoner's only visitor.

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