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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) trained police officers and (b) special constables there are in the Southend Basic Command Unit. 
Ms Blears: Information on the number of officers in each Basic Command Unit (BCU) is provided annually (31 March) by each police force. As at 31 March 2004 there were 278 regular officers and 52 Special Constables in Southend BCU.
All officers receive full training for the duties they undertake.
Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what form of body protection is provided for special constables. 
Ms Blears: The decision whether to issue protective vests or other types of body armour to special constables is a matter for the chief constable. These decisions are informed by risk assessments of the operational deployment of special constables. While some police forces still issue from a central pool, others provide personal issue.
Aside from any generic risk assessments undertaken, forces need to make specific local risk assessments whenever appropriate, particularly if they do not have a policy stating that protective vests or other types of body armour must be worn.
25 Jan 2005 : Column 293W
Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for theHome Department how many special constables have been injured in the line of duty since 1 January 2001. 
Ms Blears: Information on the outcome of assaults on special constables has been collected centrally since 1 April 2002. For the period 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2004, there were 318 assaults on special constables which resulted in seven of them being seriously injured. The remaining 311 special constables suffered minor or no injury.
Serious injuries are defined as those resulting from assaults for which the charge would be under Sections 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the transcript of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. 
Ms Blears: The department will not be publishing the papers from the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The papers received by the inquiry and their own records amount to more than 80,000 pages. The department is currently in the midst of reviewing and appraising the inquiry records prior to their transfer to The National Archives (TNA) where they can be made available for public inspection. This is a huge task and one that needs to be carried out with due sensitivity for the people involved. The current review schedule anticipates the inquiry transcripts being transferred to TNA in March 2005.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances a prisoner who is scheduled to make a court appearance by video link from prison can refuse to appear (a) generally, (b) on the grounds the individual cannot walk to the video conference facilities and (c) on the grounds that the individual has refused or failed to cut his toenails, preventing him from walking; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: There is no provision for an accused to attend his or her trial by live link from prison. Section 57 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 makes provision for pre-trial hearings to be conducted by live link. By virtue of this section, where a particular pre-trial hearing takes place by live link, the accused is to be treated as being present in court for it. A particular pre-trial hearing may only be conducted by live link where the court, after hearing representations from the parties, directs it. A party is accordingly free to object to the hearing taking place. The decision as to whether to proceed, or not to proceed with a pre-trial hearing by live link in the case of an accused who objects to it, for whatever reason, is a matter for the discretion of the court.
Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what fees are paid by the Youth Justice Board for a bed in a (a) local authority secure unit, (b) youth treatment centre and (c) young offenders institution. 
Paul Goggins [holding answer 19 January 2005]: The juvenile secure estate comprises: young offender institutions run by the Prison Service; privately-operated secure training centres; and places purchased in local authority secure children's homes. The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales commission and purchase the places. They estimate the average annual costs per place to be:
|Young offender institution:||50,800|
|Secure training centre:||(10)164,750|
|Local authority secure children's home:||185,780|
Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the standard staff to child ratio is in (a) local authority secure units, (b) secure treatment centres and (c) young offenders institutions. 
Paul Goggins [holding answer 19 January 2005]: It is not possible to specify standard ratios because of the many variables involved. Examples of the variation in ranges are given as follows:
In local authority secure children's homes, between one member of staff to two children and six staff to eight children.
In secure training centres (STCs), between two staff to five to seven children and three staff to eight children. There are also custody officers on site to cover admissions, movements and supervision of visits.
In juvenile young offender institutions (YOls) three to six staff to between 40 and 60 children on the wings; plus establishment reception, healthcare, instructional and education staff and personal and resettlement officers .
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on (a) indoor bought plants, (b) indoor hired plants, (c) outdoor bought plants and (d) outdoor hired plants in each year since 1997. 
Maria Eagle: The information is not collected separately from other expenditure figures.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of his Department's staff is based in London. 
Maria Eagle: Information on regional distribution of staff is available in the Library and also at:
25 Jan 2005 : Column 295W
Table D shows the numbers of staff by regional distribution.
Figures relating to 1 April 2004 are due to be published during February 2005.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 6 December 2004, Official Report, columns 3702W, on disability benefits, how many appellants who were originally in receipt of the lower rate have been awarded the higher rate mobility component of the disability living allowance after appealing against decisions made regarding the award of this benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: This is a matter for Christina Townsend, Chief Executive of the Appeals Service. She will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Christina Townsend to Paul Holmes dated 25 January 2005:
The Secretary of State has asked me to respond to your question pursuant to his answer of 6 December 2004 Official Report columns 3702W on disability benefits regarding how many appellants who were originally in receipt of the lower rate have been awarded the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance after appealing against decisions made regarding the award of this benefit; and if he will make a statement.
The information you require is not available in the format requested as information on Disability Living Allowance appeals is only recorded by the number of appeals and the actual success rate of those appeals.
Table 1, however, gives details of the number of Disability Living Allowance claimants whilst table 2 shows the total number of appeals received and their overall outcome.
|DLA caseload for all components||2,634.3|
|Higher rate mobility only||460.6|
|Lower rate mobility only||99.9|
|Cleared at hearing||3,550|
|Cleared in favour of appellant||1,705|
|Cleared in favour of appellant (percentage)||48.03|
|Cleared against appellant||15|
|Cleared against appellant (percentage)||0.37|
|Original decision upheld||1,775|
|Original decision upheld (percentage)||49.97|
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