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Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place in prisons in England and Wales to protect prisoners from sexual harassment; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prison Service's Violence Reduction Strategy was launched in May 2004 and requires that each establishment has in place a local violence reduction strategy appropriate to needs. The Prison Service's definition of violence is: any incident where a person is abused, threatened or assaulted. This includes any explicit or implicit challenge to their safety where the resulting harm may be physical, emotional or psychological." This covers all forms of harassment.
An intranet toolkit is helping establishments to develop practical solutions, including environmental and physical measures as well as alternatives for behaviour management. A whole prison approach is encouraged, with the aim of reducing violence and fear of violence. A focus on personal safety, supporting victims, and repairing the physical and emotional harm caused by violence or abuse, links closely with the suicide prevention strategy.
Following any complaint, including harassment, the Governor is required to investigate the complaint fully and take any necessary and appropriate action in order to safeguard the prisoner in his/her care.
Paul Goggins: The overspend forecast on 7 December 2004 was £31.1 million, which related to the forecast outturn as shown in the management accounts up to the end of October 2004. We expect the final outturn for the financial year to be within the delegated budget.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probation areas in England and Wales exceeded their targets for victim contact during (a) 200304 and (b) the first six months of 200405. 
Paul Goggins: The performance of probation areas in meeting their targets for victims contacted in 200304 and April to June 2004 (the latest available figures) is set out in the following table. In the first quarter of 200405, 39 of the 42 areas met or exceeded their target and only one area was more than 5 per cent. short of the target. In 200304, 38 areas met or exceeded the target with three areas falling more than 5 per cent. short.
|West Midlands total 94||90|
|North East total||98||96|
|North West total||92||94|
|Leicestershire and Rutland||100||100|
|East Midlands total||97||96|
|Yorkshire and Humberside|
|Yorkshire and Humberside total93||97|
|South East total||89||97|
|Avon and Somerset||94||98|
|South West total||95||98|
|England and Wales total91||93|
The National Standard for victim contact work is that probation areas should offer face-to-face contact between the victim (or family) and a member of the probation service (or agent) within eight weeks of the offender being sentenced. The NPS target is to make initial contact within that time scale in 85 per cent. of all eligible cases. This was exceeded in 200304 and performance continues to improve in 200405 with 93 per cent. of victims contacted in accordance with the national standard. Due to the eight-week wait to record the data, data for 200405 cover just the first quarter, ie, April to June 2004.
|Period covered||Number of named victims||Number of victims contacted||Percentage of victims contacted|
|April 2001 to|
|April 2002 to March 2003||15,904||12,949||81|
|April 2003 to|
|April 2004 to|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what views have been advanced in representations which he has received from religious groups (a) supporting and (b) opposing the adoption of a law on incitement of religious hatred. 
Fiona Mactaggart: A joint statement issued in April 2004 by representatives of many important faith communities in Britain urged the Government to legislate against incitement to religious hatred as soon as possible. An updated version of this statement with additional signatories was issued in January 2005. The statement reaffirms the belief of the bodies represented that the measure is necessary to remedy an unjust and anomalous gap in the present law whereby racial groups are protected from incited hatred whereas religious groups are not.
The Home Office has received representations from a number of religious groups who have concerns about aspects of the proposed measure. These concerns have focused around the extent to which the legislation might in certain circumstances inhibit the freedom to worship and to proselytise. There have also been concerns expressed by groups such as humanists and secularists that the law would not catch incited hatred against groups holding non-religious beliefs. The Home Office has met representatives of these groups and will continue to work to allay their concerns.
Fiona Mactaggart: Information published by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance indicates that countries with legislation of this kind include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France Germany, Greece and Italy. The state of Victoria in Australia also has legislation on this subject. The details of legislation vary, as one would expect. For example, the offence in Victoria has a lower threshold and wider scope than the Government are proposing for this country.
As regards effectiveness, while it is useful to look for similar provisions in other jurisdictions, we share the view of the House of Lords Select Committee which in its Report on Religious Offences in England and Wales (April 2003) concluded that Whilst it is possible to describe the offences that exist in different jurisdictions with some accuracy assessing their efficacy is much more difficult.'
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for the right of establishment in business under EU association agreements were received by his Department between 1 June 2003 and 30 April 2004, broken down by nationality of the applicant; and how many were (a) granted, (b) granted in error, (c) refused, (d) refused in error, (e) withdrawn and (f) otherwise disposed of, broken down by nationality. 
Between 1 June 2003 and 30 April 2004 there were 31,812 applications for the right of establishment in business under EC Association Agreements received by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). The table shows this total figure broken down by nationality and by the outcome of the case.
27 Jan 2005 : Column 481W
|Nationality of applicant||Total received 1 June 2003|
to 30 April 2004
|Granted||Refused||Withdrawn by applicant||Other(19)|
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will break down the number of applications between 1 June 2003 and 30 April 2004 for the right of establishment in business under EU Association Agreements refused by grounds for refusal and nationality. 
Mr. Browne: Between 1 June 2003 and 30 April 2004 there were 1,159 applications for the right of establishment in business under EC Association Agreements refused by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. The table shows this total figure broken down by nationality of the applicant.
|Nationality of applicant||Number of applications refused 1 June 2003 to 30 April 2004|
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) maximum, (b) mean and (c) minimum number of days was between the date of receipt of an application for the right of establishment in business under EU association agreements and the date of posting the refusal notice to the applicant between 1 June 2003 and 30 April 2004. 
Mr. Browne: The table sets out the mean, minimum and maximum number of days between receipt of an application for the right of establishment in business under EC Association Agreements and the date of posting the refusal notice to the applicant. The information refers to applications refused between 1 June 2003 and 30 April 2004.
|ECAA cases refused|
1 June 2003 to 30 April 2004
|Number of days between receipt in IND and posting of refusal|
|Minimum||Same day service at Public|
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