Previous Section Index Home Page

14 Mar 2005 : Column 38W—continued

Private Mario Clarke

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 1 February 2005, Official Report, columns 847–48W, on Private Mario Clarke, what steps were taken by the family liaison officer to inform Deveen Clarke of the date of the inquest into the death of her husband; what steps were taken to inform her that public funds would be made available to enable her to attend the hearing; and if he will ensure she is provided with a full transcript of proceedings. [217803]

Ms Blears: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis reports that Mrs. Deveen Clarke was informed of the impending inquest by telephone and by letter when the date of the inquest was known.

The Metropolitan police also contacted Mrs. Clarke by telephone when they had been informed that she had not been successful in obtaining a visa and to inform her that the coroner was not calling her as a witness.

As Mrs. Clarke had been unsuccessful in obtaining a visa and therefore could not travel back to the UK, the question of public funds being made available was not an issue.

Mrs. Clarke was informed of the result of the inquest by letter. The Metropolitan police will on request from Mrs. Clarke make arrangements to provide her with a full transcript of the proceedings.

Defence Equipment Projects

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the approved cost at main gate was for (a) A400M, (b) Astute Class submarine, (c) Bowman and (d) Nimrod, broken down by (i) direct resource DEL, (ii) indirect resource DEL and (iii) capital DEL. [219038]

14 Mar 2005 : Column 39W

Mr. Ingram: Approved costs at original Main Gate or equivalent approval were as follows:
ProjectApproved cost (£ million)Year
Astute Class submarine1,9001997
Nimrod MRA42,2001996

These projects went through the Main Gate or equivalent point prior to the full introduction of Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB). Approvals were therefore on a cash basis and not broken down in the format requested. The latest approved procurement costs at main gate or equivalent on a RAB basis taken from MPR 04 are:

Approved procurement cost at Main Gate or equivalent as taken from MPR 04 (out turn) (£ million)
Astute Class submarine2,578
Nimrod MRA42,813

Departmental Policies (Coventry)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Coventry, South constituency, the effects on Coventry, South of changes to his Department's policy since 1997. [220371]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 9 March 2005]: The Government have put in place policies in the areas of crime reduction, antisocial behaviour, policing and active communities that are yielding considerable benefits for the Coventry, South constituency, as well as for all parts of the UK.

For example, between March 1997 and September 2004, the number of police officers in West Midlands police force increased by 917 from 7,113 to 8,030. The Government's introduction of community support officers (CSOs) in 2002 has put 134 CSOs on West Midlands streets to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour. Between 1997 and 2003–04, the West Midlands police force area has seen a reduction in recorded domestic burglary crimes of 35 per cent. and in recorded vehicle crimes of 28 per cent.

West Midlands police force is receiving £426.5 million in general grants for 2005–06, an increase of 6.81 per cent. (£27.2 million) over 2004–05. West Midlands also gains around £0.8 million from the Amending Report for 2003–04, bringing the overall increase to 7.0 per cent. General grants funding to West Midlands has increased by 34 per cent. between 1997–98 and 2005–06. In addition to general grants, West Midlands will also receive around £29 million in specific grants funding for targeted initiatives and capital provision in 2005–06. The distribution of resources locally is a matter for the Police Authority and the chief constable.
14 Mar 2005 : Column 40W

As crime prevention requires action across communities, every area has had a local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) since 1998 which brings together the police, health services, drugs agencies and council and community representatives to decide how to prevent and deter crime and antisocial behaviour.

The Crime Reduction Programme (CRP) was a pioneering Government intervention programme which ran for three years from April 1999 in England and Wales and took an evidence-based approach to crime reduction. Grants of over £340 million were allocated to over 1,470 projects, including CCTV, under 20 initiatives that formed part of the programme. Four CCTV projects in the Coventry CDRP area received a total of £528,226 from the CRP.

Since 2001, successive initiatives have provided direct funding to each of the 376 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships in England and Wales. These initiatives include Communities Against Drugs, the Safer Communities Initiative, the Small Retailers in Deprived Areas scheme and the Building Safer Communities Fund. Since 2001, a total of £1.93 million has been allocated to Coventry CDRP under these initiatives. A further £2.03 million has been provided over the two years 2003–04 and 2004–05 to the Home Office regional director in the West Midlands for CDRP capacity building across the region.

It is estimated that out of a million active offenders, 100,000 have three or more convictions and are responsible for half of all crime. There is a Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPO) scheme in Coventry set up to target those offenders who cause a disproportionate amount of crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour in the community.

The Government's crime reduction website provides further information on the work being done to reduce crime across the country, including information about action and results in local areas. It is available at

New legislation has given local agencies a raft of powers, from antisocial behaviour orders to local dispersal orders and crack house closure powers, to work with local people to tackle antisocial behaviour and nuisance. In Coventry a total of 73 antisocial behaviour orders have been issued as of 4 March 2005. Coventry is one of the 50 antisocial behaviour action areas across the country set to get extra help to tackle antisocial behaviour. In addition, £25,000 has been awarded to Coventry to tackle families who cause nuisance and misery. Nuisance neighbours are offered intensive family support and given a last chance" to turn around their behaviour, by nuisance neighbour expert panels. Local contacts for tackling antisocial behaviour can be found on

Tackling drug misuse is a priority of this Government and their policy is set out in the 10-year National Drug Strategy launched in 1998 and updated in December 2002. (A copy of the updated Drug Strategy 2002 is held
14 Mar 2005 : Column 41W
in the Library.) Under this, the Government have invested substantially in measures to reduce the harms caused by illegal drugs, focussing on the four strands of:

Direct annual funding nationally to tackle drug misuse amounted to £1,244 million in 2003–04, rising to £1,344 million in 2004–05. Coventry has seen a significant increase in direct funding for tackling drugs, in particular for drug treatment services and the through care and aftercare elements of the Drug Interventions Programme. In 2003–04 the allocation for Coventry drug action team amounted to £2.08 million, rising to £2.83 million in 2004–05. Details of action taken to tackle drugs in the Coventry, South constituency can be obtained from the Coventry drugs action team, for contact details see

The Government are working to ensure that citizens, communities and the voluntary sector are more fully engaged in tackling social problems, and there is more equality of opportunity and respect for people of all races and religions. Active community participation in England has increased by 1.5 million people between 2001 and 2003. Charities have been supported more effectively, and £125 million is being invested across the country through the future builders fund in voluntary and community organisations that help provide valuable public services. Advice on ways to engage local people in helping their communities is available on the Active Citizenship Centre website

This year, 2005, is the year of the volunteer which is being delivered by the Home Office in partnership with Community Service Volunteers and Volunteering England. This will include a whole range of events in local communities across the country that aim to celebrate the contribution which volunteers make to the quality of people's lives, and encourage more people to volunteer. We are particularly keen to encourage young people, black and minority ethnic groups, those with no qualifications and disabled people to get involved. More details can be found at

Detailed information on the impact of Home Office policies across the full range of responsibilities is set out in the Home Office Annual Report and in the Strategic Plan for 2004–08, available on the Home Office website at

Next Section Index Home Page