Previous Section Index Home Page

16 Mar 2005 : Column 313W—continued

Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalent (a) officers and (b) civilian personnel were controlled by the central resource of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary in the last year for which figures are available; and how many of each are based at Portishead. [214422]

Ms Blears [holding answer 7 February 2005]: The latest information on police strength was published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin number 13/04, "Police Service Strength England and Wales, 31 March 2004". A supplementary table giving police officer strength by Basic Command Unit was published online at the same time. This can be found on the website:

On 31 March 2004, the number of full-time equivalent police officers working in Avon and Somerset Central Services was 1,212 and the number of police staff was 1,546. Information on the numbers based at Portishead is not available centrally.

Biometric Data

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2005, Official Report, column 1310W, on Biometric Data, if he will list the identifiers that will be held digitally on the chip in the ePassport. [221370]

16 Mar 2005 : Column 314W

Mr. Browne: In compliance with ICAO requirements, the chip will hold a facial image of the passport holder. This facial image will be derived from the applicant's photo submitted at time of application and will be stored in accordance with ICAO and ISO standards.

Additional information will include that which is currently shown on the personal details page of the passport, namely name, nationality, date of birth, sex, place of birth, date of issue/expiry and passport number.

The chip will also contain a digital security signature to authenticate the encoded data and that the passport was issued by UK Passport Service.

Civil Servants

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether an estimate has been made of the potential efficiency savings of merging the Prison and Probation Services headquarters functions. [220393]

Paul Goggins: The new National Offender Management Service headquarters is being redesigned alongside the Prison Service and Probation Service headquarters. As part of this process, all directors are being asked to identify efficiency savings of around 20 per cent. of headcount by March 2007.


Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letters from the right hon. Member for North-East Hampshire of 7 September, 11 November and 9 December 2004 regarding Mr. Roger Huxtable, ref M17775/4. [217497]

Ms Blears: A written reply has been issued to the right hon. Member for North-East Hampshire on 24 February.


Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the recent statement by West Midlands police on the force's ability to detect crime. [218376]

Ms Blears: The sanction detections rate for West Midlands police was 25.0 per cent. in March 2004, which compares with a rate of 25.8 per cent. in March 2003. Despite this small decline in the sanction detections rate,, the West Midlands force continues to perform well when compared with their peer group of similar constabularies. The average sanction detections rate of the forces against whom the West Midlands force is compared was 20.5 per cent. in both March 2003 and March 2004.

The Government acknowledges the need to raise sanction detections performance across all police forces. For that reason, a major drive has been under way since last summer with the aim of achieving a significant increase in sanction detection rates. Provisional data for 2004–05 shows that this concerted effort has already resulted in performance improvements and we are hopeful that all forces, including the West Midlands, will benefit from this.
16 Mar 2005 : Column 315W

Criminal Justice

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which recommendations of the O'Dowd report remain unimplemented because of a need for (a) legislation, (b) developments in IT and (c) wide-ranging changes in the criminal justice system; and what steps are being taken to adopt these recommendations. [199634]

Ms Blears: The outstanding recommendations that require legislation are as follows:

The outstanding recommendations that require developments in information technology are as follows:

16 Mar 2005 : Column 316W

The outstanding recommendations that require wide-ranging changes in the criminal justice system are as follows:

Good progress has already been made and we are working closely with the police and key stakeholders to deliver each of these recommendations as soon as practicable.

Cycling Offences

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions for cycling on the pavement there have been in (a) the London borough of Enfield, (b) Greater London and (c) England and Wales in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [220829]

Ms Blears: The number of convictions for cycling on the footpath (pavement) in the London borough of Enfield, Greater London and England and Wales, 1999–2003 is provided in the table.

Statistics on convictions for 2004 will be published in the autumn.
Number of persons convicted at magistrates courts for riding a bicycle on the footpath (pavement), 1999–2003(34)

Offence descriptionPrincipal statute19992000200120022003
Riding on footpathHighways Act 1835 Sec. 72; (as amended by Local Government Act 1888 S. 85(1) the Statute Law Revision (No. 2) Act 1888, Highways Act 1959 Sch. 25, Criminal Justice Acy 1967, 3rd Sch. and Criminal Justice Act 1982, ss 39 and 46 and Sch. 3); Metropolitan police Act, 1839, Sec. 54(7) and ByelawsLondon borough of Enfield1
Greater London379997
England and Wales3231711127982

(34) These data are on the principal offence basis.

Dispersal Orders

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many dispersal orders have been made in the Metropolitan police area; and what assessment he has made of their effects on reducing (a) antisocial behaviour and (b) criminal offences in each zone. [218518]

Ms Blears: The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police tells me that, between January and December 2004, the Metropolitan police authorised 61 dispersal areas under section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. In these areas 3,312 people were dispersed and 149 young people under the age of 16 were taken home.

It is too early to draw firm conclusions but the Metropolitan police believe them to be an effective tool to tackle instances of antisocial behaviour. The Metropolitan police and local authorities are conducting their own evaluations of the use of the power in their areas and will be reviewing their findings on a case-by-case basis in order to identify good practice.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2005, Official Report, columns 113–14W, on fixed penalty notices, how many of each of the categories of fixed penalty notices have been collected. [220585]

Ms Blears: The table gives the number of notices issued, by offence, by Essex police in 2004, to the end of November, with the proportion of notices notified to the Home Office as being paid.

If penalties are unpaid and a court hearing not requested within 21 days then a fine will be registered against the recipient of the penalty notice. The fine will then be enforced by the courts in the same way as any other fine. The Department for Constitutional Affairs has been taking action to significantly improve the collection of fines. The fine payment rate for the last quarter of 2004 was 80 per cent.
Penalty notices for disorder issued in Essex from January to November 2004(35), and percentage paid, by offence(36)

OffenceNumber issuedPercentage paid
Breach of fireworks curfew1100
Causing harassment, alarm or distress1,65161
Consume alcohol in designated public place813
Destroying/damaging property (max £500)3168
Drunk and disorderly68358
Drunk in highway2458
Knowingly giving false alarm10
Possession by under 18 of adult firework2100
Possession of Category 4 firework10
Purchase of alcohol in bar in licensed
premises for person under 18
Sending false messages1040
Theft (retail under £200)5452
Throwing fireworks560
Throwing stones at a train250
Trespassing on a railway1145
Wasting police time3656

(35) Figures have risen since 24 January due to receipt of late returns.
(36) Provisional figures.

16 Mar 2005 : Column 317W

16 Mar 2005 : Column 318W

Next Section Index Home Page