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4 Apr 2005 : Column 1279W—continued

Non-geographic Telephone Numbers

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2005 to Question 205820, what steps his Department has taken to cease entirely the use of non-geographic 0870 telephone numbers for (a) Core Home Office services and (b) the Prison Service; and what steps were taken in the recent renegotiation of contracts for telephone lines at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to cease entirely the use of non-geographic 0870 telephone numbers. [223110]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 21 March 2005]: The information requested is as follows:

(a) A review of the use of an 0870 number for the main Home Office public enquiry service is under way and is due to be completed in May 2005. Alternative options being considered include 0845, 0800, and a geographical number.

(b) Her Majesty's Prison Service have changed the 0870 number in use at Her Majesty's Prison Holloway to an 0800 number, but have no plans to discontinue the use of the 0870 number for their public enquiry service.

The renegotiation of the telephony contract for the Immigration and Nationality Enquiry Bureau (INEB) did not include changing the 0870 number. Currently a review of the operation of INEB is being conducted, and will consider whether continued use of the 0870 number is appropriate.

Oakington Detention Centre

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he proposes to take following the broadcasting of inappropriate and offensive language being used by staff at Oakington detention centre. [220787]

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Mr. Browne [holding answer 8 March 2005]: As I announced on 8 March 2005, Official Report, column94WS, I have asked the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, Stephen Shaw, to carry out an independent inquiry into the allegations contained in the programme.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what methods are used for tracking prisoners on parole; and if he will make a statement. [221470]

Paul Goggins: Before an offender is released from prison on parole licence, the local probation officer prepares a risk management plan to facilitate the resettlement of the offender into the community and to minimise the risk to the public.

The plan may contain conditions to constrain the activities of the offender, relating for example to employment restrictions, residence, treatment for addictions, a curfew, or exclusion from certain places. The probation officer will manage the components of the plan in conjunction with other agencies. If there are curfew or exclusion conditions, these can be electronically monitored by private contractors who will work closely with the probation officer.

In three areas of the country (Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Hampshire), management of the exclusion conditions can be enhanced by satellite tracking using global positioning by satellite (GPS) technology. This will provide the probation officer with evidence of any breach of the exclusion zones. This is a one year pilot which began in September 2004 and is being independently evaluated. A total of 94 offenders have been tracked in the pilot, and two of them have been subject to parole licence.


Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of translation services was for each police force in each of the last three years. [221561]

Ms Blears: This information is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Police Funding

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding has been allocated to the police in each year since 1997. [203140]

Ms Blears [holding answer 7 December 2004]: Government grant to support policing in England and Wales since 1997 is set out in the table.
£ million

Home Office
police grant
National non-domestic rates(63)(5507620064)Revenue support grant(63)(5507620064)Total other grants(65)Capital grants(66)Total

(63)Source: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and National Assembly for Wales.
(64)Revenue Support Grant (RSG) includes SSA Reduction Grant and Central Support Protection grant. RSG and NNDR for the City of London Police is provided in respect of all its functions.
(65)Specific grants since 2000–01 for targeted programmes.
(66)Capital grants include Home Office police capital grant, supplementary credit approvals, Air Support, Premises Improvement Fund, Airwave capital and C3i. The figures included substantial capital for Airwave in 2001–02 (£74.3 million), 2002–03 (£101.2 million) and 2002–03 (£75.9 million). Totals up to 2001–02 include an element for major capital schemes allocated under the Priority Planning List (PPL) scheme.
(67)The grant figures for 2001–02 and 2002–03 are not directly comparable, owing to changes from 2002–03 in the method of funding the National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service.

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Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what change there has been in the funding of Staffordshire police since 1997. [223239]

Ms Blears: The information is set out in the table.
£ million

Government grants(68)
Specific grants(69)Capital

(68)Includes Home Office principal police grant, ODPM Revenue Support Grant and redistributed business rates.
(69)Includes funding from the Crime Fighting Fund, Rural Policing Fund, Basic Command Unit funding, Community Support Officer funding, Neighbourhood Policing Fund, Special Priority Payments DNA Expansion Programme, capital provision (including Supplementary Credit Approvals) and Airwave.
(70)Capital grant in 1997–98 includes £1.5 million paid to Staffordshire Police Authority under the then arrangements to provide additional support for a limited number of major capital schemes each year. In addition, the Authority received Supplementary Credit Approvals of £1.6 million in 1997–98 and £1.2 million in 2005–06 for grant supported borrowing.

Police Information Technology Organisation

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to publish the McFarland Report on the performance and structure of the Police Information Technology Organisation. [223680]

Ms Blears [holding answer 24 March 2005]: The Review's report has been completed and is currently being considered by Ministers. A ministerial statement will be made to Parliament in due course. Copies of the final report will then be available in the Library.

Police Officers (Northumbria)

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there have been in (a) the South Tyneside Area Command and (b) Northumbria in each year since 1997. [222554]

Ms Blears: The latest figures on police strength by Basic Command Unit were published as supplementary data on the Home Office/Research Development and Statistics website.

The information requested is given in the table:
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Police officers
As at 31 MarchSouth Tyneside(71)Northumbria

(71)Figures not available prior to 2002.
(72)Not comparable with earlier years' data—includes officers on career breaks and maternity/paternity leave.

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