Previous Section Index Home Page

13 Jun 2005 : Column 154W—continued

Crime (Rural Areas)

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on measures to tackle (a) crime and (b) the fear of crime in rural areas. [1375]

Hazel Blears: Effective and responsive policing at neighbourhood level as well as robust partnership working are both essential parts of our strategy to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour and to sustain the confidence and trust of the public in all parts of the country.

In accordance with this, we are committed to working with the police and other partners at national and local level so that, by 2008 every area in England and Wales, rural as well as urban, will benefit from visible and responsive neighbourhood policing teams. The dedicated teams will be led by police officers and involve special constables, community support officers, volunteers and neighbourhood wardens among others.

In addition, the Rural Policing Fund was introduced part way through 2000–01, when £15 million was made available to enhance the policing service in rural areas at no cost to the metropolitan forces. The fund is currently £30 million per annum benefiting 31 forces. This fund enables rural forces to focus on local crime hot-spots and provide a physical presence to deter criminals and troublemakers.

In terms of fear of crime, whilst it is statistically lower in rural areas, the impact of crime can be greater in small communities, particularly among older people. Comparative statistics between older residents still however produce lower fear of crime rates in rural areas than urban. Work to reduce further the fear of crime is a key component of the Home Office's public service agreement which looks to increase confidence in the Criminal Justice System and reduce antisocial behaviour and the fear of crime.

Crime and Policing (Hammersmith and Fulham)

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what average length of time a police officer in Hammersmith and Fulham was occupied following an arrest before resuming their patrol in the last period for which figures are available. [849]

Hazel Blears: The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis is responsible for the day to day operational management of the force. I will ensure that he receives a copy of the question and replies directly to the hon. Gentleman's concerns.
13 Jun 2005 : Column 155W

Criminal Justice Act

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what mechanisms he plans to monitor the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. [1380]

Fiona Mactaggart: Yes. The regularly published statistics on sentencing, probation and prison will be a source of monitoring information on how the new sentencing framework contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 is used.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what restrictions will be placed on the number of additional conditions that the courts can place on community orders under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. [1382]

Fiona Mactaggart: The community order introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides sentencers with a new flexible disposal that can be tailored. A court making a community order may impose one or more of 12 statutory requirements, but the Act requires that these must be the most suitable for the offender; that multiple requirements be compatible with each other, and that the restrictions they impose on the offender's liberty must be commensurate with the seriousness of the offence.

Death Certification

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Department has to change arrangements relating to coroners and death certification. [2854]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

The Government is committed to reforming the arrangements relating to coroners and death certification and I shall be looking at the best way of taking this forward, building on the work undertaken by the Home Office and taking into account the Reports of the Fundamental Review of the Coroner Service and the Shipman Inquiry.

Drugs (Policy Unit Report)

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to implement the recommendations of the policy unit's report on drugs; and if he will publish the report. [2396]

Paul Goggins: There are no plans to publish the confidential policy advice contained in the strategy unit report on drugs. The Government have a comprehensive and balanced drug strategy which we launched in 1998 and updated in 2002. It sets out the range of policies and interventions to reduce the harm caused by illegal drugs by 2008. We have achieved a great deal across the strategy. Class A drug use among young people is stable. Where there was once virtually no drug treatment, 154,000 people are now being helped and waiting times are at their lowest ever—down 75 per cent. since December 2001. Where previously little attempt was made to break the link between drugs and crime, there is now the Drug Interventions Programme doing just that. Crime is falling, and falling faster in areas operating the programme, with over 1,950 drug-misusing offenders entering treatment in April 2005—
13 Jun 2005 : Column 156W
the highest number since the programme began. And where in the past communities felt helpless against the problems of drugs there is now a coordinated approach backed by powers such as the ability to close crack houses quickly and seal them for up to six months.

Drunk and Disorderly Convictions

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions were made for the offence of being drunk and disorderly in England and Wales in each year between 1984 and 2004. [2588]

Hazel Blears: The number of offenders convicted of being drunk and disorderly in England and Wales 1984 to 2003 is contained in the table.

Statistics on court proceedings for 2004 will be published in the autumn.
Number of offenders found guilty of the offence of being drunk and disorderly—England and Wales 1984 to 2003(39)

Offence: Being guilty while drunk of
disorderly behaviour
Statute: Criminal Justice Act 1967 S.91
Found guilty

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

EU Legislation

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what EU legislation was implemented by (a) the Data Protection Act 1998, (b) the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, (c) the Disability Discrimination (Providers of Services) (Adjustments from 1999 of Premises) Regulations 2001, (d) the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and (e) the Money Laundering Regulations 2003. [1707]

Hazel Blears: The Data Protection Act 1988 implements the 1995 European Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC).The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 does not implement any specific EU legislation. The Disability Discrimination (Providers of Services)(Adjustment of Premises) Regulations 2001, were introduced to implement provisions of domestic legislation under the Disability Discrimination Act, and not to meet any EU requirements. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Business in the Regulated Sector and Supervisory Authorities Order 2003 No. 3074) (SI 3074/2004), took into account the 2nd EC Money Laundering
13 Jun 2005 : Column 157W
Directive (Directive 2001/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 91/308/EEC on prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering). The Money Laundering Regulations 2003 completed the implementation in the UK of the 2nd EC Money Laundering Directive (Directive 2001/97/EC).

Gun Crime (London)

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many gun-related crimes there were in (a) Brent East and (b) each London borough in each year since 1997. [2499]

Hazel Blears: The information requested is not available centrally because statistics on offences involving firearms are only collected at police force area level.

Next Section Index Home Page