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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what research has been carried out by his Department into the change in the level of non-reporting of crime in Northern Ireland in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Change in the level of reporting of crime in Northern Ireland is most frequently measured by the Northern Ireland Crime Survey (NICS), the most recent published results for which relate to the 1998, 2001 and 200304 sweeps. In addition, the 2000 International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS) compared crime reporting rates across 17 industrialised countries or regions, including Northern Ireland.
Although, typically, less than half of crime is reported to the police, Northern Ireland tends to have a higher reporting rate than England and Wales and it had the highest rate of all countries participating in the 2000 ICVS. Reporting rates can fluctuate for a number of reasons, including, changes in the level or mix of crime occurring or in the level of confidence in the police and the wider criminal justice system.
Information from the NICS and ICVS on the levels of crime reported to the police is contained within the Northern Ireland Office Research and Statistical Bulletins 1/2001 International Crime Victimisation Survey 2000: Key Findings for Northern Ireland" and 4/2005 Crime Victimisation in Northern Ireland: Findings from the 2003/04 Northern Ireland Crime Survey", copies of which are available from the House of Commons library. The bulletins can also be downloaded from the internet (http://www.nio.gov.uk/index/statistics-research/publications.htm).
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Mr. Hanson: Final figures are not yet available for the cost of each election. The estimated cost of the district council elections is £1.75 million and the estimated cost of the parliamentary general election in Northern Ireland is £2.5 million.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people (a) below the age of 18 and (b) over the age of 60 years have been living in fuel-poor households in Northern Ireland in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Hanson: Figures on fuel poverty, which are classified in terms of households rather than by age groups, are collected through the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's House Condition Survey and not on an annual basis. The last survey, completed in 2001, indicated that (a) 54,920 households, where there were children, and (b) 102,039 households, where the head of household was over the age of 60, were living in fuel poverty.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent by Invest Northern Ireland on new road layouts in each of the sites that they own in (a) North Belfast, (b) South Belfast, (c) East Belfast and (d) West Belfast in each year since 2003. 
Angela E. Smith: In 2003, Invest NI spent £190,000 on infrastructure including roads at the Springfield Road. In 2004 it spent £3.26 million on infrastructure works including roads at Spring Vale, Springfield Road and Forthriver Business Park. To date in 2005 it has spent £810,000 at Forthriver Business Park. All of these sites are in West Belfast. Invest NI did not incur any expenditure on road works in any other of its properties in Belfast.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many successful prosecutions there have been in Northern Ireland under the prevention of incitement to religious hatred legislation since its introduction in 1987. 
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent research has been conducted by his Department to compare the severity of sentencing in Northern Ireland courts with those in England and Wales for similar offences; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Given the different sentencing practices across jurisdictions and the number of variable factors in individual cases, formal comparisons of the severity of sentencing in Northern Ireland courts and those in England and Wales have not been undertaken. The recently completed consultation on the Sentencing Framework in Northern Ireland will however provide an opportunity to consider issues relating to the disposals available to the courts in Northern Ireland and the types of sentences handed down.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will initiate an independent review of whether tennis as a sport in Northern Ireland is best promoted and developed under its current affiliation to Tennis Ireland. 
Mr. Hanson: I have no plans to initiate an independent review of whether tennis as a sport in Northern Ireland is best promoted and developed under its current affiliation to Tennis Ireland as this is not a matter for me, but a matter for the Ulster Branch of Tennis Ireland and its members. I am aware, however, that following recent meetings with the Sports Council for Northern Ireland, the Ulster Branch of Tennis Ireland has agreed to enter into exploratory discussions on possible options for any player that might prefer a different affiliation.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of those eligible to vote in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland who were unable to vote at the general election on 5 May as a result of not having a correct form of identification. 
According to figures provided by the Chief Electoral Officer, 3,818 electors were originally turned away from polling stations without valid photographic identification. Of those electors, 1,555 subsequently returned before the close of poll with an alternative, correct form of ID and were able to cast their vote. The remaining 2,263 electors were unable to vote because of a failure to produce valid identification.
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|Number originally turned|
away for invalid ID
|Fermanagh and South Tyrone||368|
|Newry and Armagh||352|
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of disabled voters in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland who were unable to vote at the general election as a result of access restrictions at polling stations. 
The Electoral Office has no indication that significant numbers of disabled electors were unable to vote on 5 May because of access restrictions at polling stations. While we do seek to ensure that every polling place is readily accessible by all electors and have, for some time, been working with the Equality Commission and owners of property to encourage compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act, adjustments take time. In the interim, we do keep the polling station scheme under constant review and encourage anyone with local knowledge who may be aware of more suitable premises to put forward their ideas. In addition, as you know a public consultation exercise on the scheme was carried out earlier this year and all comments received were taken into account before finalising arrangements for this year's elections".
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