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Mr. McFadden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers there are, broken down by police force area; and what the expected number in each area will be when the expansion in numbers is complete. 
Figures provided by police forces indicate that there were around 6,300 community support officers (CSO)s in England and Wales at 31March 2005. Audited figures, including a breakdown
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of CSO numbers by police force area, will be included in the next police strength statistical bulletin to be published later this month. The Neighbourhood Policing Fund (NPF) will provide significant additional resource to help forces recruit 24,000 CSOs by 2008. This investment will help deliver our commitment that every community will have access to a dedicated neighbourhood policing team by 2008. We will announce later in the year the funding allocated to each police authority under the NPF.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Government intends to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention Against Trafficking. 
Paul Goggins: The UK has not yet taken the decision on whether or not to sign the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and has no timetable for adoption at present. There are certain provisions in the Convention which present concerns for the UK and which remain under active consideration. We want to resolve these issues before taking a decision on signature. We support fully all of the aims of the Convention and we too want to see widespread action to tackle this abhorrent trade at source, to protect and support the victims and bring those responsible to justice.
We will be gathering evidence about how the Convention measures are operating in other European transit or destination countries where they have been introduced. We also want to work with non-Government organisations (NGOs) and others working in the field of human trafficking to ensure that we explore thoroughly with them the potential benefits and disadvantages of the approach set out in the Convention.
During the UK's Presidency of the EU the Government intends to treat combating trafficking in human beings as one of its Justice and Home Affairs priorities. We are committed to agreeing a wide-ranging EU action plan before the end of 2005 and will jointly host with Eurojust a conference focusing on investigating and prosecuting traffickers. We are considering other ways of highlighting this issue during our Presidencies of the G8 and EU, both at Ministerial and official levels.
The Government is committed to tackling trafficking in human beings, domestically and internationally, and is determined that the measures we take bring the criminals responsible for it to justice, protect the victims of trafficking, but do not undermine our ability to control our borders.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ask Mr Ken Sutton to inform him when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Sunderland, South of 13th May regarding Mr Mahdi Hosseini, reference M1077781. 
Mr Ken Sutton replied on 4 July 2005.
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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crack houses in Lancashire have been closed in the last five years. 
Hazel Blears: No information is held for the full period in question but Lancashire Constabulary has used powers under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 to close down 25 premises since commencement of the Act on 20 January 2004.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were committed in each London borough in (a) 1997 and (b) 2004, listed in descending order of number of crimes. 
Hazel Blears: Data for all recorded crime in 200304 by Basic Command Unit (BCD) are provided in the table. Figures for all crime at BCU level were not collected centrally prior to 200102.
|Basic Command Unit||Number of offences|
|City of Westminster||79,296|
|Kensington & Chelsea||29,873|
|Hammersmith & Fulham||28,650|
|Barking & Dagenham||22,144|
|Kingston upon Thames||16,309|
|Richmond upon Thames||15,446|
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the most common form of crime committed by young people of school age was in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Hazel Blears: Statistics on the age of persons committing crimes are not available from the recorded crime series.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young people of school age have been the victims of crime in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales, in each year since 1997. 
Hazel Blears: The information requested is not collected centrally. Apart from specific sexual offences, it is not possible to identify the age of the victim in the recorded crime statistics.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many areas have been designated under section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 in (a) each London borough, (b) England and (c) England and Wales in the past 12months. 
Hazel Blears: It is estimated that dispersal powers have been authorised in over 400 areas in England and Wales between January 2004, when the powers came into force and September 2004. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police tells me that, between January and December 2004, the Metropolitan Police authorised 63 dispersal areas under section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. A breakdown by London borough is shown in the following table.
|Hammersmith and Fulham||3|
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much each police force retained from the recovery of proceeds of crime in the last year for which figures are available. 
Hazel Blears: The amount of money each police force will receive from £13 million available under the police incentivisation scheme in 200405 is shown in the table.
|Police force||Police force share of £13 million (£)|
|Metropolitan Police Service||4,027,855.00|
|National Crime Squad||1,819,909.00|
|Greater Manchester Police||526,360.00|
|West Yorkshire Police||345,293.00|
|City of London Police||337,011.00|
|West Midlands Police||312,977.00|
|Avon and Somerset Constabulary||298,726.00|
|Police Service of Northern Ireland||269,639.00|
|South Yorkshire Police||202,726.00|
|Devon and Cornwall Constabulary||180,291.00|
|West Mercia Constabulary||152,335.00|
|Thames Valley Police||114,413.00|
|South Wales Police||61,055.00|
|British Transport Police||42,886.00|
|North Yorkshire Police||31,258.00|
|North Wales Police||16,729.00|
|Total available for incentive payments||13,000,000.00|
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice and support his Department has given to police forces that have underperformed in recovering the proceeds of crime. 
The then Home Secretary wrote to all Chief Constables last November following publication of the Joint Criminal Justice Inspectorates' Thematic report on the implementation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). His letter encouraged forces to adopt the report's recommendations on improving performance on asset recovery. I am pleased to say that a number of the recommendations have been implemented. In particular, a senior officer has been appointed as POCA champion in all forces. Local Criminal Justice Boards have been set asset recovery
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targets for 200506, agreed with the Association of Chief Police Officers and others, as part of the drive to improve performance at local level.
Last month we issued to police forces and others a new National Best Practice Guide to the enforcement of confiscation orders. It covers the criminal confiscation process from financial investigation and prosecution to the making and enforcing of a confiscation order.
I have recently written to all Chief Constables notifying them of their force's share of recovered receipts under the police asset recovery incentive scheme. I encouraged them to make maximum use of POCA powers to recover more criminal assets so that each force gets back more in incentive payments, and to invest the money in financial investigation which is the gateway to asset recovery. We have also introduced an assessment incorporating asset recovery targets which will compare force performance. These new measures and the additional incentive funding will help encourage Chief Constables to make asset recovery an integral part of criminal investigation.
In addition , the Association of Chief Police Officers has issued guidance to all forces on improving performance on asset recovery.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of reasons for difference in performance of police forces in recovering the proceeds of crime. 
The difference in performance of police forces in the recovery of the proceeds of crime is largely attributable to the use made by each force of the powers in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to seize and confiscate criminal assets. The Joint Criminal Justice Inspectorates' Thematic report on the implementation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 published last November made a number of recommendations for improving police force performance in this area of work. The report acknowledged the effectiveness of the new powers when they are actually used but concluded that asset recovery is not yet a mainstream enforcement tool for police forces. I am pleased to say that a number of the report's recommendations have been implemented, and we are encouraging forces to make financial investigation and asset recovery an integral part of criminal investigation.
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