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6 Jul 2005 : Column 525W—continued

Driving Offences

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the responses to his consultation on proposed offences for drivers causing deaths. [6171]

Fiona Mactaggart: The consultation paper on the Review of Road Traffic Offences involving Bad Driving was published on 3 February and put forward a

radical set of proposals to create an effective framework of offences to deal with bad driving and to help create safer roads for everyone. The consultation exercise ended on 6 May and we are currently analysing the responses received. A number of different views have been expressed and we are considering all comments very carefully. A summary and proposals for next steps will be published in due course.

Emergency Call Response Times

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average response time was to an emergency call to the police in each London borough in each year since 1997. [7472]

Paul Goggins: The information requested is not collected centrally. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMCIC) publishes statistics of the percentage of 999 calls answered within local target time. The latest available statistics relate to 2002–03 and 2003–04 and are published in Table 5 of HMCIC's Annual Report. The publication is available via the Home Office website at: http://www.official-documents.co.uk/document/deps/hc/hc171/171.pdf The equivalent figures for earlier years are available from previous annual reports, copies of which should be in the Library. These statistics are only available at police force area level and figures are not available for the London boroughs.

Employees (Assault)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many employees in the railway
 
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industry have been the victims of offences of violence suffered in the course of their employment in each of the last 20 years. [7589]

Hazel Blears: The requested information cannot be supplied as there is no specific offence of assault on a railway industry worker defined by statute. Such incidents are recorded by the police depending on the severity of the violence used and in accordance with the relevant legislation, for example more or less serious wounding or common assault, and cannot be separately identified from recorded crime series data. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) records data relating to physical assaults on railway staff that are reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). The most recently published information is provided in the table.
Assaults reported under RIDDOR. 1997/98 to 2003/04

YearNumber of assaults
1997/98335
1998/99382
1999/00379
2000/01462
2001/02352
2002/03354
2003/04263

Firearms

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal firearms have been confiscated since 1997. [8521]

Hazel Blears: Statistics are not collected centrally on the number of illegal firearms confiscated.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps the Government are taking to stop vigilante groups selling illegal firearms; [8523]

(2) what steps the Government are taking to tackle organised drug gangs buying illegal firearms; [8547]
 
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(3) what plans the Government have to hold a further national firearms amnesty. [8517]

Hazel Blears: It is already an offence to buy, sell or possess a prohibited firearm and, on conviction, an offender can expect to receive a minimum sentence of five years. We are working closely with the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Criminal Intelligence Service, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and other agencies to ensure that these laws are enforced.

The legislation is being further tightened by measures in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, which received its Second Reading on 20 June. These measures include:

We are also working closely with community groups to tackle gun crime, particularly among young people who may be drawn into drug and gun crime through becoming involved in a street gang.

We have no plans at present for a further national amnesty but this is something which we will keep under review in consultation with the police.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) automatic weapons, (b) shot guns, (c) revolvers and (d) rifles have been confiscated in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [8548]

Hazel Blears: Statistics are not collected centrally on the number of illegal firearms confiscated.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans the Government has to introduce a statutory definition of lethality in relation to the definition of a firearm as a lethal-barrelled weapon; [9423]

(2) if he will make one joule of muzzle energy the statutory limit to which firearms legislation applies; [9424]

(3) when the Government's response to the Firearms Consultation 2004 will be published. [9425]

Hazel Blears: We received around 4,500 responses to the consultation paper on firearms controls. These have all been read and analysed and we are considering how we want to proceed. A summary of responses will be published. The need for a statutory definition of lethality linked to one joule of muzzle energy will be considered in this context.

Firearms Amnesty

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many firearms were handed in to the police during the last amnesty. [8559]


 
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Hazel Blears: The last firearms amnesty was from 31 March 2002 to 30 April 2003. A total of 43,908 guns were handed in during that time. This compares to 22,939 guns during the previous amnesty in June 1996.

Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support his Department will make available to migrants under the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme who wish to apply for more permanent visa status. [9451]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 5 July 2005]: The Scottish Executive's Relocation Advisory Service will have a continuing role in supporting those migrants who wish to extend their stay beyond that granted under the scheme. The Home Office is advising participants to contact the Relocation Advisory Service.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will extend the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme to include students at universities overseas taking courses conducted in partnership with Scottish universities. [9453]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 5 July 2005]: Eligibility for the scheme is based on the institution which awards the qualification and not where the student starts their course or spends the majority of their time studying. All participants must have been awarded their qualification by a relevant Scottish institution and have lived in Scotland for an appropriate period during their studies but they can have spent some time studying overseas.

G8 (Scotland)

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, by county force for England and Wales, the number of police officers that will be seconded to cover the G8 conference in Scotland. [8253]

Hazel Blears: The deployment of police officers from English and Welsh police authorities is on a mutual aid basis. The arrangements relating to mutual aid between police forces in Scotland and elsewhere in the United Kingdom are contained in section 98 of the Police Act 1996.

The chief officer in each police authority is responsible for determining the number of police personnel that can be released for G8 duties. In making that decision the chief officers will ensure that there will be no significant impact on local police services.

Police Authority Area
Police Personnel to
be deployed in Scotland
Avon and Somerset149
Bedfordshire66
Cambridgeshire74
Cheshire116
City of London57
Cleveland77
Cumbria64
Derbyshire132
Devon and Cornwall173
Dorset76
Durham90
Dyfed Powys62
Essex167
Gloucestershire57
G.M.P337
Gwent102
Hampshire3
Hertfordshire109
Humberside87
Kent124
Lancashire164
Leicestershire121
Lincolnshire68
Merseyside215
Metropolitan1,433
Norfolk69
North Wales Police73
North Yorkshire44
Northamptonshire41
Nottinghamshire85
Northumbria179
South Wales115
South Yorkshire197
Staffordshire109
Suffolk66
Surrey91
Sussex160
Thames Valley168
Warwickshire45
West Mercia122
West Midlands317
West Yorkshire360
Wiltshire66
Total6,430

 
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Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers from (a) England and Wales and (b) Surrey he expects will provide support at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles; and what plans have been made to cover police duties where police officers are seconded to the G8 summit. [8874]

Hazel Blears: The deployment of police officers from English and Welsh police authorities is on a mutual aid basis. The arrangements relating to mutual aid between police forces in Scotland and elsewhere in the United Kingdom are contained in section 98 of the Police Act 1996.

The chief officer in each police authority is responsible for determining the number of police personnel that can be released for G8 duties. In making that decision the chief officers will ensure that there will be no significant impact on local police services.
Police Authority AreaPolice Personnel
to be deployed in Scotland
Avon and Somerset149
Bedfordshire66
Cambridgeshire74
Cheshire116
City of London57
Cleveland77
Cumbria64
Derbyshire132
Devon and Cornwall173
Dorset76
Durham90
Dyfed Powys62
Essex167
Gloucestershire57
G.M.P337
Gwent102
Hampshire3
Hertfordshire109
Humberside87
Kent124
Lancashire164
Leicestershire121
Lincolnshire68
Merseyside215
Metropolitan1,433
Norfolk69
North Wales Police73
North Yorkshire44
Northamptonshire41
Nottinghamshire85
Northumbria179
South Wales115
South Yorkshire197
Staffordshire109
Suffolk66
Surrey91
Sussex160
Thames Valley168
Warwickshire45
West Mercia122
West Midlands317
West Yorkshire360
Wiltshire66
Total6,430

 
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