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6 Jul 2005 : Column 538W—continued

People Trafficking

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to raise people trafficking with his EU counterparts during the UK presidency. [9074]

Paul Goggins: We have made human trafficking a priority for the UK presidency of the EU. We are in the process of planning agendas and discussion papers for both formal and informal ministerial meetings and other ministerial discussions. We are looking at the options for a high level discussion on trafficking. Tackling trafficking was discussed at the recent G8 ministerial meeting in Sheffield on 15–17 June.

In addition, the Hague Programme commits the EU Commission and EU Council to drawing up an action plan on trafficking, and we are currently discussing with the Commission and EU partners the best way to focus discussion on this during our presidency at a working level. We want to deliver an action plan which is evidence-based, action-orientated, takes an end-to-end approach and provides a basis for positive action against trafficking.

We are committed to improving operational co-operation and will hold a joint seminar with Eurojust in October on organised immigration crime which will open a dialogue with EU partners on the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. Council working groups will also be considering a range of relevant initiatives.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government is taking to tackle institutional racism in the Metropolitan Police. [8551]

Hazel Blears: The Government is working with the Metropolitan Police Service, (MPS) and with all other forces, to eliminate racism from policing.

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, places a positive duty on all public authorities, including the MPS, to promote race equality. In the MPS this duty is driven by its Race Equality Scheme, which was republished on 31 May 2005. Training, procurement activities and access to information and services are also included within the Race Equality Scheme. All corporate policies have been assessed for their impact on diverse groups and are published together with arrangements for ongoing monitoring, consultation and review.

In addition, the MPS was one of the first forces to adopt the new national assessment procedures for police recruitment. The assessment centre tests candidates' attitudes to race and diversity. Those who do not score sufficiently highly are not offered a job — irrespective of how well they do in the rest of the selection process. I understand that the MPS has also produced guidance
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for potential recruits and training school staff on appropriate behaviour, tolerance, respect and politeness. This puts a responsibility on new recruits and training school staff to eliminate and not tolerate racist behaviour.

In December 2003, the Metropolitan Police Authority commissioned Sir Bill Morris to review professional standards and employment matters in the Metropolitan Police Service. The Inquiry was launched in January 2004 and its report was published in December 2004. Taking forward the recommendations of the Inquiry will form part of the MPS's continued to commitment to tackle institutional racism.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has held with local authorities regarding the Police Reform II White Paper, Building Communities, Beating Crime, on (a) increasing accountability and (b) community and locally elected officials determining policing priorities; and if he will make a statement. [8096]

Hazel Blears: We had responses from, amongst others, the Association of Police Authorities (APA), Local Government Association, the Welsh LGA, the County Councils Network and 14 local authorities to the White Paper. Both ministers and officials have regular discussions with the APA and local government representatives on a variety of issues, including ways of strengthening the accountability of the police service. We will be consulting both police and local authorities over the details of the Government's plans to confer powers on local people to trigger action by community safety partners in response to persistent local problems. The community and locally elected representatives already have a significant say in determining policing priorities through Police Authorities, whose membership includes a majority of elected councillors. Police Authorities have a central duty to determine the policing priorities for the area in consultation with the local community.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department's contingent liability is for the potential cost of failure of the Airwave contract; what assessment he has made of the level of risk of failure of the Airwave contract; and if he will list the factors that he has identified could lead to a failure of the Airwave contract. [6343]

Hazel Blears: There are no contingent liabilities with regard to the Airwave contract. Roll-out of the Airwave network is now complete, with no operational, technological or health and safety issues to be resolved.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) deaths and (b) serious injuries occurred in police custody in London in each of the last five years. [8302]

Hazel Blears: The number of deaths during or following police contact in London for each of the last five years is as follows. All deaths relate to the Metropolitan Police area. There have been no deaths
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within the City of London Police area. The Home Office does not collate statistics on the number of injuries in police custody.
1999–200016 deaths, 10 in police custody
2000–2001seven deaths, two in police custody
2001–2002nine deaths, three in police custody
2002–200317 deaths, nine in police custody
2003–200415 deaths, six in police custody

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost to public funds, including national insurance contributions and pension contributions, of employing a (a) community warden or neighbourhood warden, (b) police community support officer and (c) police constable in England is expected to be in 2005–06. [5609]

Hazel Blears: The information requested is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was contributed to the Metropolitan Police by each London borough through the Metropolitan Police precept in each of the last three years; how much each borough is expected to contribute in the 2005–06 financial year; what these figures represent as a percentage of the overall budget of (a) the authority concerned and (b) the Metropolitan Police in each year; what the ratio of contribution to the precept by borough to number of police officers in post in the borough (i) was in respect of each borough in each year and (ii) is in respect of each borough in 2005–06; and if he will make a statement. [8280]

Hazel Blears: These are matters for the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Greater London Authority which determines the police precept. I will ensure that they receive a copy of the question and reply to my hon Friend directly in response to your concerns.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the level of efficiency savings his Department has required Hertfordshire constabulary to find in each year since 1997. [5374]

Hazel Blears: An efficiency target for the police service was introduced in 1999–2000. From that year until 2004–05 each Police authority was required to make efficiency gains each year of 2 per cent. of net revenue expenditure. A new target was set in Spending Review 2004. For the period from 2005–06 to 2007–08 authorities are required to make cumulative efficiency gains of 3 per cent. per year, half of the total to consist of cashable gains. Details of Hertfordshire's performance from 1999–2000 to 2004–05 (estimated) and the value of the target for 2005–06 are set out in the table.
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Efficiency targets and performance: Hertfordshire constabulary, 1999–2000 to 2007–08

Net revenue expenditure (£ million)102.4121.1131.8133.0143.0152.7161.1
Efficiency target (percentage)2222223
Efficiency target (value £ million)
Gains achieved (percentage)(81)2.392.032.502.302.272.00
Gains achieved (£ million)(81)2.452.463.303.063.253.1

(81)For 2004–05 the achievement figure is an estimate by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary based on the position at 31 December 2004. A final figure will be available later this year.
Net Revenue expenditure for 2006–07 and 2007–08, and the value of the efficiency target will be determined when a budget is set for those years.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Government's definition is of a police officer. [8097]

Hazel Blears: The term police officer" is not defined in primary legislation, but it was used in the police conduct regulations 2004 (SI 2004/645), where it is defined in regulation 3(1) as a member of a police force or special constable.

Mr. Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the powers of the police in relation to illegal raves on private land. [5136]

Hazel Blears: Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 allows police in certain circumstances to direct rave goers to leave an event. If

they refuse, police are provided with a power of arrest and they also have powers to seize sound equipment in certain circumstances. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 extended powers in relation to illegal raves taking place indoors and to make it an offence for a person given a direction under section 63 to attend any other trespassory rave within 24hours.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police patrol vehicles, (b) police vans, (c) unmarked police vehicles and (d) other police vehicles are available in Greater London; and if he will make a statement. [8116]

Hazel Blears [holding answer 4 July 2005]: This information requested is not collected centrally.

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