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14 Jul 2005 : Column 1224W—continued

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for theHome Department when he will reply to questionreference 4785 tabled by the hon. Member for Woking. [12294]

Hazel Blears: I replied to the hon. Member on 12 July 2005.


Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for the reorganisation of police forces in England and Wales. [11385]

Hazel Blears: At the Association of Chief Police Officers on 19 May, the Home Secretary made it clear that he did not believe that the current structure of 43 forces was the most effective and efficient arrangement for organising policing in England and Wales. He also made it clear that he had no blueprint for amalgamations, but that the initiative for such amalgamations should be driven locally. To inform the way forward, the Home Secretary has commissioned Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to examine the issue of force structures. As well as looking at the case for structural changes, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary will also be examining the case for greater collaboration and co-operation between forces.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the age profile of Lancashire police. [11069]

Hazel Blears: The age profile of Lancashire police on the 31 March 2004 is given in the following table:
Age profile police officers Lancashire 2003–04

25 years and under26 to 40 years41 to 55 yearsOver 55 years
ACPO ranks0040
Chief Superintendent0281
Chief Inspector011300

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to monitor therecruitment and retention of transsexual police officers. [10793]

Hazel Blears: The Gender Recognition Act 2004 enables transsexual people who have taken decisive steps to live fully and permanently in their acquired gender to apply for legal recognition of that gender.

Police recruitment and other employment monitoring data is recorded and monitored in terms of male or female gender. We have no plans to monitor the recruitment and retention of transsexual police officers.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the projected prison population in England and Wales is in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, (c) 2008 and (d) 2009. [3872]

Fiona Mactaggart: The latest prison population projections are published in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin 01/05 Prison Population Projections, 2005–2011, England and Wales". Figures for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for 10 scenarios can be found in this document. The scenarios range from 'High' to 'Low'. Projected total prison population figures
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(corresponding to end of June) for High and Low scenarios for the relevant years are presented in the table.
High scenarioLow scenario

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are receiving treatment for (a) drug abuse and (b) alcohol dependency. [5777]

Fiona Mactaggart: The information is as follows.

(a) Data for 2004–05 show the following numbers of drug misusers receiving treatment:
Clinical Services(18)53,903 treatments
CARATs(19)59,025 initial assessments
Drug Rehabilitation Programmes7,609 entrants

(18) Mainly detoxification.
(19) Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare Services

(b) No records are kept centrally of those prisoners who receive treatment for alcohol dependency.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place to help those released from women's prisons to find accommodation and employment when they have no family or friendship support in the location where the prison is situated; and what research on the subject he has commissioned. [8407]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Prison Service's strategy for the resettlement of prisoners is set out in Prison Service Order 2300. It involves collaboration with other agencies, voluntary and statutory, at a local and national level. Housing advice projects of various kinds are under way in all women's prisons; and steps are being taken to strengthen further the housing advice and support in those establishments.

While all resettlement work is expected to address, where appropriate, the issue of employment, and Jobcentre plus advisers are in place at all women's prisons, the Prison Service is working with a number of voluntary agencies on specific projects aimed at supporting into work those women at risk of re-offending, which may include women who lack family and friendship support. The Prison Service undertook a resettlement survey in 2003–04 and the results have supported the development of policy and practice across the whole prisons estate.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further discussions he has had with the Jamaican authorities about prisoner transfers since March. [9058]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met with the new Jamaican high commissioner on 26 April 2005 where the subject of Prisoner Transfer Agreement
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(PTA) was raised. Agreeing a PTA with Jamaica remains an objective for the Government and we shall continue to raise the matter with the Jamaicans as and when appropriate.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Elmet (Colin Burgon) of 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1005, on new prisons, if he will list the sites which (a) are and (b) have been in the last three years under consideration for new prisons; for what type of prison in each case; and what stage consideration has reached in each case. [10228]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 11 July 2005]: Although a number of sites have recently been identified as potentially suitable for new prisons, no decision to buy a site has been made. If a site is under consideration for acquisition details could not be disclosed for commercial reasons. Any Member in whose constituency where we have decided to buy a site or where we are planning to build a new prison will be kept up to date on developments by the Home Office

We have opened two new prisons: HMP Bronzefield in June 2004, a 450-place women's prison near Heathrow; and HMP Peterborough in March 2005, a 840-place prison which includes places for up to 360 women in modern accommodation.

In addition, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) owns two sites at Merseyside and Thamesmead, London, but no decision has been taken to build on them.

NOMS also owns land on the Isle of Wight and at HMP Full Sutton. Consideration was given three years ago to developing these sites to provide additional accommodation. There are no immediate plans to develop these sites.

Project Iris

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what size data files are being used to store individuals' entry and biometric records for use with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's Project Iris. [11848]

Mr. McNulty: The specification of the system states that it must perform to requirements with a database of two million enrolees and there must be no architectural limitations to expansion. The size of individual data files has not been specified within the system, however the iris code itself is 512b.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) arrested and (b) successfully prosecuted for (i) kerb-crawling, (ii) prostitution and (iii) running a brothel in each London borough in each of the last five years. [2491]

Fiona Mactaggart: The information requested on arrests is not available centrally. Information on arrests collected centrally is based on persons arrested for notifiable" offences by main offence group (i.e. sexual offences, violence against the person and burglary etc)
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and at police force area only and therefore does not identify individual offences nor constituency areas or local authorities.

The information requested for successful prosecutions for kerb-crawling, prostitution and running a brothel is attached table which has also been placed in the Library.

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