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3 Nov 2005 : Column 1250W—continued

Domestic Violence

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 July 2005, Official Report, column 1781W, on domestic violence, on what frequency surveys are conducted to gauge the level of interpersonal violence suffered by (a) children and (b) adults over 60 years; and what steps are taken to ensure comparability between the results obtained in each such survey. [18790]

Hazel Blears: The Home Office currently assesses violence against children aged under 16 through the Offending, Crime and Justice Survey part of which measures victimisation of children aged 10 to 15, including assaults with and without injury. The results on victimisation from the 2003 survey have been published (see findings 246) and data will also be available from further sweeps of the survey in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

The British Crime Survey (BCS) measures levels of violence against adults (ages 16 and over) living in private households, and as part of its core measures includes domestic violence. Risks of domestic violence are published annually by age group for men and women, including ages 45–64, 65–74 and 75 and over.
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The British Crime Survey is conducted on a continuous basis, having used the same essential methodology since it began in 1982 to ensure comparability over time.

However, it is recognised that the core BCS measure of domestic violence is likely to be an underestimate as some victims may be unwilling to report experience of domestic violence to an interviewer. The special self-completion module on interpersonal violence (which measures domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking) is not asked of respondents aged 60 and over. The issue of elder abuse" in common with child abuse is better explored using dedicated surveys.

Sustainable Development

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps have been taken by his Department to review its arrangements for public reporting of its sustainable development impacts; [16196]

(2) what arrangements his Department has in place to report publicly on its key sustainable development impacts. [16197]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office currently reports publicly on its key sustainable development impacts through its annual report, sustainable development pages on its website and by contributing to the sustainable development in the Government annual report. In addition a separate annual sustainable development report is published for the prison estate. In line with the commitments made in the UK Sustainable Development Strategy, the Home Office will publish its own Sustainable Development Action Plan in December 2005, which will be followed by annual sustainable development reports from December 2006 onwards.

Equality and Diversity

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Department has spent promoting equality and diversity in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [14663]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office is fully committed to the equality and diversity agenda and has policies and processes in place to ensure that there is no unfair discrimination on any grounds. The Department actively promotes the equality and diversity agenda in developing policies on its range of public responsibilities and in its treatment of its staff. The information provided for the Home Office covers the core directorates and devolved areas including the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, HM Prison Service and UK Passport Service.

Home Office policy and processes on promoting equality and diversity

Key examples of the range of work done by the Home Office in promoting equality and diversity since 2000 are as follows:

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In July 2004, the Home Office launched a Group-wide five Year Race and Diversity Programme as endorsed by the Department's Group Executive Board. The programme's aims are to develop a representative work force at all levels (including the Senior civil service), improve the public perception of fairness in Home Office policies, drive out prejudicial attitudes and behaviours and improve the diversity of staff. A range of projects have been introduced under its three work strands: ownership and leadership; people management; and, business management. These include:

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Financial expenditure on promoting equality and diversity

The following table sets out the Department's estimated annual expenditure (where available) on promoting the equality and diversity agenda between 2000–05.
£ million

(3) 2000–01—The figure excludes figures for Prison Service which are not available.

The rise in expenditure during the period 2000 to 2002 represents an increase in the Department's overall commitment to diversity initiatives and also takes account of new directorates which received funding to promote diversity and equality.

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