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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) when the Police Service of Northern Ireland diving unit was last provided with new diving suits and equipment; and what resources and equipment are available to the unit; 
(2) what the (a) size and (b) composition of the Police Service of Northern Ireland diving unit is; what its budget was in each of the last five financial years; and what its allocation is for 200506. 
Mr. Woodward: Operation Viper is aimed at reducing the number of deaths on our roads and identifies drivers who break the law. Police target dangerous and careless drivers, motorists travelling with excess speed or not wearing a seat belt, and drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Operation Viper is information and intelligence led. It is enacted on a number of occasions throughout the year and the number of officers deployed on each operation varies. The allocation of resources is a matter for the Chief Constable.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Police Service of Northern Ireland speeding or road tax detection units there were on the Bangor to Belfast road between the hours of 9am and 1pm on 24 July. 
Mr. Woodward: Between 9am and 1pm on 24 July 2005, one mobile road safety camera unit from Belfast was deployed with responsibility to patrol, among other roads, the A2 between Tillysburn roundabout and Abbey Street, Bangor.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to ensure that (a) landlords and (b) tenants in the private rented sector in Northern Ireland are made aware of their (i) responsibilities and (ii) rights. 
Mr. Hanson: The draft Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, recently published for consultation by the Department for Social Development, includes provisions to allow the Department for Social Development and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to publish information on the rights and duties of landlords under the order and under the Rent (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.
Mr. Hanson: At present, all private tenancies are governed by some of the provisions of the Rent (Northern Ireland) Order 1978. The main measures in place to regulate the sector are that all tenants must be provided with a rent book, must be given four weeks notice to quit when a tenancy is being brought to an end, and cannot be subjected to illegal eviction or harassment.
In the case of rents, regulation or control applies only to that section of the private rented sector subject to protected and statutory tenancies under the 1978 order. Some of these dwellings are in very good repair while others are not fit for human habitation. Security of tenure and the right to pass on a tenancy to a resident family member, likewise, only applies to such tenancies. Other tenancies are governed almost entirely by their tenancy agreements.
The Rent (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 has been reviewed by the Department for Social Development and a draft Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 has recently been published for consultation. This order provides a more comprehensive regulatory framework for the private rented sector than currently exists.
The Department for Social Development and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive published their joint strategy for the private rented sector, entitled Renting Privately: a strategic framework", in May 2004. This includes an objective to research and evaluate the need for an arbitration service and to conduct a pilot voluntary disputes project. The
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Northern Ireland Housing Executive has commissioned research from the University of Ulster and a report is expected shortly.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the implementation of Recommendation 144 of the Criminal Justice Review on the piloting and evaluation of restorative justice schemes published by the Northern Ireland Office in March 2000. 
Mr. Hanson: Careful consideration is currently being given to an externally commissioned evaluation of the Youth Conferencing Service which was recently extended to cater for juvenile offenders up to and including 17 years of age.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether it remains his policy that a full-time member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland must be present at and actively participate in all stages of any community restorative justice scheme funded by his Department. 
Mr. Hanson: There is a statutory obligation for the attendance of police officers at all restorative justice youth conferences operated by the Youth Justice Agency and there are no plans to provide that this role be fulfilled by anyone other than a full-time member of Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Separate guidelines being developed for the operation of community-based restorative justice schemes also require schemes to work with criminal justice agencies, including the police, as recommended by the report of the Review of the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy that persons convicted of scheduled offences in Northern Ireland will be barred from participation in any community restorative justice schemes funded by his Department. 
Mr. Hanson: The draft guidelines which are currently being developed will include a role for the Criminal Justice Inspectorate (Northern Ireland) in determining the suitability of staff employed by community-based restorative justice schemes.
|FPNs issued||Fine levied|
per FPN (£)
|Revenue generated (£)|
|2005 (up to 21 October)8,799||60||527,940|
Where previously all of the fine revenue generated by safety cameras operated in Northern Ireland was paid into the UK Consolidated Fund, legislation was recently introduced that now allows the PSNI to recover costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the Northern Ireland Safety
The mechanisms necessary to facilitate the return of these monies are currently being established; whereupon the funds will be used to develop the scheme through the deployment of additional cameras that can be used to reduce road traffic collisions.
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