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29 Nov 2005 : Column 466W—continued

Sex Trafficking

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Government will ratify the Palermo Protocol against sex trafficking to the UN Convention against Organised Crime; and if he will make a statement. [31437]

Hazel Blears: We consider that, taken together with existing United Kingdom law, the introduction of the trafficking offences contained in section four of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 which came into force on 1 December 2004, mean that we fully comply with our legislative obligations under the Palermo Protocol.

To enable us to ratify the protocol we must first ratify the UN convention against transnational organised crime. The legislative measures required to comply with
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the Convention have now been introduced and the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office are taking forward the necessary steps to ratify the convention and Protocol

Rural Crime

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking (a) to tackle rural crime and (b) to improve detection rates in rural areas. [30571]

Hazel Blears: Effective and responsive policing at neighbourhood level as well as robust partnership working are both essential parts of our strategy to tackle crime and to sustain the confidence and trust of the public in all parts of the country.

We introduced the Rural Policing Fund in 2000–01 specifically to enhance the visibility and accessibility of policing in rural areas. 31 police authorities with the most widespread populations benefit from this additional funding. The annual allocation is £30 million. We are considering rolling-up a number of specific grants, including the Rural Policing Fund, into a single pot for each police authority to give authorities more control over how they may be used. We do not intend to abolish or reduce rural grant allocations. Each authority will receive the current levels of funding but would be expected to honour commitments.

A number of police forces have introduced community support officers (CSOs) in rural areas since their introduction in 2002. The Home Office is also involved in a Blue Light" pilot which aims to create a community focused, multi-functional role for these officers in some rural villages.

We have made a commitment that by 2008, every area in England and Wales will benefit from dedicated neighbourhood policing teams which will be led by police officers and involve special constables, community support officers, volunteers and neighbourhood wardens among others.

The Government acknowledge the need to improve sanction detection rates across all police forces. For that reason, a major drive has been underway since last
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summer with the aim of achieving a significant increase in sanction detection rates. This includes a range of operational improvements intended to build the investigative capability of the police service, together with some targeted support for forces with performance concerns.

Safety Cameras

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the revenue was from fines resulting from speed camera convictions in Hertfordshire in the latest year for which figures are available; and what sums were passed to (a) the Consolidated Fund and (b) the Hertfordshire Speed Camera Partnership. [29900]

Paul Goggins: Information on the total revenue from speed camera convictions is not collected centrally.

The information collected by my Department identifies the number of fixed penalties ordered to be paid and the number and amounts of court fines issued for such offences. Not all fines and fixed penalties will have been paid.

My right hon. Friend the Transport Secretary has advised that details of safety camera programme funding for 2002–03 are given in 'The national safety camera programme Three-year evaluation report', copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House, and are available from the Department for Transport website.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in what percentage of cases the (a) maximum fine and (b) minimum fine was imposed for speeding detected by cameras in each year between 1994 and 2004; [29906]

(2) what the (a) maximum, (b) minimum and (c) average fine for camera-detected speeding was in each year between 1994 and 2004. [30448]

Paul Goggins: Available information on court fines for the offence of speeding detected by camera in the calendar years 1994 to 2003 is given in the table.

Information for 2004 will be available early in 2006.
Maximum and minimum fines imposed at the magistrates courts for speeding offences detected by camera(59) , England and Wales,1994 to 2003

Percentage of cases where:
Standard rate maximum fine(60)Maximum (£1,000) fine imposedMinimum (£20 and under) fine imposedAverage fine (£)

(59) Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, sections 16, 81, 84, 86, 88 and 89; Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits on Motorways) Regulations 1973.
(60) L3 = £1,000.
(61) No maximum fines imposed.
(62) Percentage not significant to one decimal place.
Coverage and recording practice affecting the statistics:
(A) It is known that for some police force areas, the reporting of court proceedings in particular those relating to summary motoring offences, may be less than complete.
(B) Since 1990, due to the delays in implementing new counting procedures, corrective action on non-keying errors was reduced resulting in a deterioration in the quality of the data on summary motoring proceedings.

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Secure Training Centres

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many children have been subject to physical restraint in each of the secure training centres in each of the last four years; and in how many incidents each child was involved; [31370]

(2) What the ethnic origin was of each child subject to physical control in each of the secure training centres in the last 12 months. [31371]

Fiona Mactaggart: Information held centrally on physical restraint in secure training centres does not include the details requested.


Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the recorded number of traffic speeding violations on roads with (a) a 30 mph speed limit and (b) a 40 mph speed limit has been in each year between 1994 and 2004. [30374]

Paul Goggins: Information on the number of traffic speeding violations is not held by my Department. Information is held on the number of convictions and for fixed penalty notices issued for speeding offences but this does not identify the speed band registered nor the classification of road on which the offence took place.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was collected by the Government in speeding fines in each year between 1994 and 2004. [30450]

Paul Goggins: Information on the total revenue from speeding fines is not collected centrally.

Steven John Toplass

Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether national guidelines were in place at the time of Steven John Toplass's arrest in February 2004 to ensure that appropriate national law enforcement authorities through whose territories a UK-initiated and supervised controlled delivery would pass were made aware of its existence before the cargo concerned was loaded, with particular reference to Spain. [29518]

Hazel Blears: UK agencies engaged in controlled deliveries have standard operating procedures which provide operational guidelines. In addition operational service level agreements exist between relevant UK agencies and overseas partners to govern such operations. These agreements ensure that such operations are only undertaken with the agreement of appropriate authorities within the UK and with the agreement of appropriate national law enforcement authorities in the countries to which the cargo will pass. A European Union manual on controlled deliveries also
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exists. This manual provides details of the practices and procedures for controlled delivery operations in European Union countries. All these measures were in place in February 2004.

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