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Assets Recovery Agency

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the value is of assets (a) realised and (b) frozen by the Assets Recovery Agency which have been derived from (i) corrupt activities overseas and (ii) the theft of foreign states' assets. [35400]

Paul Goggins: The Assets Recovery Agency has not yet undertaken any work in freezing and recovering the proceeds of corruption committed overseas. The imminent coming into force of secondary legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act will provide more powers for the UK to deal with requests from foreign States about assets in this country derived from all criminal activity, including corruption.


Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what change there has been in the number of (a) arrests and (b) prosecutions for (i)dealing and (ii) possession since the reclassification of cannabis as a class C drug. [34878]

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Paul Goggins [holding answer 5 December 2005]: The available information is included in the Drug Offenders in England and Wales" annual publications.
Table 1: Persons dealt with for cannabis offences inEngland and Wales—2003

Dealing offencesPossession offences

Table 2: Persons dealt with for cannabis offences inEngland and Wales, 2004(9)

Dealing offencesPossession offences
Formal warnings(10)n/a27,520

(9)Due to the re-classification of cannabis from class B to class C and the introduction of police formal warnings, data for 2004 should not be directly compared to those of previous years.
(10)Formal warnings are only given for cannabis possession offences. Data relates to April–December 2004.

Change Up Programme

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the establishment of the agency to drive forward the implementation of change up. [26666]

Paul Goggins: In March this year, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced a further £70 million for change up and his intention to set up the Capacity Builders Agency to take this programme of investment forward. This is in addition to the initial £80 million investment in the change up programme from 2004–2006.

Change up is a capacity building framework for the voluntary and community sector, which has a ten year vision that by 2014 the needs of frontline voluntary and community organisations will be met by nationwide support which is structured for maximum efficiency, offers provision which is accessible to all, reflects and promotes diversity and is sustainably funded.

The Capacity Builders Agency will build on the good work to date and will manage the change up framework at arms-length from Government. It will take ownership of fund management, ensure the programme is joined up and co-ordinated, mainstream diversity issues into the design and delivery of activities within change up and ensure real time action learning and longer term evaluation.

On 16 November, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced the agency's new top team. The new chair is Chris Pond, the chief executive of the National Council for One Parent Families and formerly
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MP for Gravesham (1997–2005) and Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions. Simon Hebditch has been named chief executive of the agency.

Simon is currently executive director of external affairs for the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). The chair and chief executive will be joined by a board consisting of: Caryl Agard, David Baxter, Margaret Bolton, David Harbourne, Roger Singleton and Margaret Talbot. Work is also continuing on the location, shape and function of the agency. A programme board which comprises representation from central and local Government and the sector meets every six weeks to drive forward the establishment of the Capacity Builders Agency.

Closed Religious Orders

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what he expects the effect of the Charities Bill will be on the charitable status of closed religious orders; how many such orders qualify for charitable status; if he will place in the Library a list of those orders which qualify for charitable status; and if he will make a statement. [36697]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 12 December 2005]: Entirely closed religious orders are not now charitable. The Charities Bill, if enacted in its current form, will not change this position.

Countryside Alliance Protests (Parliament Square)

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts during investigations of offences alleged to have been committed at, immediately after, or in connection with the Countryside Alliance protests in Parliament Square on 15 September 2004. [35714]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The police have advised that no-one has been arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 as the result of investigations linked to the Countryside Alliance protest on 15 September 2004.


Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pedal cyclists have been convicted of offences relating to contravention of road traffic acts in each of the last five years. [37442]

Paul Goggins: Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform is given in the following table. It shows the number of offenders found guilty at the magistrates court for offences connected with pedal cycles, England and Wales, 2000–04. Court statistics for 2005 will be available in autumn 2006.
Number of offenders found guilty at magistrates courts for offences connected with pedal cycles, England and Wales, 2000–04(11)

Offence descriptionPrincipal statute199920002001200220032004
Riding to common dangerHighway Act 1835 S.78; Metropolitan Police Act 1839 S.54(5)11124
Being towedRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.2621
Neglect of traffic directionsRoad Traffic Act 1988 SS.35 & 36604734163130
More than one person carriedRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.24772454
Riding on footpathHighways Act 1835 S.72 (as amended by Local Government Act 1888 S.85(1), Statute Law Revision (No2) Act 1888, Highways Act 1959 Sch 25, Criminal Justice Act 1967 Sch 3 and Criminal Justice Act 1982 SS.39 & 46 & Sch.3); Metropolitan Police Act 1839 S.54(7) and byelaws323171112798292
Offences in relation to pedestrian crossingsRoad Traffic Regulations Act 1984 S.25(5)412
Failing to obey signalRoad Traffic Regulations Act 1984 S.28(3)4158745
No brakes—failure to comply with thePedal Cycles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1983161011101116
Reckless and dangerous driving by pedal cyclistRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.28292319181832
Careless driving by pedal cyclistRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.291058460545973
Pedal cyclist driving under the influence of drink or drugsRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.30765838384340
Promoting unauthorised cycle race on public highwayRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.3111
Offences underRoad Traffic Regulations Act 1984 S.17(4); Motorways Traffic (England and Wales) Regulations 1982 Reg. 1558321
Taking or riding a pedal cycle without consent etc.Theft Act 1968 S. 129(5) or byelaw176179157138160183
Rider of a cycle failing to give name and addressRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.168(b)2211
Lighting offencesRoad Traffic Act 1988 S.81 and Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989396229149141166141
Other offencesVarious acts2212143642

(11)These data are on the principal offence basis

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