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10 Jan 2006 : Column 566W—continued

Illegal Taxis

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been prosecuted for operating an illegal taxi service in (a) Southend, (b) Essex, (c) Hertfordshire, (d) Greater London and (e) England and Wales in each of the last five years. [37552]

Fiona Mactaggart: Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform is given in the table. It shows the number of defendants prosecuted at the magistrates court for the offence of 'touting for hire car services in a public place' under Section 167 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 for South East Essex petty sessional area (which includes Southend), Essex, Hertfordshire, Greater London and England and Wales 2000–04.

It is not possible to identify those prosecutions in Southend as the data are not collected at this level of detail.
Number of defendants proceeded against at the magistrates courts for operating an illegal taxi service, 2000–04(44)

Offence descriptions: touting for hire car services in a public place
Statute: Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 S.167
South East Essex PSA
Greater London144164222242467
England and Wales156178229256483

(44) These data are on the principal offence basis

Court statistics for 2005 will be available in the autumn 2006.

Independent Monitoring Boards

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost of changing the recruitment process for the appointment of independent monitoring board members; and if he will make a statement. [16379]

Fiona Mactaggart: The recruitment process for members of independent monitoring boards is currently under review by the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards and no decision has been taken on changes which may be made to the process.

Internet (Improper Use)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 5 October 2005, Official Report, column 2845W, on improper use of the internet, when he expects the full business case for the IMPACT programme to be completed; for what reasons the full business case was not delivered in line with the Home Office progress report on the Bichard Recommendations of 22 December 2004. [32860]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The IMPACT programme has been significantly re-engineered since the first progress report, in recognition of its scale and complexity. As reported in the second progress report, published in November, an outline business case was considered by the Home Office Group Investment Board in September 2005. Following further work to develop the options in consultation with the police service and other stakeholders, a further business case will be considered in March 2006.


Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the likely change in police precepts as a result of the Government's commitment to increase the number of police community support officers to 24,000 by 2008; what (a) representations on this matter and (b) estimates of precepts he has received from (i) police authorities and (ii) local authorities; and if he will place copies in the Library. [37766]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We have received no formal representations from police authorities or local authorities on this issue.

We are providing additional resources of £88 million in 2006–07 and £340 million in 2007–08 through the Neighbourhood Policing Fund to support an increase in the numbers of community support officers to 24,000 by 2008. The Statement made by my right hon. friend the Minister for local government on 5 December clearly set out that we expect to see average council tax increases of less than five percent. in each year in 2006–07 and 2007–08. With judicious financial planning, there is no reason for police authorities to set excessive increases in police precepts on council tax next year.
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Probation Officers

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probation officers broken down by grade, were suspended from duty in (a) Southend, (b) Essex, (c) Hertfordshire and (d) the Metropolitan Police area of London in each of the last 15 years for which figures are available. [37547]

Fiona Mactaggart: Information is not available for the full period requested, as data for periods over 12 months can be obtained only at disproportionate costs.

As staffing information is held by each probation area it has not been possible to show the figures for Southend separately. The staffing figures are therefore provided for Essex, London, and Hertfordshire probation areas only.

The following figures show the number of probation officers who have been suspended during the last 12 months.
AreaGradeOutcome of suspension
Southend/Essex1 x senior probation officersNo case to answer
3 x probation officersNo case to answer
Hertfordshire1 x probation officerDismissed
Metropolitan police area for London4 x probation support officers3 x investigation ongoing
1 x no case to answer
1 x trainee probation officer1 x investigation ongoing

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisations were (a) nominated and (b) awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004 and (iii) 2005, broken down by local authority area. [24551]

Paul Goggins: Recipients of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, given to groups of two or more volunteers, are published (by region) in the London Gazette Supplement No.1 on 1 June each year, which is the date of the announcement of this Award from Buckingham Palace. This information can also be found on the website: It also contains FAQ's on the administration of the Award.

Perhaps the most apposite way to request information on the break down of recipients by local authority would be through regional Government Offices as they are involved in the Award selection process through a local Selection Panel. Their recommendations are sent for final selection to the Award Committee. The Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales should also be able to supply this information.

On the question of nominated groups. 1,391 eligible nominations were received in 2002–03; 667 in 2003–04 and 580 in 2004–05. Details on each nominated group
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are contained on forms sent to the administrators of this Award by an individual nominator and has always been regarded as personal information and has never been published.

Race Equality Impact Assessments

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Race Equality Impact Assessments his Department completed between (a) April 2004 and March 2005 and (b) April 2005 and November 2005; and how many assessments in each period resulted in a change of policy. [32821]

Paul Goggins: The Home Office has conducted 10 race equality impact assessments during the April 2004 to March 2005 period. Five of which resulted in policy changes being made. So far five assessments have been conducted during the April-November 2005 period.

Sex Offenders

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in (a) England, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) Kettering constituency have appeared on the sex offenders register in each of the last 10 years. [37049]

Fiona Mactaggart: The notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 (often known as the sex offenders register) came into force on 1 September 1997. These requirements have been updated and strengthened through the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Until 2001, data on the number of sex offenders were collated on a national basis from the police national computer. However, this arrangement was overtaken following the introduction of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and the requirement on each police and probation area to produce annual reports detailing the work undertaken to safeguard the public and manage dangerous offenders in the community. The MAPPA reports include statistics on the number of offenders who are subject to the notification requirements. The 2001–02 reports state that on 31 March 2002 there were 18,513 registered sex offenders living in the community in England and Wales. The 2002–03 reports state that on 31 March 2003 the number was 21,413. The 2003–04 reports state that on 31 March 2004 the number was 24,572 and the most recent 2004–05 reports state that on 31 March 2005 the number was 28,994. This increase is to be expected before the notification requirement regime, which was introduced in 1997 with a partially retrospective operation, matures and stabilises.

The MAPPA report for Northamptonshire is available from Northamptonshire police, Northamptonshire probation service and also from the National Probation Service website. Statistics are not available for the number of offenders within a constituency.
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