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Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the change in the numbers of people who would be (a) arrested, (b) brought to court and (c) imprisoned if cannabis was re-classified as a class B drug. 
Paul Goggins: The Home Secretary is currently considering the report of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the classification of cannabis. Any proposal to change the classification of a controlled drug would require a regulatory impact assessment to be drawn up which would include consideration of all relevant enforcement issues.
Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Children's Commissioners in the United Kingdom on the impact of section nine of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004 on the welfare of children. 
Mr. McNulty: There have been no written representations received from any of the four children's commissioners in the United Kingdom on the impact of section nine of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004 on the welfare of children. The director general of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, hosted a meeting in December with all four Children's Commissioners at which a number of matters were discussed including section nine.
Paul Goggins: Since 2000, the British Crime Survey (BCS) shows that cocaine use has remained broadly stable both for those aged 1659 and for young people aged 1624. There is also some evidence of a more recent reduction in use. Data from the BCS show that, between 200304 and 200405, there was a fall from 2.4 per cent. to 2.0 per cent. in the proportion of respondents aged 1659 reporting the use of cocaine on at least one occasion during the year preceding the survey. This equates to a 17 per cent. drop. However, the Government are not complacent about any of these figures and, through the Drug Strategy, are working to reduce the harms caused by all illicit drugs.
The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) operates in the 97 areas with the highest levels of drug-related acquisitive crime. Individuals charged with certain offences are tested for class A drugs under the programme: one of several interventions to identify drug-misusing offenders and divert them into treatment and support services. From 1 December, three selected police forces have had powers to test for class A drugs on arrest. Those testing positive are required to attend an assessment with a drug worker. These new powers will be expanded further from 31 March.
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Heroin misuse has historically been the main the focus of treatment provision. However, the number of stimulant users presenting for treatment is increasing. Flexible treatment packages are being adopted in line with the National Treatment Agency's Effectiveness Strategy.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) letters from hon. Members, (b) letters from members of the public and (c) Parliamentary Questions from (i) hon. Members and (ii) Lords were dealt with by his Department in each year since 1995 in respect of the percentage his Department took (A) more than one month and (B) more than three months to provide a substantive answer; and if he will make a statement. 
The report for 2004 was published on 6 April 2005, Official Report, columns 13740WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House. (A) In the period 1 January to 31 October 2005 the department (including the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) but excluding the agencies) received 41,299 letters from Members and Peers and responded to 56 per cent. of them within 20 working days.
The department, excluding IND, replied to 95 per cent. of the Members and Peer's letters received in October 2005 within the target of 15 working days.(B) The cost of establishing the proportion of letters that took over three months to answer would be disproportionate.
(A) The department holds correspondence performance data for two years only. The data relates to centrally received correspondence i.e. letters addressed to Ministers or 'the
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Home Office' and e-mails addressed to public.enquiries @homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk but excludes correspondence about IND and the agencies.
The department aims to reply to correspondence from the public within 20 working days. In the period one June to 31 December 2003 the department received 7,864 letters from the public and replied to 85 per cent. within target. In 2004 the department received 17,133 letters and replied to 87 per cent. within target. In the period 1 January to 31 October 2005 the department received 13,724 letters and replied to 90 per cent. within target. (B) The cost of establishing the proportion of letters that took over three months to answer would be disproportionate.
The information requested is not held in this format and to collate this would incur disproportionate costs. Ministers give serious attention and make every effort to answer questions substantively and in accordance with the performance guidelines set.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the immigration and nationality directorate will reply to the letter of 25 November 2005 from the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green; when Mr. Independencio So (Home Office reference S668821) will be granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom in accordance with the ruling of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The immigration and nationality directorate replied to the hon. Members letter of 25 November addressed to the head of Member of Parliament's Correspondence Section on 6 December 2005. Mr. Independencio So was granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom on 9 January 2006.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the immigration and nationality directorate will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Warley of 13 September on behalf of Jamail Singh of Shakespeare Road, Smethwick. 
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what crime detection rates were recorded for offences of (a) violence against the person, (b) sexual offences, (c) robberies, (d) burglaries and (e) theft of a vehicle in (i) Greater London and (ii) Ruislip-Northwood constituency in the last year for which figures are available. 
The information requested is not available centrally for the Ruislip-Northwood constituency. This constituency comes within the Hillingdon Basic Command Unit (BCD) and figures for that BCU and for Greater London are given in the table.
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|Greater London(78)||Hillingdon Basic Command Unit|
|Violence against the person||43||50|
|Theft of a vehicle||9||6|
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